COVID-19 Cases Rise in Oregon for the Week Ending Jan. 31

Vaccine rollout continues, but health officials warily eye mutations.

After two weeks of declining case counts, Oregon saw an increase in COVID-19 cases for the week ending Jan. 31.

There were 4,786 new cases, up 16% from the previous week. Hospitalizations also rose 14% to 251. There were 76 deaths, when the previous week saw 74. (The week before that, cases had dropped precipitously as did hospitalizations.)

The case counts are being closely watched as Oregon works to get vaccines to teachers, health care workers and nursing home residents and staff. At the same time, health officials have voiced concern about the spread of more contagious variants of COVID-19, which have already arrived in Oregon.

Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen on Wednesday cautioned state lawmakers to expect a bumpy rollout for vaccines after Oregon seniors become eligible to receive them on Saturday.

"You've seen that every state that has opened to seniors has had some form of chaos on its hands," Allen said, according to the Lund Report. "I want to be completely transparent; we're going to have some form of chaos on our hands too."

While cases have been declining nationwide in recent days, January was the deadliest month yet of the pandemic across the country.

Willamette Week's journalism is funded, in part, by our readers. Your help supports local, independent journalism that informs, educates, and engages our community. Become a WW supporter.