PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The 2021 COVID-19 Year-in-Review Data Report released Thursday by the Oregon Health Authority highlights the pandemic’s continued disproportionate impacts on communities of color. The annual report also serves as a summary of trends and key statistics from the second calendar year of the COVID-19 pandemic in Oregon.
The report includes case counts and rates, along with hospitalization and death data from 2021, with comparisons across geography, race, ethnicity, sex and age. Breaking down COVID-19 data by race, ethnicity, sex, age and geography helps Oregon’s public health system and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) better respond to health inequities in Oregon.
For the calendar year 2021, there were 321,620 cases of COVID-19 reported to OHA. Of these cases, 15,795 (4.9%) were hospitalized and 4,164 (1.3%) died.
Throughout 2021, COVID-19 disproportionately affected communities of color. Data reported for 2021 confirmed similar findings compared to 2020, that COVID-19 intensified many of the inequities that already existed in Oregon, affecting communities of color the most. American Indian and Alaska Native people, Black, Hispanic and Latino/a/x people and Pacific Islander people had higher age-adjusted hospitalization and death rates when compared to White people.
Lack of access to health care, language barriers, crowded working conditions, lower-income jobs and distrust in government due to historical racism all exacerbated the impact of COVID-19 in communities of color.
Among those with COVID-19 in 2021, people 80 and older were most likely to be hospitalized (27.8% of all hospitalizations) and most likely to die (16.9% of all hospitalizations) in association with COVID-19, compared to all other age groups. This represents a decrease in adverse outcomes compared with 2020, when people 80 and older were most likely to be hospitalized (30% of all hospitalizations) and most likely to die (23% of all hospitalizations) in association with COVID-19. Overall annual case rates varied significantly by county of residence. Overall, case fatality decreased from 1.7% of reported cases in 2020 to 1.3% in 2021.
The report highlights the impact of vaccination on fighting COVID-19 and its impacts helping to prevent severe disease, hospitalizations and deaths. Additional information on the impact of COVID-19 vaccines in Oregon can be found on the Oregon COVID-19 Case and Vaccination Stories dashboard.
Biweekly COVID-19 reports released
The COVID-19 Biweekly Data Report, released Thursday, shows a decrease in COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths.
OHA reported 8,592 new cases of COVID-19 from Aug. 21 to Sept. 3, a 25.9% decline from the previous biweekly total of 11,597.
During the two-week period of Aug. 21 to Sept. 3, test positivity was 10.6%, down from 10.8% in the previous two-week period.
Thursday’s COVID-19 Biweekly Congregate Care Setting Outbreak Report shows 167 active outbreaks in care facilities, senior living communities and congregate care living settings, a decrease from the prior two weeks.