“We need people to make a lasting change in their individual behavior, and that lasting change will have to be with us for months,” OHA Dir. Said Pat Allen.
PORTLAND, Ore – Nearly 39,000 Oregons have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
On Friday, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported 418 new cases. Another six people have died, meaning the virus has now claimed 617 lives in the state.
The OHA called trends a “reversal of the encouraging landscape”
After the unusual year we have had, you may feel tempted to celebrate Halloween as you usually do. But sadly, state health officials are urging you to skip major social gatherings or trick-or-treating this year.
New modeling from OHA shows more gatherings and people heading in when the weather turns – where coronavirus thrives – can make a scary trend much worse.
“We are asking Oregonians to take individual action. Another Halloween and a different fall than we might like will begin to change the course, and we need to bend this trend downward. We have done it twice before,” OHA Director Pat Allen said in a media teleconference Friday: “But it will require a coordinated, consistent and sustained effort and strict vigilance.”
Coronavirus cases are as high as they have been during the pandemic. Positive test rates and deaths are rising, while hospitalizations are skyrocketing.
The biggest driving force for the wave: Oregons are connected in larger groups.
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“It’s both an unbelief in the risk and not perceiving the risk for them, and we tend to leave our guard down around friends and family,” said Oregon State Health Officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger.
The health authority cited research showing those who meet more often and with more people tend to doubt the severity of COVID-19.
“People are really focused on my child or myself, and ‘what are the chances of me getting a bad result? “I’m willing to take that risk.” And people, I think, are really still not thinking about the risk of giving it to others who are vulnerable, “said Director Allen.
Because of these factors, the numbers seem to resemble the place they were in July when the spread in the community was violent.
“Part of what we’re trying to get people to do is not think of coronavirus as this thing that comes and goes, and so we can make a burst of something special and then go back to what we did before. , “Allen said,” We need people to make a lasting change in their individual behavior, and that lasting change will have to be with us for months. “
In addition to informing us, the Oregon Health Authority has to contend with misinformation. They showed rumors on Friday, especially about the flu and vaccines, citing clear data showing that COVID-19 is more deadly than the seasonal flu.
Health officials say prominent people who downplay the severity of the virus are making their jobs even harder.
They want to ensure that young, healthy people understand that while the risk of serious infection or death is lower, the risk still exists.
“We have not yet learned the long-term effects of COVID-19,” said Dr. Sidelinger.
Director Allen does not believe that living with the virus in the long run – before a vaccine comes out and spreads widely – should mean staying home and keeping everything closed.
“That’s the balance we’re trying to shoot for, how can we live with this virus and have a functioning society and make it safe? And we think we can do that,” he said.
But it falls on all of us; the same preventive measures have been repeated by health officials for several months, and it is still true. We need to be mindful of washing our hands, wearing face masks, keeping ourselves physically distant and not gathering in groups.
The OHA also announced that it will present its plan for the allocation and distribution of a vaccine in Oregon when a safe and effective vaccine (s) is available. The state will prioritize society and color and those who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.