LA GRANDE — The number of COVID-19 cases in Oregon dropped month-over-month for the second month in a row. The Oregon Health Authority reported fewer than 7,000 new cases in September and less than 100 deaths attributed to the virus.
The final day of the month, Wednesday, Sept. 30 — which OHA reported Thursday — saw the state add 363 cases and round out with an overall total of 6,916 in September, down from a peak of nearly 10,000 cases in July and from more than 8,000 additional cases in August, a decrease in total cases of about 15%. The average daily total in September was 230.5 cases per day.
The total case count in Oregon since the start of the pandemic, through September, was at 33,862 and the number of deaths was 560. The mortality rate of known cases in Oregon is 1.653%, putting the survival rate of known cases at 98.346%.
The number of reported deaths was more than 30% lower, as the state had an increase of 95 deaths during September. Of those, 17 were fatalities that occurred prior to September, and while most were in August, the state included a late report of a fatality from July and one from May. A time of death was not reported in a third case. The state also pulled four deaths from the count during the month — two of individuals who were double-reported, one that was not determined to be a COVID-19 death, and a fourth for an out-of-state death reported as an Oregon case.
There also were six deaths that give no indication of if the person tested positive for COVID-19. Five of those had SARS-CoV-2 listed as a cause or significant contributing factor, and a sixth was listed as symptomatic.
The percentage of cases in each age range charted by OHA changed less than 0.25 percentage points per group in September. There was an increase in cases among those ages 0-9, 10-19, 30-39, 70-79 and 80-plus, and a decrease among those 20-29, 40-49, 50-59 and 60-69. The biggest increase was among those 10-19 and 30-39, while the biggest drop was among those 40-49.
The state reported 451 more hospitalizations over the month, with the total number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 during the pandemic increasing to 2,613. Of those who tested positive, 7.72% are known to have been hospitalized in Oregon due to the pandemic, though an additional 10.1% of the cases have not been reported.
The positive test rate in Oregon ticked up to 4.66%. It sat at 4.57% at the end of August. There have been 32,201 positive tests, and almost 660,000 negative tests.
There were 12 days during the month with fewer than 200 new positive cases reported, 14 days with between 200 and 300 cases, and four days with more than 300 cases. The lowest case count was 125 on Sept. 9, and the highest was 457 — the highest during the pandemic — on Sept. 25. Those four highest totals all came during the final 10 days of the month.
Females remain slightly more likely to account for a case, as they make up 51.7% of all cases in Oregon.
Males, though, are much more susceptible to death, as they make up 57.3% of the state’s fatalities and have a mortality rate of 1.98%. The mortality rate for women is 1.37%.
Oregonians 70 and older have accounted for 73.8% of the deaths despite making up just 8.53% of the cases, and are 35.2% of the demographic that is hospitalized. Those 80 and older have a known survival rate of 78.3%, the only group below 90%. Nobody in Oregon younger than 20 has died from COVID-19. There have been six deaths total from individuals younger than 40, 20 younger than 50 and 58 younger than 60. The survival rate for those younger than 70 is 99.5%.
Union County reported 27 new cases during September, down from 31 new cases the county had in August. The county has now conducted nearly 5,000 tests — the surge due in large part to Eastern Oregon University’s mass testing Sept. 21 — and as a result has seen its positive test rate drop to 8.61%. That is down nearly 3 percentage points in the last month. The case total in Union County through September was reported at 446, but Friday morning a case was relocated to a different county, putting the total at 445, according to the Center for Human Development.