PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Although the number of COVID-19 cases in Oregon have been dropping, residents should still work on getting the new bivalent boosters, officials with the Oregon Health Authority said on Wednesday during a press event that also focused on the state’s current outlook on monkeypox.
Dean Sideliner, M.D. MSEd, health officer and state epidemiologist at OHA, led the press event with an update on the current facts of the pandemic.
The good news, Oregon is currently seeing decreased case counts of COVID-19. In September, Oregon has reportedly seen a 44% drop in COVID-19 cases. However, some hospitals are still struggling with high case numbers.
OHA also reported that the new COVID-19 bivalent boosters have shown great results in studies, protecting people from the newest variants of COVID-19.
Those new boosters are becoming available across the state right now.
While some pharmacies, including OHSU, are waiting to receive those doses, they are also scheduling vaccine appointments for next week.
Tektronix is one the Washington County locations offering a walk-in clinic, operated by OHA. The clinic is open Wednesday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Washington County has a list of other vaccine locations including the Beaverton Resource Center, Neighborhood Health Center and Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center.
OHA also gave updates on the current status of monkeypox.
In Oregon, there are currently 179 confirmed or presumed cases. If Oregon follows the pattern of other states, OHA reports that cases should rise some and then start to decrease.
OHA is beginning to increase its reporting on monkeypox stats starting with new monthly reports based on race, ethnicity, language and disability (or REALD) data and sexual orientation and gender identity (or SOGI) data.
Sidelinger said that the purpose of these reports is to help “illuminate the experiences” of those with diverse identities and to help better shape the narrative of monkeypox.
The monkeypox vaccine is still limited but more is becoming available. However, some local pharmacies are allowing people to schedule monkeypox vaccine appointments starting next week.
OHA has been prioritizing first doses and as more vaccines become available second doses are being administered after 28 days.
Visit the OHA website to stay up to date on all information on monkeypox and COVID-19 in Oregon.
Lisa Balick contributed to this report.