SALEM, Ore. — Oregon has recorded more than 5,000 deaths due to COVID-19, the Oregon Health Authority announced on Monday. The agency reported 103 new deaths over the weekend, pushing the state's death toll to 5,017.
"As we head into the second Thanksgiving holiday since the start of the pandemic, too many Oregon families will see empty chairs around their holiday dinner tables, making this latest tragic milestone all the more heartbreaking," OHA Director Patrick Allen said in a statement.
In a video posted to the agency's website, Allen stressed the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines and said that "nearly all" of Oregon's most recent deaths could have been prevented by vaccination, and urged Oregonians to get vaccinated and get booster shots.
News of the milestone comes just a few days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the go-ahead for all adults to receive booster shots.
Oregon health officials followed suit over the weekend, opening up booster shot access for all adults at pharmacies, clinics and other providers statewide.
The 5,000 deaths marker also comes at a time when Oregon's case rates have been trending downward for about two months. The state's daily number of reported cases dropped below 1,000 on two weekdays last week, for the first time since July according to OHA data.
OHA reported 1,753 new cases on Monday for the three day period from Friday through Sunday.