COVID update: Oregon sees first drop in COVID positivity rate since May, but reports record 14 deaths in a single day
Data from the Oregon Health Authority’s weekly testing summary report indicates the first drop in percent positivity for COVID-19 tests since the end of May. OHA reported 38,179 COVID test results for the week of July 19-25. Of that, 4.8% of tests were positive.
During the week of May 16-22, 1.6% of COVID tests were positive. Since then, the positivity rate increased weekly before peaking at 5.8% for two weeks in a row (July 6-18).
The decline in test positivity is a bright spot amidst a series of worrying COVID data points and trends in Oregon.
The same testing summary report warns of testing capacity and supply shortages in the state.
“Several major manufacturers have informed OHA that testing supply allocation to [the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory] and clinical labs in Oregon may be reduced over the coming weeks due to the recent spike in positive COVID-19 cases nationally and increased demand for testing. These shortages are being addressed through testing on multiple platforms and recruiting additional laboratories for testing,” reads the report.
OHA has also received reports of extended turnaround time for commercial labs, with some results taking up to two weeks to receive.
And on Tuesday, OHA reported 14 new COVID-19 deaths – setting a record high for the state. Oregon’s previous record high for daily deaths (9) was set on Friday.
“As we surpass 300 deaths related to COVID-19, including the 14 deaths reported today, I wish to extend sincere condolences on behalf of everyone at OHA to the families who have lost a loved one to this disease. It is a stark reminder of the work all Oregonians need to do to bring this pandemic under control. Together we can slow this disease and prevent this terrible loss of life,” said OHA Director Patrick Allen when the deaths were announced.