Oct. 9, 2021 — “I know this isn’t the fall that any of us had hoped for or expected,” said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in a Sept. 28 press conference. “At the end of June, we were hopeful that our communities would be largely free of COVID-19. Unfortunately, Delta changed everything.”
Since this press conference, the Siuslaw area has seen an overall increase in COVID cases and hospital admissions, with 912 total cases, and 40 hospital admissions and 15 deaths in the week of Sept. 29 to Oct. 6 — a 5.49 percent decrease in the number of cases, 50 percent decrease in deaths, 12.57 percent decrease in hospital admissions in relation to the previous week. However, this was still a net increase from the average in September.
As of this week, approximately 74 percent of Lane county residents have been vaccinated, with 69.1 percent of residents having received both doses and 5.1 percent having received one dose. This translates to 234,653 people in total out of 316,011 being vaccinated. This is steadily increasing, with a 0.4 percent increase from last week.
Lane County is aligned with the statewide vaccination percentage of 75.7 percent, or 2,576,570 out of 3,403,051 residents.
In the county, there have been 278 COVID-related deaths in 2021 as of Oct. 7. When compared to the total death count of 581 from Jan. 1 to Oct. 7, there has been a 52.2 percent decrease in the death count from 2020. Although it is not the total resolution that was desired, it is a substantial improvement.
While there has been a spike in the number of cases in recent months, Lane County is still managing the COVID-19 pandemic well, compared to Oregon and the rest of the country.
In addition to the high vaccination rate, hospitals in the area are considered well-staffed and equipped to deal with an influx of patients.
Despite the small magnitude of the change, conditions are gradually improving and there is hope for the neutralization of COVID-19.
“The good news is that while we still have a long way to go, it appears things are slowly getting better,” Brown said. “Every day, there is renewed hope as we see people getting vaccinated, progress on vaccines for 5-11 year-olds, and now, the beginning of boosters for some of our most vulnerable.”
Ferris Haukom is a sophomore at Stanford Online High School who is a new intern for the Siuslaw News and an associate editor at the OHS Observer.