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Oregon reports 8,040 new COVID cases

Daily case totals have risen to unprecedented levels in the past two weeks due to the omicron variant

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Health Authority reported 8,040 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the state's total to 486,202.

Tuesday's count was slightly less than the figures reported at the end of last week, but still the third-highest single-day total the state has seen since the start of the pandemic. 

Oregon logged 10,431 cases on Thursday and 8,156 on Friday, although an OHA news release noted that the Thursday total was higher than anticipated due to incorporation of more than 10,000 backlogged results from December that were received on that day.

The test positivity rate was reported at 20.9% on Tuesday, and test positivity rates have increased fourfold in some counties in Oregon in recent weeks.

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Positive cases confirmed with an at-home test often go unreported. COVID tests are also in short supply, and officials said those factors, coupled with the high positivity rate, suggest that the daily case totals don't account for the full number of cases currently in Oregon.

"We know that our case rate is an undercount, and we know there are lots of cases that are not being tested at all because our test positivity rate is so high," said Clackamas County Public Health Officer Dr. Sarah Present. "The test positivity rate has a lot to do with the test availability for people who are sick. So looking at both of those numbers together, I know that there is a lot of COVID in our community that we are not knowing about."

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Dr. Present recommended that people test 3-5 days after exposure or 2-3 days after symptoms start for a higher chance of an accurate test result.

OHA also reported 35 deaths on Tuesday, bringing the state's death toll to 5,814.

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in Oregon rose to 727, an increase of 35 from the day before. The number of COVID patients in intensive care unit beds remained the same at 138. Statewide hospital bed availability also remained unchanged, at 7% for both ICU and non-ICU beds.

Oregon's vaccination totals stand at 3,077,304 people with at least one dose of a vaccine, 2,791,575 people with a full series and 1,258,881 with a booster shot.

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