PORTLAND, Ore. — A new modeling report from the Oregon Health Authority suggests that COVID-19 cases will continue to decline through early November, but there’s a stark disparity over who is doing the heavy lifting taking the necessary precautions to continue the trend.
The OHA report found that the effective reproduction rate, which measures the expected number of secondary cases generated by a single case, was around 0.90 on Oct. 6, slightly lower than expected last week. This means that the average person infected with COVID-19 transmitted it to only one other person, and in some cases none.
“At this level of transmission, the report estimates 255 cases per 100,000 people, or an average of 770 daily cases and 45 hospitalizations for the two-week period between October 27 and November 9,” the OHA said.
The report also estimated what the disease would do with a slightly lower reproduction number of 0.82, which was the case from September 30 to October 2. At this rate of transmission, new cases and hospitalizations are expected to fall more sharply, with an average estimate of 185 per 100,000 people, projecting an average of 555 new cases and 31 hospitalizations over the same period.
According to the OHA, the report also found a “significant contrast” between vaccinated and unvaccinated people in the extent to which they followed recommended public health precautions. Mask-wearing among unvaccinated people is about half the rate among vaccinated people. Unvaccinated people were also more likely to attend large outdoor events.
The report notes that the rate of new cases and hospitalizations varies widely by county, race, ethnicity, age and vaccination status.
“Vaccines and booster doses remain the most effective shield against COVID-19. Oregonians should wear masks when in indoor public spaces and outdoors among crowds,” said the OHA.
As of Friday, 2.79 million Oregonians had received at least one dose of vaccine and 2.58 million had completed a series of vaccines.