SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Health Authority’s latest coronavirus projections predict that, based on the current rate of cases, the state will have 1,600 new confirmed infections a day by mid-August.
In a more “pessimistic” model, officials said if transmission increases by 10 percentage points from the current rates, there could be 2,300 new daily confirmed infections and 46 hospitalizations a day.
In the month of July, Oregon has averaged about 315 cases a day. On Thursday officials reported 331 new cases and two deaths, raising the state’s total case count to 15,713. The death toll is 273.
Oregon health officials have described the increase as troubling and concerning.
During the past month, Gov. Kate Brown has implemented new statewide COVID-19 safety measures and mandates to slow the spread of the virus.
Last week Brown instituted a ban on indoor social gatherings of more than 10 people and required people to wear masks both at indoor public spaces and outside, when they can not maintain physical distancing.
On Wednesday Brown expanded the face covering mandate to anyone five years or older. The governor also decreased the capacity of venues, including churches, restaurants and movie theaters, from 250 people to 100 people.
On Thursday the conservative group The Freedom Foundation sued Brown, challenging the governor’s authority to issue a mask mandate.
For most, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.