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Pandemic Update

Health authorities continue to stress that slowing the pandemic means everyone should be washing their hands frequently, practicing social distancing and wearing face coverings when out in public.

Editor's note: In an effort to provide a comprehensive look at local and state COVID-19 case rates, The Chronicle will now be publishing weekly COVID-19 status reports rather than daily case number updates. To keep up with daily case reports, visit the Oregon Health Authority's data dashboard.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Columbia County topped 900 this week, standing at 906. The county death toll stands at 16.

On Tuesday, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported another COVID-19-related death in the county: an 81-year-old woman with underlying conditions. She tested positive on Dec. 15 and died on Dec. 31 at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center.

In the week from Sunday, Dec. 27, to Saturday, Jan. 2, there were 60 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the county.

“We are concerned about another surge,” said county Public Health director Michael Paul. “We hope hospitals and health systems can handle it.”

The daily average for the county case numbers is still between 10-15 new cases a day, he said.

Vaccines have started to be administered in the county, and, as of today, 388 people have been vaccinated. Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine require two doses to be effective, and thus far six people in the county have received full vaccination.

Statewide

As of today, the total number of cases in the state is 121,085, with a death toll of 1,568.

In its weekly report, the OHA said 4% of the total number of cases in the state are “presumptive” cases, which means the person has presented COVID-19-like symptoms and had close contact with a confirmed case but has not had a confirmed laboratory test.

From Dec. 27 to Jan. 2, there were 123,821 tests for COVID-19 across the state. Of those tests, 7.5% had a positive result. From Dec. 28 to Jan. 3, there were 7,913 new cases of COVID-19 which is a 17% increase from last week’s total number of cases.

COVID-19 hospitalizations also rose by 6% and 73 pandemic-related deaths occurred.

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