Friday was the first day Lane County entered the low risk category, the first county to do so in western Oregon. But it can be short-lived.
24 cases were reported on Wednesday and 34 cases were reported on Friday. Public health officials attribute the increase in cases to an increase in social gatherings. Officials on Thursday said two separate social gatherings resulted in 17 new cases.
Dr James McGovern, vice president of medical affairs for PeaceHealth, said the increase in cases was concerning.
“You have the variants that are definitely in the community and we’ve opened up,” Dr. McGovern said. “So you’ve got more people coming together, you’re inside, there are more infectious variants, and we’ve only vaccinated less than 20% of the Lane County population yet.” ”
Even though cases are slowly rising, Dr McGovern said hospitalizations were consistently low at PeaceHealth. He said there were an average of four to seven people in the hospital with COVID-19 in a single day. This is a dramatic decrease from PeaceHealth’s peak in November, when the hospital was averaging 30 to 30 days a day. Dr McGovern said that to reduce the number of cases, the public must continue to follow all health guidelines.
“It’s just how far do they go and if they cap again and at what level they cap again,” said Dr McGovern. “I don’t think we have a very good idea of that yet. There are a lot of variables so we are watching them closely and really emphasizing the people who keep doing what they are doing with the things they did over the period last year. ”