Friday the Oregon Health Authority released its latest modeling indicating a steep increase in the spread of COVID-19 dating back to early November.
According to the model, the effective reproduction rate – the expected number of secondary cases that a single case generates – was estimated to be between 1.25 and 1.69, with an estimate of 1.47.
The current level of transmission could result in “exponential” growth, resulting in approximately 1,500 new daily cases over the next two weeks. The model does have limitations, including that it is based on Oregon data only through November 6.
According to the model, if Oregonians collectively wear masks, keep physical distance, restrict social gatherings and maintain good hand hygiene to slow the spread of the virus, new cases would remain historically high for a short time before decreasing.
Social gatherings continue to fuel transmission. OHA is urging Oregonians to rethink their social activities over the next few weeks and to reconsider their holiday plans.
Here are some actions people can take to keep COVID-19 from spreading through social gatherings:
- Minimize close contact with others.
- Work from home to the extent possible.
- Limit social gatherings.
- Reconsider holiday plans to keep them to a small group. Reduce social interactions with people outside of your household.
OHA streamlines county guidance to handle surge in cases
OHA has issued temporary new recommendations to local health authorities, streamlining protocols for contact tracing and case investigations during the current surge in cases.
The recommendations are intended to direct resources to serving at-risk people and vulnerable populations.
The recommendations for case investigation include:
- Reducing the number of questions to prioritize health interventions and focus on people most at-risk of serious illness.
- Limiting calls or texts to persons who test positive while still connecting them to support services.
- Provide workplace notifications to high-consequences businesses and congregate care facilities.
The recommendations for contact tracing include:
- Prioritizing contact to high-risk individuals.
- Eliminate active monitoring for 14 days.
- Limiting interactions to a single interview.
Stay informed about COVID-19:
Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority leads the state response.
United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.
Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.