The Oregon Health Authority today reported 171 new COVID-19 cases—45 of them in Multnomah County—and three new deaths, bringing the state's death toll from the pandemic to 195.

"For the fourth week in a row, newly reported COVID-19 cases increased over the previous week," the weekly recap says. "During the week from Monday, June 15, through Sunday, June 21, OHA recorded 1,263 new cases of COVID-19 infection, a 40% increase from the previous week (898 new cases)."

"The number of COVID-19 tests reported (30,773) increased substantially (25%) compared to the preceding week, while the percentage of tests positive increased slightly (3.7% vs. 3.1% during the preceding week)," the report added.

That increasing rate of positive tests is also bad news. For a long time, Oregon held an enviable position among the states, with the lowest levels of infection and positive test results. That's changed a little, although many states are experiencing far higher rates of both.

The OHA did find a silver lining in this week's statistics: Although more Oregonians are testing positive for the virus, they don't seem to be getting as sick as they did earlier in the pandemic.

"Available evidence suggests average severity of illness among reported cases is lower than it was early in the outbreak: Hospitalizations and deaths remain well below their peaks, even after reported cases have been increasing for four weeks, and the percentage of emergency department visits attributable to COVID-19-like symptoms remains below 1%," the agency said.

In terms of who is getting ill, Hispanics continue to suffer disproportionately accounting for nearly 35% of the diagnosed cases despite being just 13.3% of Oregon's population. And more than half of the state's deaths are associated with congregate or senior living facilities, although Oregonians aged 20 to 29 are the most likely to test positive for the virus.