Oregon health officials reported 8,944 new coronavirus infections over the last week, 14% fewer than the previous week.
The slight drop in cases has not coincided with a drop in positivity rates, a key marker of how widespread COVID-19 is in the community. More than one in ten of every reported coronavirus test since June 13 has come back positive, state data shows. The drop in cases could also be attributed to a drop in testing, with 10% fewer tests reported over the last week compared to the prior week.
While experts say infections are vastly underreported, hospitalizations due to the coronavirus have likely peaked. Nearly 310 people were hospitalized with COVID as of Monday, nearly 20 beds fewer than the June 5 peak.
Yet more COVID patients were in intensive care units Monday than at any point during the current wave, the number doubling over the last week to 52.
The pandemic is transitioning to an endemic phase, when the virus will be a regular and relatively unobtrusive presence in society, said Dr. Marce Curlin, an Oregon Health & Science University infectious disease expert. Generally, infections are much milder than during prior waves, thanks both to the evolution of the virus and to widespread immunity, but an infection can still cause severe illness or death.
The vast majority of infections aren’t reported, because either people learn they have tested positive from an at-home test or they decided not to get tested in the first place, health officials have said.
Since 2020: Oregon has reported 795,553 confirmed or presumed infections and 7,729 deaths.
Hospitalizations: 309 people with confirmed coronavirus infections are hospitalized, up 10 since Monday, June 13. That includes 52 people in intensive care, up 25 since June 12.