Reported coronavirus cases fall as state continues to battle ‘tripledemic’


Oregon health officials reported a drop in new coronavirus cases and stagnant hospitalization rates, supporting a recent forecast that the current COVID-19 wave is on the decline.

This week marked the second straight week of falling reported infections, state data show. With minor fluctuations, hospitalizations have stayed virtually unchanged over the last week, hovering around 315 occupied beds, down from a peak of 370, reached Nov. 29. A Dec. 16 Oregon Health & Science University forecast predicts COVID-19 hospitalizations will continue to fall before starting to level off in February and March.

But COVID-19 is now only part of the overall respiratory virus picture. RSV and influenza have sent hundreds of Oregonians to hospitals. The precise number is unclear because Portland-area hospitals are so backed up, they haven’t been able to fully ascertain which recent hospitalizations are for influenza, according to the state’s weekly influenza monitoring report. But test positivity is climbing, with more than 32% of influenza tests coming back positive, compared to 29% the previous week.


Since it began: Oregon has reported 936,721 confirmed or presumed infections and 8,948 deaths.


Hospitalizations: 314 people with confirmed coronavirus infections are hospitalized, down one since Wednesday, Dec. 14. That includes 29 people in intensive care, down seven since Dec. 14.

New deaths: Since Dec. 14, the Oregon Health Authority has reported 13 additional deaths connected to COVID-19.

— Fedor Zarkhin

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