PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Wednesday marked Oregon’s highest two-day COVID-19 death toll since the start of the pandemic, health officials said.
The Oregon Health Authority reported 48 new deaths — a figure just slightly smaller than the single-day record of 54 deaths reported on Tuesday. The state’s overall death toll now stands at 1,262.
These latest deaths include people ranging between the ages of 30 and 98. OHA noted that the surge in reported deaths is due to “steadily high case counts and the manner of processing death reports.”
Health officials also reported 1,562 new confirmed and presumptive cases of the virus on Wednesday. The cases were in the following counties: Baker (7), Benton (31), Clackamas (166), Clatsop (7), Columbia (5), Coos (11), Crook (4), Curry (3), Deschutes (50), Douglas (16), Gilliam (2), Harney (4), Hood River (16), Jackson (64), Jefferson (29), Josephine (29), Klamath (20), Lake (2), Lane (105), Lincoln (5), Linn (51), Malheur (16), Marion (183), Morrow (8), Multnomah (455), Polk (30), Sherman (2), Tillamook (12), Umatilla (34), Union (9), Wallowa (1), Wasco (4), Washington (148) and Yamhill (33).
Healthcare workers received Oregon’s first doses of the Pfizer COVID vaccine earlier in the day. Gov. Kate Brown applauded the effort but urged Oregonians to continue to protect themselves from the virus.
“This is truly the moment we have all been waiting for,” the governor said Wednesday. “Until vaccines are wildly available, and people are vaccinated and we’ve achieved community immunity, we need every Oregonian to keep up the measures to protect themselves and family members,” — that is washing hands, maintaining social distance, avoid gatherings, stay home if you’re sick and wear a mask.
“We’re going to move ask quickly as possible, assuming we continue to receive these vaccines from the federal government,” she said.
The vaccine began arriving in Oregon on Monday. Kaiser Permanente, which has several freezers to hold well over 200,000 doses, will be a designated distribution site to supply the Pfizer vaccine to other providers.