Oregon reports 733 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 6 new deaths; Tillamook County continues to add cases, 3 more today April 15th

PORTLAND, Ore. — There are six new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 2,455, the Oregon Health Authority reported today April 15, 2021.

Oregon Health Authority reported 733 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 172,931.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported are in the following counties: Baker (16), Benton (18), Clackamas (63), Clatsop (3), Columbia (10), Coos (9), Crook (5), Curry (3), Deschutes (53), Douglas (10), Grant (1), Hood River (6), Jackson (34), Jefferson (5), Josephine (13), Klamath (46), Lane (74), Lincoln (6), Linn (23), Malheur (2), Marion (56), Morrow (1), Multnomah (120), Polk (22), Tillamook (3), Umatilla (9), Union (3), Wasco (8), Washington (98) and Yamhill (13).

Vaccinations in Oregon

Today, OHA reported that 44,971 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry. Of this total, 29,445 doses were administered on April 14 and 15,526 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry on April 14.

The seven-day running average is now 38,728 doses per day.

Oregon has now administered a total of 1,242,066 doses of Pfizer, 1,069,417 doses of Moderna and 87,339 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. As of today, 945,453 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series. There are 1,492,658 who have had at least one dose.

Cumulative daily totals can take several days to finalize because providers have 72 hours to report doses administered and technical challenges have caused many providers to lag in their reporting. OHA has been providing technical support to vaccination sites to improve the timeliness of their data entry into the state’s ALERT Immunization Information System (IIS).

To date, 1,499,355 doses of Pfizer, 1,301,500 doses of Moderna and 215,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to sites across Oregon.

These data are preliminary and subject to change.

OHA’s dashboards provide regularly updated vaccination data, and Oregon’s dashboard has been updated today.

COVID-19 hospitalizations

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 195, which is five fewer than yesterday. There are 53 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is one more than yesterday.

The total number of patients in hospital beds may fluctuate between report times. The numbers do not reflect admissions per day, nor the length of hospital stay. Staffing limitations are not captured in this data and may further limit bed capacity.

More information about hospital capacity can be found here.

Testing event at “The Cut” is a step to building trust with folks living on the street

Mobile public health lab and tent for COVID-19 testing at The Cut.

A lot of people camp out and live along a bike path in the St. Johns neighborhood of Portland. The area is informally known as “The Cut.” In March, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) worked closely with grassroots activists and community organizations to test 49 people living there for COVID-19.

It was an event that required careful planning to establish trust. “This is a population where we need to be especially mindful,” says Mehera Christian, regional testing coordinator at OHA. “These are individuals with complex physical and mental health issues. There is a lot of fear and mistrust. We work with community partners who know and serve the community to help connect with sensitivity and compassion.”

Every Saturday, grassroots activists and organizations go to a central location along the path with services and supplies. People who live there go to get food, blankets and socks, or to recycle their bottles and cans to get money back.

A couple weeks ahead of the testing event, OHA staff went out with trusted community partners to introduce themselves and spread the word about the upcoming testing event.

“We were able to find out what some of their concerns were before the day of testing. They heard about the event and could ask questions, and then they knew some of our faces when we came back,” says Christian.

One key partner was Portland People’s Outreach Project (PPOP). The all-volunteer organization has been doing emergency and outreach work directly along The Cut for two years. To reduce risk, they provide clean syringes, Naloxone (Narcan) and other supplies directly to users.

That part of town, says PPOP volunteer Sam Junge, is especially short on low-barrier health services. The testing event, he says, was a start to establishing trust and affirms the need for health services in this area going forward. Junge also added that “it’s a testament to the importance of serving and investing in people who use drugs.”

OHA staff brought a mobile lab to The Cut and tested 49 people in two hours using rapid results tests.

“We were set up for motel referrals and had transportation arranged if people tested positive,” says Junge.

But there were zero positive tests.

“It’s just a big relief for people,” says Christian. “They’re aware of the risks and, of course, being on the street, they’re especially vulnerable. If we make it past the trust issue and people see you’re there and caring and wanting to help, there’s a real gratitude.”