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Oregon's social distancing measures may have prevented as many as 18,000 positive cases

New study shows stay home order, social distancing, is helping Oregonians stay healthy and the number of new cases to even out.

Oregon's social distancing measures and stay home order may have prevented as many as 18,000 positive cases and 500 hospitalizations in the state.

According to new projections from health researchers, the restrictions in place need to be maintained into May to prevent new cases from rising above current daily levels.

Researchers said that Oregon’s “health care systems would likely have become overburdened by late April in the absence of these sustained interventions to keep the number of infections under control.”

By staying home, wearing a mask in public, and maintaining social distancing of at least 6 feet, Oregonians can reduce the spread and new cases of the virus.

According to the latest report, which extends modeling until May 18:

The models were prepared by the Institute for Disease Modeling in Washington. Based on the data, researchers predict there are approximately 7,000 cases of active infection in Oregon at this time.

Dr. Dean Sidelinger, state health officer at OHA, said, “Staying at home and maintaining physical distancing is difficult and has had serious economic impacts that have affected many people, but the data continue to show that Oregonians are saving lives by staying home. The latest projections are more conservative than previous versions of the model because they account for variables such as longer hospital stays or the likelihood that COVID-19 has been in Oregon longer than we initially estimated. However, even these estimates, show we can slow new COVID-19 infections and ultimately begin to drive them down if we can sustain today’s social distancing measures.”

If Oregonians continue to practice the safety measures they have been, the state can expect to see fewer than 500 hospitalizations per day due to COVID-19, hospitals would use fewer than 200 intensive care unit beds per day. 

If stay home orders were relaxed, it is projected that Oregon would need nearly 2,000 beds per day by May 18.

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