LA GRANDE — The number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in Oregon was lower during the month of August after there were close to 10,000 cases in July, but the number of deaths reported in the month was at its highest mark.

The state has surpassed 28,000 cases and has reported 482 fatalities attributed to the virus as of Monday, Sept. 7. In August, there were 8,129 new cases, an analysis of the data from Oregon Health Authority shows, and 139 more reported deaths. That total includes seven deaths the OHA reported at least 30 days after they happened, including three from as far back as June.

OHA reported Thursday, Sept. 2, that one death was counted twice and the total was adjusted accordingly. There have been sixth reported deaths in September of people who died in late August, so the actual month total is unclear.

In Union County, where there were 419 cases though the end of the month — one fewer than recent OHA data because of a discrepancy in numbers between the Center for Human Development and OHA — with 31 cases reported in August. The county’s positive test rate, which has continued to drop steadily since the outbreak in mid-June, is nearing 11.5%.

On average, the state health agency reported 262 new cases each day during the month of August, down from more than 318 per day on average in July.

The overall totals in Oregon through August were 26,946 known cases and 464 deaths. Of those, OHA reported 10 as having no underlying conditions, and it’s unknown in 10-15 additional cases whether the patient had underlying conditions.

Six deaths were confirmed postmortem. A dozen were never confirmed via test.

Of those, four were symptomatic after a close contact with a confirmed case, and in the other eight cases the individual had SARS-COV-2 listed as a cause contributing to death. COVID-19 can be listed if it is suspected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and can be marked as probable or presumed.

From the start of August to the end, the mortality rate of cases saw little change. On the last day of July the rate was 1.727%, and it dropped slightly to 1.722% by the end of August.

The age range ratios of those with COVID-19 changed very little over the month, but trended slightly toward more young people contracting the disease. A comparison of the July 31 report (which did not include that final day of the month) to the Sept. 1 report (which covered through the end of August) showed the number of Oregonians with COVID-19 increased among those ages 0-9, 10-19, 20-29, 30-39, 50-59, and 80 or older, while it decreased among those 40-49, 60-69 and 70-79.

The changes from the start of the month to the end were less than 0.1% for those aged 20-29 (from 21.68% of the overall cases to 21.71%), 50-59 (from 12.71% to 12.74%) and 80 or older (from 3.45% to 3.54%)

OHA data shows 555 people were hospitalized due to the illness over the course of August, but the number of overall people known to be admitted dropped from 8.7% to 8.0%. Through the end of the month, a reported 2,162 people had been hospitalized due to COVID-19 during the duration of the pandemic.

The positive test rate in Oregon increased during the month from 4.35% to 4.57%. The weekly percentage in August was above 5%, but decreased each week, and dropped to 4.4% for the week ending Aug. 29.

Through August, individuals younger than 50 made up 70.7% of all known cases, up from 70.3% at the end of July, but just 3.2% of deaths. The group has had a survival rate of 99.92%.

The virus has continued to impact elderly the hardest, with 48.1% of the deaths from people 80 and older and a mortality rate in that age group of 23.4%, or a survival rate of 76.6%.

The survival rate of people between 70-79 is 90.9%, 96.4% for those from 60-69, and 99.2% for those from 50-59.

East Region Sports Editor

Ronald's primary beats are Eastern Oregon University, La Grande High School and the other eight high schools of Union and Wallowa counties. As an avid sports fan, he is primarily reading about or watching sports when he isn't covering a game.

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