The Oregon Health Authority announced 307 new confirmed or presumed cases of the coronavirus Tuesday and six new deaths, as the state reported wasting more vaccine doses in the past week than at any point in the pandemic.
Nearly 20,400 vaccine doses have been spoiled, wasted or recalled since December, with 7,200 of those since June 1 alone.
Oregon reported administering less than 143,000 doses in the past week, meaning one in 20 doses was thrown out.
The state is pushing to get 70% of adults at least partially vaccinated and has told providers to prioritize getting shots into arms, the health authority’s chief financial officer said last week, even if that means opening a vial with only one person scheduled to get a shot. Vials have 6, 10 or 14 doses, depending on the vaccine, Dave Baden said. Once a vial is open, all the doses it contains have to be used before they expire.
“We told them we want them to vaccinate. Period,” Baden said. “I know that means that there will be more doses wasted. And, while unfortunate, that is where we are at.”
Meanwhile, Oregon reported progress in other aspects of the pandemic. The state saw active COVID-19 hospitalizations drop 17% Tuesday, to levels not seen since mid-April.
And Gov. Kate Brown announced five additional counties will be allowed to loosen COVID-19 restrictions Wednesday. Lane, Coos and Wasco counties will join 18 other counties in the “lower risk” category with the least restrictions, while Josephine and Yamhill counties will move to “moderate risk.”
Vaccines: Oregon reported 17,285 newly administered doses, which includes 6,688 Monday and the remainder from previous days.
Where the new cases are by county: Baker (3), Benton (5), Clackamas (35), Clatsop (6), Columbia (6), Coos (4), Crook (4), Curry (1), Deschutes (8), Douglas (21), Harney (3), Hood River (1), Jackson (18), Jefferson (3), Josephine (7), Klamath (3), Lane (27), Linn (12), Malheur (3), Marion (35), Multnomah (31), Polk (4), Umatilla (14), Union (3), Wasco (1), Washington (45) and Yamhill (4).
Who died: Oregon’s 2,695th death linked to COVID-19 is a 71-year-old Douglas County man who tested positive May 18 and died June 6 at Mercy Medical Center. The state is still confirming whether he had underlying medical conditions.
Oregon’s 2,696th death is a 57-year-old Marion County man who tested positive May 19 and died May 31 at Legacy Silverton Medical Center.
Oregon’s 2,697th death is a 93-year-old Klamath County woman who tested positive May 28 and died June 4 at Sky Lakes Medical Center.
Oregon’s 2,698th death is a 100-year-old Union County man who tested positive May 10 and died June 4 at Grande Ronde Medical Center.
Oregon’s 2,699th death is a 75-year-old Washington County woman who tested positive June 2 and died June 5 at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center.
Oregon’s 2,700th death is a 70-year-old Deschutes County man who tested positive May 18 and died May 27 at St. Charles Bend Hospital.
Unless otherwise noted, all had underlying medical conditions.
Hospitalizations: 172 people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 are hospitalized, down 34 from Monday. That includes 36 people in intensive care, down 14 from Monday.
Since it began: Oregon has reported 203,671 confirmed or presumed infections and 2,700 deaths, among the lowest per capita numbers in the nation. To date, the state has reported 4,104,279 vaccine doses administered, fully vaccinating 1,951,646 people and partially vaccinating 340,945 people.
— Fedor Zarkhin