PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon has surpassed 200,000 confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, health officials said Thursday.
The state’s death toll is 2,660.
“As we head into the Memorial Day holiday weekend, this milestone is a grim reminder that while case counts are decreasing statewide in large part due to vaccination, there remains a risk of COVID-19 in Oregon, especially for those who are not yet vaccinated,” said Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen. “I urge caution for Oregonians who are not yet vaccinated.”
Oregon’s daily case count, hospitalizations, deaths and positivity rates have been decreasing.
The OHA reported on Wednesday that during the week of May 17, the number of daily cases decreased by 25% from the previous week. Coronavirus-related hospitalizations during that week was 224 — the lowest figure in five weeks.
Oregon officials have been increasing the effort to vaccinate more residents using lottery and economy reopening incentives and hosting additional vaccination events.
Last week a “teen-focused” event was held in Benton County, where nearly 500 people, between 12 and 15 years old, received a shot. Attendees could enter a raffle for a Chromebook, Airpods and gift cards.
In addition, last week Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced a lottery for state residents who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Brown said all Oregonians who have received a vaccine will be entered into the state’s “Take Your Shot, Oregon” campaign and eligible to win a cash prize — one winner will receive $1 million, and one person from each of the state’s 36 counties will win $10,000.
Earlier this month Brown set statewide and county COVID-19 vaccination targets, with the hope of reopening the state’s economy.
Brown said most statewide coronavirus related restrictions will be lifted when 70% of Oregon’s residents who are 16 years and older receive the first COVID-19 vaccine dose, Brown said.
Currently, more than half of Oregon’s eligible population who are 16 or older have received at least their first vaccine dose.
Cline is a corps member for The Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local news