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Oregon sets another coronavirus record: 6,203 new cases

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Oregon on Wednesday shattered its previous record of daily coronavirus infections as the Oregon Health Authority reported 6,203 new cases of COVID-19, 36% above the record established Tuesday and approaching double any daily case count tallied in previous waves of the pandemic.

State officials reported nine new deaths and 523 people hospitalized with confirmed cases, 13 more than Tuesday and consistent with the slow uptick in hospitalizations in recent weeks that health care experts forecast will continue as the highly-contagious but so-far less lethal omicron variant becomes more dominant in the state.

Oregon is now averaging 3,331 cases a day over the past week, 2 1/2 times more than last Wednesday’s average and emblematic of omicron’s exponential spread. And the numbers are almost certain to keep increasing, with testing results released Wednesday showing positive results in nearly 21% of screenings.

The eye-popping case counts have not yet produced an equally rapid rises in the number of people hospitalized, although forecasts suggest that may happen. Hospitalizations have climbed more than 50% since Christmas but levels remain less than half the peak from the summer delta surge. Modeling by Oregon Health & Science University projected a sharp increase beginning in mid January, potentially topping out at about 1,650 people hospitalized by month’s end.

Where the new cases are by county: Baker (17), Benton (214), Clackamas (594), Clatsop (46), Columbia (49), Coos (136), Crook (37), Curry (5), Deschutes (716), Douglas (93), Gilliam (1), Grant (26), Hood River (37), Jackson (264), Jefferson (77), Josephine (89), Klamath (24), Lane (518), Lincoln (52), Linn (206), Malheur (14), Marion (395), Morrow (29), Multnomah (1,268), Polk (94), Tillamook (29), Umatilla (218), Union (10), Wallowa (9), Wasco (23), Washington (874), Wheeler (3) and Yamhill (34).

Who died: The state did not immediately disclose details.

Hospitalizations: 523 people with confirmed COVID-19 infections are hospitalized, up 13 since Tuesday. That includes 108 people in intensive care, down three since Tuesday.

Vaccines: 3,191 people have been reported newly vaccinated since Tuesday.

Since it began: Oregon has reported 441,648 confirmed or presumed infections and 5,719 deaths, among the lowest per capita numbers in the nation. To date, the state has reported 6,802,784 vaccine doses administered, fully vaccinating 2,776,628 people and partially vaccinating 284,448 people.

To see more data and trends, visit https://projects.oregonlive.com/coronavirus/

— Ted Sickinger; tsickinger@oregonian.com; 503-221-8505; @tedsickinger

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