Governor Kate Brown was joined by Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen, State Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger and other partners today to give an update on Oregon’s vaccination rollout.
“Oregonians continue to make smart choices, and the numbers speak for themselves,” said Governor Brown. “As of yesterday, Oregon had the third lowest infection rate in the nation. And while this is great news, we must remain vigilant in the face of challenges ahead with the new variants. We advise Oregonians to continue to follow safety measures and choose your activities wisely so that you are minimizing risk as best you can.”
Here are some more highlights:
Oregon is making progress on vaccination:
- Even though winter storms affected vaccine shipments and clinics, Oregon averaged more than 14,000 vaccinations per day (14,645) over the past week.
- Oregon remains on schedule to open vaccinations to people 70 and older on Monday, Feb. 22.
- OHA is committed to interrupting the widening racial, ethnic and other inequities we see in vaccinations and throughout the pandemic.
“At OHA, we’re working to build bridges with communities our health care system has failed to serve well, improve access to vaccines and other health care, eliminate health inequity and enable more people to live a healthier life,” said Director Allen. “Working with Federally Qualified Health Centers is at the core of our effort to eliminate COVID-19 health inequities.”
Director Allen pointed out that Oregon’s vaccination program is not on track regarding racial and ethnic inequity in responding to the pandemic or in vaccination rates. Latinx communities in Oregon have seen the most pronounced inequities when compared to whites.
- People who identify as white represent 75% of people in Oregon however, while they only comprise about half (48%) of COVID-19 cases, they account for 74% of vaccinations.
- People who identify as Latino or Hispanic represent 13% of people in Oregon but comprise 26% of COVID-19 cases – twice their proportion of the population.
- Only 5% of the vaccinations administered to date have been administered to the Latinx community.
- People who identify as Black or African American are 2% of the state population and they represent 2.4% of COVID-19 cases. They represent under 2% of COVID-19 vaccinations.
- Native Americans comprise close to 2% of people in Oregon and account for close to 2% of COVID-19 cases and 2% of COVID-19 vaccinations.
Vaccine Voices: Former Oregon state Sen. Margaret Carter
At today’s news conference Governor Brown shared a video of former state Sen. Margaret Carter receiving her vaccine earlier this morning.
Before taking the vaccine, Sen. Carter said, “One of the reasons I’m so ready is I want our community to know I am taking this shot and it’s safe and even though we have a history of government intervention because we go back to the Tuskegee days. But I want our community to know that this is safe, and I want you to join me in taking this shot.”
Click image below to play the video.
New COVID-19 forecast shows slight increase in transmission
Dr. Sidelinger discussed the latest COVID-19 model at the news conference as well. It shows a slight increase in transmission. The new report estimates that, as of Feb. 3, the statewide reproductive rate was 0.88.
- According to the newest forecast, if we continue along our present course of wearing masks, keeping physical distance and restricting our gatherings, daily cases will decline to an average of 320, with 10 fewer COVID-19 hospitalizations and 107 per 140,000 people between Feb. 25 and March 9.
- A 30% increase in transmission projects to roughly 510 daily cases and 17 new hospitalizations per day, as well as 170 cases per 100,000 people by mid-March.
- The new modeling warns that more Oregonians may be open to resuming activities that pose a higher risk of spread, especially as risk levels change for Oregon counties. That and the potential of a COVID-19 variant that becomes dominant could contribute to greater spread.
The report indicates that 78% of Oregonians regularly wear face coverings and that most Oregonians believe the existing vaccines are safe and effective.
Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center to hold listening session
Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center is joining with organizations from around the community to host an online community listening session. It’s an opportunity to share your thoughts, concerns and questions. The upcoming session is offered in English. Information on joining is available on this webpage.
OHA and ODE launch new school dashboard
OHA and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) are introducing a new interactive tool highlighting Oregon schools’ operating status. This dashboard displays a school’s current instructional model and ODE’s current school in-person recommendations based on COVID-19 case counts, rates and test positivity by county. The dashboard also highlights how many and which schools are operating under each instructional model.
This new dashboard will enable Oregonians to quickly see what instructional model their school is currently following and the county’s in-person operation recommendations. This dashboard is a collaboration between OHA and ODE. The school instructional model data displayed is from the previous week. Data is collected on Fridays and will be updated the following Tuesday by 5 p.m.
County school in-person operation recommendation data is for the current week and can be found here.