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Reported COVID-19 cases plateau in Deschutes County, similar to trend seen across U.S.

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Some experts say the country has hit a COVID-19 plateau, and the trends in Deschutes County's reported cases support that thinking.

Nationally, the numbers aren't significantly increasing or declining week to week. But there are still about 40,000 people hospitalized and 400 deaths a day.

According to Deschutes County Public Health officials, COVID-19 case numbers in Central Oregon mirror the leveling off pattern.

"We're certainly seeing a plateau in our community, but a significant number of people are still getting sick, the county's COVID case manager, Emily Horton, said Wednesday. "We're consistently seeing 500 new cases a week -- and with people testing at home, the number could be higher. "

As for what to expect in the coming weeks, the county points to a lot of variables. Kids going back to school and new variants make it difficult to predict whether cases will continue to plateau.

St. Charles Bend also is in something of a holding pattern, in terms of hospitalizations and emergency room visits, according to Public Information Officer Lisa Goodman.

As of Wednesday morning, they were treating 17 patients with COVID, she said.

"We believe we'll remain in this state for the next couple of weeks, as the positivity rate is not coming down," Goodman explained.

The Oregon Health Authority, meanwhile, issued its biweekly COVID-19 update Wednesday:

OHA releases biweekly COVID-19 reports

The COVID-19 Biweekly Data Report, released today, shows a slight decrease in COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths. 

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported 15,716 new cases of COVID-19 from July 24 to Aug. 6, a 15.4% decline from the previous biweekly total of 18,567.  

During the two-week period of July 24 to Aug. 6, test positivity was 13.0%, down slightly from 13.8% in the previous two-week period. 

Today’s COVID-19 Biweekly Congregate Care Setting Outbreak Report shows 206 active outbreaks in care facilities, senior living communities and congregate care living settings with three or more confirmed COVID-19 cases or one or more COVID-19-related deaths. 

Cases by ZIP code update

Today, OHA published updates to the Oregon COVID-19 Cases by ZIP Code dashboard report. Case rates were updated using 2020 data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. OHA had previously been using 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data to calculate rates. This aligns OHA’s reporting of COVID-19 cases by ZIP code with people vaccinated with at least one dose of any COVID-19 vaccine by ZIP code.

Newly added filters let users explore data by county and urban/rural ZIP code designation. Changes to color coding better show the skewed distribution of case rates. Previously, case counts and case rates were not displayed for populations under 1,000 people. Case counts and case rates are now displayed for ZIP Code Tabulation Areas with 50 or more people. Case counts from ZIP codes with fewer than 10 cases, or with a case rate of 50,000 per 100,000 or more, will be reported in aggregate. This dashboard report will continue to be published weekly on Wednesdays. 

OHA updates dashboard on case demographics and disease severity

This week, the COVID-19 Case Demographic and Disease Severity dashboard will be removing and archiving the “Disease Severity” tab. Because case interviews are no longer required due to limited capacity, data used on the “Disease Severity” tab, such as underlying conditions, are no longer collected. The tab will be removed from the dashboard.

For a comprehensive overview of COVID-19 infections and underlying conditions, please refer to the updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published on June 17 and July 8.

An archive of “Disease Severity” tab can be found here. The “Case Demographics” and “Severity Trends” tabs will continue to be updated weekly.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

KTVZ News Team

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