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Oregon Health Authority shifts COVID-19 reporting as new boosters arrive in state

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Health Authority on Wednesday announced changes to its reporting of COVID-19 data and provided an update on the new bivalent COVID-19 boosters. State health officials also gave an update on monkeypox (hMPXV) in Oregon, including new demographic data and recommendations for monkeypox vaccines.

OHA Director Patrick Allen said COVID-19 data reporting is changing next week, with the COVID-19 Data Update moving to a weekly schedule and other data moving to a monthly cycle. “Shifting our reporting to match where we are in the pandemic will also allow us to free up resources that can be used for responding to other public health events that are equally important,” Allen said.

Dean Sidelinger, M.D. MSEd, health officer and state epidemiologist at OHA, said the state has recorded fewer COVID-19-related cases and hospitalizations, but still has high levels of circulation based on wastewater and testing results.

Sidelinger encouraged all eligible Oregonians to get a newly approved COVID-19 booster as soon as they can. “As we head into fall, as more of us spend time indoors, the updated booster will be the best way to protect ourselves and those around us from severe illness and hospitalization caused by the predominant BA.5 and BA.4 COVID-19 subvariants,” he said.

Sidelinger also said OHA has counted 179 presumptive and confirmed cases of monkeypox as of today. He said Oregon has distributed, or is in the process of distributing, more than 40,080 doses of the Jynneos vaccine and 263 courses of the investigational antiviral drug known as tecovirimat — or TPOXX — since June 20. He encouraged people to talk to their providers about testing if they have symptoms of monkeypox (hMPXV). Providers should test their patients for the virus, even if it’s only suspected, based on a patient’s symptoms, he said.

A recording of Wednesday’s media availability can be found here. Allen’s and Sidelinger’s prepared remarks are published here.

New dashboard focuses on cases, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status

The new dashboard will display information previously available in the Breakthrough Case Report and will highlight trends in cases, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status over time. Data are available at state and county levels. The updated dashboard aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 hospitalizations by vaccination status dashboard.

The new dashboard data demonstrate that COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at protecting people from developing severe illness, being hospitalized and dying. COVID-19 vaccines are widely available and free to everyone in Oregon.

The new dashboard will replace the monthly Breakthrough Case Report, which will no longer be updated. The dashboard will be published for the first time on Sept. 8 and published on the second Wednesday of the month.

OHA shifts COVID-19 reporting frequency

OHA will stop distributing daily data updates on COVID-19 cases, testing and deaths, effective Sept. 14. Information about COVID-19 cases, current hospitalizations of COVID-19-positive patients and COVID-19-associated deaths, along with other COVID-19 data, will be made available weekly.

The daily data updates grew out of the urgent need to communicate quickly evolving COVID-19 trends early in the pandemic. Now, as cases and hospitalizations have declined, and the public has the information and tools to protect themselves, OHA is aligning resources with other public health needs.

The changes do not mean the pandemic is over. OHA will continue to monitor and report cases, deaths, hospitalizations, variants, vaccination and booster rates and other developments. These monitoring efforts include analyzing wastewater samples across the state to track COVID-19 spread.

Starting Sept. 14, OHA will update the following information on the Oregon COVID-19 Update dashboard every Wednesday. Key points will continue to be shared on OHA’s COVID-19 website, and on Twitter, Facebook and OHA Facebook en Espanol:

  • Newly reported and total COVID-19 cases
  • Newly reported and total COVID-19-associated deaths
  • Total current COVID-19-positive patients hospitalized
  • Percentage of statewide emergency department visits for COVID-19-like illness
  • Total newly reported COVID-19 tests and percent test positivity
  • Total variants of concern sequenced and the percentage of sequences by variant.

A new summary table dashboard with downloadable data will accompany the Oregon COVID-19 Update, updated every Wednesday.

In addition, the following dashboards will continue to be updated weekly on Wednesdays:

The cadence of other COVID-19 dashboards and reports will change starting Sept. 14. The following reports will be updated monthly on the second Wednesday of the month:

The following reports will be updated monthly on the second Thursday of the month:

The Oregon Health Care Workforce COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake dashboard will be updated quarterly, the COVID-19 Age Adjustment report will be updated annually and the Oregon COVID-19 Case and Vaccination Stories dashboard will be updated as needed.

Other COVID-19 reports will be archived and no longer updated starting Sept. 14:

Update planned for immunization data

Due to a data system error, COVID-19 vaccination data updated today will only show administrations submitted to the ALERT Immunization Information System through Aug 31. OHA anticipates the error will be resolved by Sept. 14.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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