Omicron Contact In Portland: Expect It

Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas Counties said most people in the metro area will come into contact with the omicron variant of the coronavirus over the next few weeks, and people should expect disruptions in their day-to-day lives because of it. “Most of us will encounter omicron, and most of us will have mild symptoms,” said Dr. Jennifer Vines, the lead health officer for the tri-county region. “Some of us, relatively few of us, may get severe disease from omicron. The way the virus spreads so quickly means that it can very easily find the people most at risk.” 

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported 7,615 new COVID-19 cases, setting more records for the highest number cases in a single day. Lead health officials commented “that is a significant undercount because of the lack of available testing and missing results from at-home tests that aren’t reported to the state.”

There are 588 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across Oregon, up from 523 reported Wednesday. Test positivity rates also rose from 20.6% to 23.3%, and OHA reported nine new deaths.

COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are the safest and best way to prevent severe illness. “Still, the virus is going to move very quickly through the community,” Dr. Vines said, “and despite seemingly causing more mild illness, it will be disruptive. Hospitals, child care, businesses and public services could be affected by waves of sick employees unable to come to work.”

Officials encourage people, especially those with risk factors for severe illness, to limit their contact with others , not to attend any unnecessary gatherings and wear the best mask possible, fitted correctly — and ask others around them to do the same.