The Oregon Health Authority announced two new coronavirus deaths and 331 new cases Wednesday, along with a federal plan to offer free vaccines against the disease to anybody living or working in specialized care homes — whenever such a vaccine becomes available.
The program would apply to anybody living or working in nursing, assisted living and memory care homes, as well as foster homes for seniors or those with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Senior care home residents account for about 44% of all coronavirus deaths in Oregon, according to the state.
It’s unclear when a vaccine will become available, even as health officials, pharmaceutical companies and scientists around the world race to develop one that is safe and effective.
Wednesday’s case count was par for the course for Oregon’s second COVID-19 bump, with weekly averages exceeding 300 new cases per day since Oct. 7. The total case count jumped the 40,000 mark Tuesday, 235 days after Oregon logged its first coronavirus case, in February.
The new cases are in the following counties: Baker (1), Clackamas (27), Columbia (2), Coos (4), Crook (2), Deschutes (9), Douglas (7), Harney (2), Hood River (3), Jackson (36), Josephine (1), Lane (40), Linn (6), Malheur (8), Marion (43), Multnomah (56), Polk (2), Tillamook (1), Umatilla (19), Union (2), Wasco (1), Washington (55) and Yamhill (4).
New fatalities: Oregon’s 634th death connected to the coronavirus is a 70-year-old Multnomah County woman with underlying medical conditions who tested positive Oct. 10. She died Oct. 16 at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.
Oregon’s 635th COVID-19 death is a 60-year-old Washington County woman with underlying conditions who tested positive Sept. 26. She died Oct.17 at Tuality Community Hospital.
The prevalence of infections: State officials reported 288 new confirmed infections since Tuesday out of 4,599 people tested, equaling a 6.3% positivity rate.
Who got infected: New confirmed or presumed infections grew among the following age groups: 0-9 (15); 10-19 (34); 20-29 (61); 30-39 (56); 40-49 (47); 50-59 (42); 60-69 (20); 70-79 (18); 80 and older (11).
Who’s in the hospital: The state Wednesday reported 121 Oregonians with confirmed coronavirus infections are currently in the hospital, three fewer than Tuesday. Oregon remains well below its capacity, with hundreds of hospital beds and ventilators available.
Since it began: Oregon has reported 40,443 confirmed or presumed infections and 635 deaths, among the lowest totals in the nation. To date, 797,898 Oregonians have been tested.
— Fedor Zarkhin | [email protected] | 503-294-7674