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Oregon Gov. Brown, state health leaders address increase in COVID cases

COVID-19 cases in Oregon are up 94% from a month ago as the state nears 1 million Oregonians fully vaccinated.

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and state health leaders addressed the state's rising number of COVID-19 cases during a briefing Friday morning. Brown was joined by Oregon Health Authority (OHA) director Patrick Allen and Dr. Dean Sidelinger, the state epidemiologist.

Oregon is experiencing a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases. A month ago, the state reported 1,920 new cases for the week of March 15-21. The most recent report, for the week of April 5-11, saw 3,722 new cases, a 94% increase.

The rise in cases comes as Oregon nears a positive milestone: 1 million people fully vaccinated in the state. OHA reports that more than 38,700 people a day are getting COVID vaccine doses across the state.

Gov. Brown warned that this is not the time to let our guard down. 

"Its clear that this virus is persistent and stubborn. While we've flattened the curve again and again, COVID will not surrender," she said. 

She urged everyone to get a COVID shot as soon as they can.

"Vaccines are the best way to protect yourself from serious illness and death. They are the best way to protect yourself from variants, and they are the key to unlocking the restrictions this pandemic has forced on us," Brown said. 

RELATED: Oregon COVID-19 cases up 94% from a month ago

Still, cases continue to rise, and Allen told lawmakers earlier this week that it's likely because of several reasons: kids returning to school, the presence of COVID-19 variants and pandemic fatigue.

"We’ve got lots more kids in school. We’ve certainly got lots more presence of variants that are more contagious, and so those are all factors," Allen said. "I think we’ve also got some pandemic fatigue. Either people are just done with it, emotionally, myself included, or other people see people getting vaccinated and are taking that as an all-clear."

Daily COVID-19 update

On Friday, OHA reported 704 new COVID-19 cases and two more deaths in its daily COVID-19 update. There has been a total of 173,626 cases reported in Oregon since the start of the pandemic, including 2,457 deaths. 

Of the Oregon counties that reported new cases Friday, Multnomah County had the most with 88, followed by Clackamas County with 79. Here's a county-by-county breakdown: 

Baker (9), Benton (7), Clackamas (79), Clatsop (3), Columbia (6), Coos (6), Crook (15), Curry (3), Deschutes (59), Douglas (7), Grant (25), Hood River (3), Jackson (54), Jefferson (3), Josephine (29), Klamath (43), Lake (2), Lane (57), Lincoln (6), Linn (20), Malheur (1), Marion (63), Morrow (5), Multnomah (88), Polk (13), Tillamook (3), Umatilla (9), Union (2), Wallowa (1), Wasco (6), Washington (69) and Yamhill (8).

The health authority released the following information about the two Oregonians who died:

  • Oregon’s 2,456th COVID-19 death is a 45-year-old man in Columbia County who tested positive on April 12 and died on April 15. Location of death and presence of underlying conditions are being confirmed. 
  • Oregon’s 2,457th COVID-19 death is an 80-year-old man in Klamath County who tested positive on April 8 and died on April 12 at Sky Lakes Medical Center. He had underlying conditions.

More than 988,000 Oregonians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and more than 1.5 million have received at least one vaccine dose. The state has administered an average of 38,239 doses of the vaccines in the past seven days. 

To date, 1,513,395 doses of Pfizer, 1,313,100 doses of Moderna and 215,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been delivered to sites across Oregon.

RELATED: Still having trouble finding a vaccine appointment in Oregon or Washington? Try these tips

Have a comment or story idea for Pat? Email him at pdooris@kgw.com

WATCH: COVID vaccine updates