OHSU COVID-19 forecast confirms Jackson & Josephine counties among worst in the country

SOUTHERN Ore. —An updated projection of the COVID-19 surge in Oregon shows a critical situation. Since the start of the pandemic, Oregon Health and Science University has been forecasting the Covid hospital situation statewide.

“It is burning like a wildfire in Region 5, if you are unvaccinated there’s a very big chance you’ll get infected soon,” said OHSU’s, Dr. Peter Graven.

The state is still expected to be short between 400 and 500 staffed hospital beds by Labor Day weekend.

“Unfortunately it’s all bad news,” said Dr. Graven.

As of August 18th, the state saw 838 hospitalizations, OHSU predicted that number to skyrocket to about 1,075 by September 3. A week later we are already seeing this prediction start to come true, with 1,000 hospitalized as of Monday, according to the OHA.

“We’re seeing the census in the state going up at rates we’ve never seen before its reaching levels we’ve never hit before,” said Dr. Graven.

Dr. Peter Graven, OHSU’s Lead Data Analyst has been forecasting the COVID pandemic since March of 2020 The most recent forecast from Dr. Graven is on track with previous projections. He says Jackson and Josephine counties are among the worst in the country.

“I did produce a separate forecast just for your region because I was seeing the numbers were unbelievably high and it indeed has followed that path almost straight up, you’re up 200 people in the hospitals so unfortunately, that track has held,” said Dr. Graven.

Dr. Graven says Region 5 hospitalizations are statistically 3 to 4 times worse than anywhere else in Oregon.

As it stands, 77% of the ICU beds in the region are full of covid patients.

For Oregon nurses, those statistics are personal.

“The ages of people I’ve put in body bags in the last couple of weeks are 20, 37, 42, 45, 52, I’ve seen a lot of people die,” said Levi Cole, Providence RN.

So they’re urging those who are unvaccinated to take immediate action.

“It’s easier to trust me and us medical professionals and get a vaccine than it is to trust me when I’m about to push a plastic tube down your throat,” said Cole.

Dr. Graven’s new forecast will be available by the end of the week.

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Jenna King is the 6pm anchor and our Feature Reporter at 10pm and 11pm for NBC5 News. Jenna is a Burbank, CA native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at Oregon she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through her internship with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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