Counties across the state began to gradually reopen last month, and in recent days, the state has seen a slight increase in new cases. But speaking at a news conference alongside Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Wednesday, Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen said that the number of overall infection and hospitalization rates are declining.
“I think it’s safe to say our situation is stable,” he said, according to The Oregonian. “As stores, salons, and restaurants have reopened across the state, COVID-19 has not reemerged with renewed ferocity.”
Hospitalization rates among those with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 fell in the past two weeks, from 161 to 102, Allen said. That’s compared to more than 300 in April, per the newspaper. In addition, of some 17,447 people tested for COVID-19 in the last week, just 1.7 percent were found to be positive.
“While many parts of the nation continue to struggle to test residents who are sick, Oregon is testing more people and more people who are actually well,” Allen added.
The state is now reporting about 50 new coronavirus cases each day, in line with numbers from late March, according to The Oregonian.
Officials at the news conference said any increasing numbers are likely linked to increased testing capabilities.
The news comes as states such as Texas, Wisconsin, and North Carolina have reported an increase in coronavirus cases since reopening. In Austin, Texas, for example, coronavirus cases have trended “steadily upward” since the city began reopening retail stores, restaurants, malls, and movie theaters at the beginning of May, according to a local report. What’s more, the true number of coronavirus cases in the state’s capital could be seven to eight times higher than current statistics represent.
In recent weeks, Austin and Travis County have reported some 60 new COVID-19 cases each day, with Austin on Monday reporting 88 newly confirmed coronavirus cases — the city’s highest single-day increase since the pandemic began. Hospitalization rates in Austin, however, have remained low.