Governor Kate Brown struck a cautiously optimistic tone in her latest statewide Covid-19 update Tuesday — a departure from the dire warnings that have accompanied her briefings for much of the past two months amid a surge of new coronavirus infections and hospitalizations fueled by the highly contagious delta variant.
The governor highlighted that the number of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 has declined since setting records earlier this month, though the seven-day average of new cases — 1,621 — is essentially unchanged from a week ago.
“I know this isn’t the fall that any of us had hoped for or expected,” Brown said. “At the end of June, we were hopeful that a lot of our communities would be free of Covid-19. Unfortunately, delta changed everything.”
Canby has seen its share, with more than 400 new cases linked to the community’s ZIP code since Aug. 20. The area’s infection rate — 9,533.7 cases per 100,000 residents — has increased by 27% since last month and is the highest in Clackamas County.
Canby’s ZIP code has seen a total of 2,163 since the pandemic began in March 2020 — a figure representing roughly 10% of the area’s population of 22,688.
“The good news is that, while we still have a long way to go, it appears things are slowly getting better,” said Brown. “And every day, there is renewed hope as we see more people getting vaccinated, progress on vaccines for our 5- to 11-year-olds, and now, the beginning of boosters for some of our most vulnerable.”
A third shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved late last week for Oregonians 65 and older, long-term care residents, those 18 to 64 with underlying medical conditions and people whose occupation puts them at greater risk for exposure.
State and federal health officials recommend people who received the final shot in their series at least six months ago are recommended to receive a booster.
Brown said those who received the Pfizer jab but are not eligible for the booster should know that they are fully protected, adding that the bonus shot’s purpose is to offer an extra layer of protection for those who are especially vulnerable.
“Everyone who is eligible for a booster will get one,” Brown said. “For those who have received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, I ask for your patience as we wait for further data and guidance from the federal government.”
As for vaccinating children, Pfizer has submitted data to federal emergency use regulators for making its shot available to 5- to 11-year-olds, but authorization is not expected before late October or early November.
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