COVID-19 CASES: State Reports New Racial and Job Data

The Oregon Health Authority released new data on Tuesday, and it reveals the status of COVID-19’s effect on the state’s healthcare workers, those living congregationally, race data specifics, and reported common symptoms.  

Healthcare workers impacted: The report shows that 1 in 7 (about 14 percent) of confirmed coronavirus cases in Oregon are among healthcare employees. 74 percent of these cases had direct contact with a patient, leading to them catching the virus. At this point, with a shortage of personal protective equipment in hospitals, many healthcare workers are convinced that they will contract the illness due to their job.   

Prisons, shelters, retirement homes: Other at-risk populations include those who cannot socially distance effectively and/or are vulnerable to the virus, specifically those who reside in retirement homes, prisons, and shelters — 12.2 percent Oregon’s confirmed cases live in these places or other congregate living situations.   

Race: About one-third of the cases examined in the report are missing racial data, but the data collected does show white individuals make up 41.1 percent of COVID-19 cases in Oregon, despite making up 86.8 percent of the state’s population.

There is only one other disproportionality in the race data, and it’s slight, which comes as a surprise, as many other states are experiencing extreme disproportionality, particularly with African-American populations. In Oregon, Hispanics make up 18.4 percent of the COVID-19 cases, while only making up 13.3 percent of the total population.   

Most common symptoms: In Oregon, the most common symptoms of the virus are reportedly a cough (66 percent reported), a fever greater than 100 degrees (49.8 percent), shortness of breath (42.5 percent), and headache, chills, and muscle aches (a little over 30 percent).   

As of yesterday, 1,321 Oregon residents have tested positive for coronavirus, and there have been 44 fatalities. In Benton County, there have been 22 confirmed cases, and 2 deaths, .   

Click here for the full report.  

By Cara Nixon