PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The pandemic is still here. But managing the pandemic won’t be coming from the State of Oregon any longer. Governor Kate Brown’s office said it’s now up to local health authorities.
As the CDC announced the delta variant is the dominant strain in the US — and projected to be the dominant strain in Oregon in August — scientists are studying if the vaccines may be less effective against this variant.
Officials with the Oregon Health Authority said data shows the vaccines are working well against the known variants of the novel coronavirus.
In June, there were 7200 cases of COVID-19 in Oregon. Of those, 92% were in unvaccinated people. Only 10% of the breakthrough cases — a vaccinated person contracting COVID — were people in long-term care facilities. The majority of breakthrough cases are asymptomatic, mild and don’t require hospitalization.
Fewer than 2% of breakthrough cases have resulted in death, and of those, the median age was 83.
But the COVID variants are bad news for people who aren’t or can’t get vaccinated. That’s why health officials urge everyone to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
Those at risk in Washington
The Washington State Department of Health said people 65-and-older are most at risk, and nearly 20% of people in that age group in the state haven’t been vaccinated.
For those who are unvaccinated, health officials continue to recommend using a mask, washing your hands often and maintaining social distance. The Washington DOH said unvaccinated people need to keep wearing a maks in indoor public settings, like grocery stores, libraries and movie theaters.
And, they said, unvaccinated people should not travel.
The delta variant is rapidly growing in Washington, with 656 recorded cases — an increase of 244 from the week before.