Oregon health officials confirm the latest modeling shows COVID-19 cases are slowing.
“But we can’t rest on our laurels,” said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, an Oregon epidemiologist. “It’s not an on-off solution. It’s a darker solution. We need to be prepared if COVID reappears. Whether it’s the current Delta variant or future variants that may not even be known yet. They might come back with a vengeance. “
Sidelinger commented during a press briefing on Tuesday, September 7 with Gov. Kate Brown, and said that while the new modeling offers encouragement, some people are taking less precautions and he stressed that the unvaccinated should be vaccinated and wearing face coverings in public buildings. and outside when among the crowds will be the key to slowing the pandemic in the coming weeks.
“This is a crisis that is largely brought on by people who are not vaccinated against COVUD-19,” Slidelinger said. “The decisions we make over the next few weeks will determine whether we get deeper into this crisis. “
Gov. Kate Brown said because more Oregonians masked themselves and continued to be vaccinated, the expected duration of the last wave was reduced. However, she said, there are still hard times ahead.
“And we have to stay vigilant,” Brown said. “Every action you take has an impact on how it plays out. Every time you mask yourself you are helping our doctors and nurses do their jobs. Every time you mask yourself you are helping our children return to school in a safer way. And every time you hide, you are helping to keep our businesses and communities open. “
Brown said COVID-19 is still “very dangerous and unpredictable,” and new federal research confirms COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
Colt Gill of the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) told reporters that the pandemic health and safety protocols now in place will help ensure that in-person learning continues throughout the ‘school year.
“The protocols that we have in place with state masking and vaccination guidelines, we’re really doing a lot to make sure COVID doesn’t start in our schools,” he said, adding that everyone has a responsibility to help keep children in school by getting vaccinated, wearing masks and limiting large gatherings.
For families with children returning to school, Gill said the ODE has published the following five simple back-to-school tips:
- Develop a plan to immunize all eligible household members
- Wear a face cover in public and when carpooling
- Limit gatherings with other households
- Move all social activities outside
- Make a plan in case your child has to miss school
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and ODE have issued the following school health advisory, which will remain in effect statewide from September 7 to October 1, unless updated otherwise:
1) All eligible youth and adults who come into contact with school-aged children should be vaccinated to reduce the spread in the school community.
2) Families with school-aged children and educators should limit gatherings and non-essential activities with people from other households as much as possible. If you are visiting people from another household, you should wear a mask, maintain a physical distance of 6 feet, and keep activities outdoors as much as possible.
3) Where possible, schools and other organizations should reduce extracurricular activities and consider organizing activities, such as meals, recess, physical education classes, music and choir, to the outdoors to maximize physical distance. Likewise, if schools and other organizations conduct extracurricular activities, they should consider keeping them outside and implementing additional precautions such as face coverings and physical distancing.
4) Schools should host family start-of-year events (open houses, evenings with teachers, etc.) online rather than in person. If the events are held in person, make sure all attendees wear masks, hold the events outdoors, and maintain a physical distance of 6 feet where possible.
5) Families should check your school’s website or ODE’s Ready Schools, Safe Learners website for your school’s plan for safe return to in-person classes and continuity of service.
‘It’s not about you’
At the end of the press conference, Brown made a statement to all Oregonians.
“It’s not about you,” Brown said. “These are the children under 12 who cannot get the vaccine. This is your friend or neighbor who is battling cancer and for some reason cannot get a vaccine. right now. It’s about our whole community. It’s also about healthcare workers who have been working day and night for weeks, months now to keep the people of Oregon alive. need us to continue to wear our masks.
There are 54 new COVID-19-related deaths in Oregon, bringing the state’s death toll to 3,326, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 12:01 am today.
The Oregon Health Authority reported 5,821 new confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases as of 12:01 am today, bringing the state total to 289,649. The OHA said 98 of those cases were were located in Columbia County.
The totals reflect data reported by local health authorities over four days, between September 3 and 6.