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Oregon's weekly COVID-19 positivity rate is the highest it's been since March

Oregon's overall positivity rate throughout the pandemic remains relatively low, at 4.4% to date. But last week's rate was 6.1%, the highest weekly rate since March.
Credit: KGW

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon's COVID-19 positivity rate for last week was the highest weekly percentage the state has recorded since before widespread testing began in June. 

The positivity rate for July 26-Aug.1 was 6.1% of 35,424 total tests performed for the week, according to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). The last weekly total higher than that was 7.7%, reported the week of March 7-13, in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. That week only 501 people were tested.

As of Aug. 1, Oregon’s total positive testing rate was 4.4% of the tests performed since February, the OHA weekly report shows. That rate is much lower than the national average of 10%. 

OHA reported the number of tests performed each week is holding steady, but supply chain issues are restricting Oregon’s testing capacity, which tops out at around 48,000. The number of positive cases in Oregon and positivity rate have generally been increasing since late May.

Just last week, Gov. Kate Brown announced that the statewide positivity rate must be below 5% for three weeks straight before schools can resume classes, with some exceptions.

RELATED: Here's where county COVID-19 rates must be for Oregon schools to reopen

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OHA also said the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases could cause delays in the testing supply chain and in the turnaround for test results:

Several major manufacturers have informed OHA that testing supply allocation to OSPHL and clinical labs in Oregon may be reduced over the coming weeks due to the recent spike in positive COVID-19 cases nationally and increased demand for testing. These shortages are being addressed through testing on multiple platforms and recruiting additional laboratories for testing. We are receiving widespread reports of extended turnaround time from commercial laboratories; in some cases, results are being reported up to two weeks following specimen collection. 

OHA is looking in to using additional COVID-19 testing facilities.

Read the full weekly report from OHA

Interactive: Oregon COVID-19 map