OHSU Covid-19 forecast says we’re at the peak in cases

SOUTHERN OREGON, —We’ve seen how quickly widespread Covid-19 variants can impact communities, lengthening the pandemic. But could there finally be some good news on the horizon? We’re learning if the statewide trends are consistent here in southern Oregon.

Different Covid-19 variants have proven to be very persistent. Statewide the BA.2 Variant had infections and hospitalization on the rise in Oregon since early April.

But according to OHSU’s Dr. Peter Graven, the end of the latest surge is here.

“I’m comfortable saying that we saw a peak recently in the northeast I don’t see why we won’t see that in Oregon- I think we’re right around the top and should start seeing some declines,” said Dr. Graven.

Graven has been forecasting Covid numbers all pandemic long.

His latest Covid-19 forecast has the peak in cases here or any day now and hospitalizations maxing out by mid-June, with a peak of 313 hospitalized in Oregon on June 14th.

“I do think that’s in our future I’m not seeing an additional surge here,” he said.

In Jackson County, health officials are seeing the same rise in cases and hospitalizations, which is consistent with the statewide trend. But, public health says the numbers aren’t quite as high as during our last Omicron and Delta surges. These latest Omicron variants are proving to be more transmissible, but with less severe symptoms for most people, which keeps hospitalizations and deaths down.

“They are rising there are people being hospitalized both with covid and for Covid but its not dramatic,” said Dr. Leona O’Keefe, Jackson County Health Officer.

Dr O’Keefe is watching closely as we approach summer.

She says there is some good news, with more outdoor activities, people will be less likely to contract Covid. But both O’Keefe and Dr. Graven stress that Covid is still prominent in the community, and not going away just yet.

“It’s not like this is going away in fact we expect this to kind of move through the population and then a new variant is going to try hard to take up that space afterward,” said Dr. Graven. 

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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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