SALEM, Ore. – Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday extended Oregon’s declaration of a state of emergency until May 2 as confirmed COVID-19 cases drop but hundreds of new cases continue to be reported daily.
The Oregon Health Authority on Thursday reported 553 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the state total to 154,554. The state’s death toll is 2,204.
The agency’s weekly COVID-19 report, which was released Wednesday, shows a sharp decreases in daily cases, hospitalizations and deaths from the previous week. The health authority reported a 35% decrease in cases and a 42% decrease in hospitalization.
The emergency declaration is the legal underpinning for the executive orders the governor has issued, including her orders surrounding reopening Oregon, childcare, schools and higher education operations.
Oregon Republican state senators refused to show up to Thursday’s floor session, objecting to the governor’s COVID-19 restrictions and handling of reopening schools, vaccine rollout and economic recovery
THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
Pfizer is studying effects of third vaccine dose as booster. Dr. Fauci says take whatever vaccine is available. Drug companies can tweak vaccines to adapt to variants, a process that should be easier than coming up with the original shots. China approves two more virus vaccines for wider use to reach four total vaccines. Medical oxygen scarce for coronavirus patients in Africa, Latin America.
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday said none of the state’s regions will revert back to more restrictive COVID-19 requirements under the state’s economic reopening plan.
Inslee announced the pause in potential rollbacks amid dropping case counts across the state. While all 39 counties are currently in the second phase of the plan — which includes limited indoor dining at restaurants — the governor has yet to provide information about what subsequent phases might look like.
Last month, Inslee announced that regions had to meet three of four metrics in order to advance and to stay in Phase 2: a 10% decreasing trend in case rates over a two-week period; a 10% decrease in coronavirus hospital admission rates in that same timeframe; an ICU occupancy rate that’s less than 90%; and a test positivity rate of less than 10%.
In the second phase, restaurants can offer indoor dining at 25% capacity, and indoor fitness center can open with the same limit.
Sports competitions can resume with limited spectators, and wedding and funeral ceremonies can increase their number of guests.
SAO PAULO — On the same day Brazil reached the grim milestone of 250,000 deaths by COVID-19, the country’s health ministry signed a deal with Indian pharmaceutical company Bharat Biotech for the purchase of…
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