States in the western U.S. are seeing a rise in coronavirus cases as younger people get hospitalized and vaccination rates decline.
In Oregon, adults in their 20s make up the largest-share of case, about 21 percent, causing the seven-day rolling average in hospitalization to spike by 37 percent.
What’s more, daily vaccinations have dropped by 54 percent over the course of just one week.
This has led Governor Kate Brown to announced that 15 counties in Oregon are moving in the ‘extreme risk’ for COVID-19 category, which imposes restrictions that include banning indoor restaurant dining.
Some of the Oregon’s biggest cities, including Portland, Salem, Bend and Eugene, are in the counties that will be in the most dire category, effective Friday.
Similarly, in Nevada, one-fifth of all COVID-19 infections are now in residents ages 20 to 29, as more patients are hospitalized.
In addition, average daily COVID-19 vaccinations have plummeted 25 percent in the last two weeks.
Oregon and Nevada are following trends seen across the U.S. as the seven-day rolling average of vaccinations dropped below three million for the first time in about one month.
‘Let me explain this graph to you in simple English. DANGER AHEAD,’ Dr Ali Mokdad, a professor of Health Metrics Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine, tweeted on Tuesday.
‘Wear a mask, watch your distance, wash you hands and get the vaccine.’
Fifteen counties in Oregon are moving in the ‘extreme risk’ for COVID-19 category as the average number of cases in the state have risen from about 590 per day to 800 per day
In Nevada, average infections have increased from 315 per day to 350 and COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen by 26% in two weeks
Experts say both states have seen the number of daily vaccinations dropping, mimicking trends across the U.S. as the average number falls below three million
‘If we don’t act now, doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other health care providers in Oregon will be stretched to their limits treating severe cases of COVID-19,’ Brown said in a statement.
‘Today’s announcement will save lives and help stop COVID-19 hospitalizations from spiking even higher. With new COVID-19 variants widespread in so many of our communities, it will take all of us working together to bring this back under control.’
For Oregon counties to move in to the extreme risk category, there have to be at least 300 people hospitalized in the state with COVID-19.
Additionally, there must be an increase of 15 percent or greater in the seven-day hospitalization average over the past week.
There are currently 328 Oregonians hospitalized with COVID-19 with the seven-day rolling average increasing by 37 percent.
The counties moving into the extreme risk category are: Baker, Clackamas, Columbia, Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk and Wasco.
OREGON: Most people falling ill with COVID-19 in Oregon, about 21%, are between the ages of 20 and 29
OREGON: are currently 328 Oregonians hospitalized with COVID-19, with the seven-day rolling average increasing by 37% over two weeks (dark blue line)
OREGON: In Oregon, about 37,000 vaccine doses were administered last Tuesday compared to 16,900 this Tuesday, 54% drop
Extreme risk comes with bans of indoor dining at restaurants and severely cuts the capacity of the number of people that can be inside a gym.
Counties moving to the extreme risk category will remain at that level for a maximum of three weeks and can move to a lower risk category if their case rates improve.
The move comes, ironically, as the supply of vaccines is exceeding demand with about 37,000 doses administered last Tuesday compared to 16,900 this Tuesday – 54 percent drop
‘There are appointments available right now all across the state,’ Brown said.
For instance, the public health director for Umatilla County, which was moved Tuesday from the moderate to the high-risk category, told state officials it can send last week’s vaccine allocation somewhere else and will likely do so again this week.
‘Our demand level is dropping dramatically,’ Public Health Director Joe Fiumara told the East Oregonian newspaper.
The county has about 6,000 doses, and last week administered fewer than 500 doses as health department staff sat idly, waiting for people to come.
The level of vaccinations in the mostly rural county is far short of what health experts say is needed.
According to Oregon Health Authority data, only about 19,000 people have been fully or partially vaccinated in the county where 78,000 people live.
Meanwhile, in nearby Nevada, both coronavirus cases and deaths continue to rise.
On Tuesday, the state recorded 405 new infections and 11 fatalities, according to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), most from Clark County, which reported 295 of those cases.
Daily cases were well above the 14-day rolling average, which had fallen to 263, according to health officials.
NEVADA: One in every five coronavirus cases is Nevada is diagnosed in residents in their 20s
NEVADA: Hospitalizations over the last two weeks have rise by 26 percent, up from 260 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 to 330
NEVADA: The 14-day rolling average in the number of vaccine doses administered on a daily basis has dropped by more than 25% from a record-high of 25,331 on April 14 to 17,040 on Monday
In addition, new deaths were almost four times higher than the two-week average of just three deaths.
According to the state’s DHHS, the number of hospitalized patients in Nevada was up by six in the past day to the current total of 330 confirmed and suspected cases.
Hospitalizations over the last two weeks have rise by 26 percent, up from 260 patients diagnosed with COVID-19.
The state is facing the same vaccination troubles as Oregon, as health officials try to reverse a decline in immunization rates statewide.
The 14-day rolling average in the number of vaccine doses administered on a daily basis in Nevada has dropped at least 25 percent.
It reached a record-high of 25,331 on April 14 and has since fallen 17,040 on Monday, the latest day for which data is available.
It’s the lowest average rate of daily vaccinations since mid-March and marks the fifth-straight day the average has dropped below 20,000.
‘I think we expected to see this gradual decline of daily immunizations administered,’ Karissa Loper, chief of the state Bureau of Child, Family & Community Wellness, told the Associated Press.
‘We need to work further with our communities in Nevada to ensure equity and inclusion and broad distribution for the vaccine.’
Nevada was averaging fewer than 2,000 daily doses in early January but topped 10,000 for the first time on Jan. 29 and cleared the 20,000 marks on March 22.
Since then, it had been on a steady rise until the downward trend began April 15.
Health experts say it’s difficult to measure the extent to the 11-day pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine impacted turnout for shots
But Southern Nevada Health District Board Chairman Scott Black acknowledged the rare but serious reaction to Johnson – about one in one million – likely played some role.
‘Understandably, that is concerning to some folks,’ he told reporters.
‘We’re also reaching a point in our campaign that the people who were eager to get the vaccine have done so.’
Black said now, officials are reaching out to groups that might be reluctant or hesitant, as well as those who are concerned about side effects and getting appointments.