Testing to Become Easier, COVID Numbers to Date

For the last year, there has been one or another splash of terrible news about coronavirus in our midst. There is good news.  

The Food and Drug Administration has given its emergency approval to a rapid COVID-19 test which can be used at home, sending the test results to a smart phone within 15 minutes of receiving a sample. The test accuracy has been shown to be 96%. In October, the U.S. National Institutes of Health Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics imitative gave $30 million to support clinical testing and manufacture of this test. 

On Feb. 1, the Biden administration made a $231.8 million deal to boost the test’s availability. As part of this contract, Australia-based company Ellume has committed to supply 8.5 million tests to the U.S. government. Ellume is also building a U.S. facility which will be able to produce as many as 19 million tests per month. 

These tests are currently expected to cost a user $30 each, and that price with the requirement of a smart phone may limit their overall value to the public. However according to NPR, Dr. Michael Mina of Harvard calls this a step in the right direction.  

Oregon Vaccinations 

Vaccination sites across the state of Oregon are beginning to meet Governor Kate Brown’s goal of 12,000 vaccines per day. More than two-thirds of citizens in phase 1a have received vaccines and the next phase will be eligible soon. The best way to track when you will be able to get vaccinated is to go to covidvaccine.oregon.gov. 

COVID-19 Numbers 

As of Feb. 3, the total number of cases of COVID-19 in Oregon was 144,605. Of those people who have had the virus, 1,991 have died. Oregon has recorded four cases of the U.K. variant of COVID-19, and zero cases of the Brazilian and South African variants. 

As of Jan. 5, 11.2% of all COVID-19 cases in the state were in pediatric patients – meaning people under the age of 18. In seven of those cases, there was Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome – a condition related to COVID-19 where body parts become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, or brain. 

Benton County Numbers 

As of Feb. 3, Benton County has 32 new cases of COVID-19. This brings our total number of cases to 1,963 with 14 deaths. Fewer than 1.5% of Benton County case have been pediatric. 

Linn County has 21 new cases. Total number of cases is 3,363 with 50 deaths. Approximately 2.85% of Linn County cases have been pediatric. 

Lincoln County has eight new cases. Total number of cases is 1,080 with 18 deaths. Less than 1% of cases have been pediatric. 

Lane County has 91 new cases. Total number of cases is 9,316 with 114 deaths. Nearly 7.5% of these case have been pediatric. 

To look up other county numbers, go to the OHA website. 

By Sally K Lehman