PORTLAND, Ore. --- New projections from health researchers estimate that Oregon’s “aggressive” social distancing measures have prevented as many as 18,000 cases of COVID-19 and 500 hospitalizations. However, these restrictions must be maintained into May to prevent new cases from rising above current daily levels of active coronavirus cases.
Researchers noted that Oregon’s health care systems would likely have become overburdened by late April if Oregonians didn't follow Governor Kate Brown's stay at home executive orders.
The latest model is based on the latest COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and death data.
According to the latest report, which extends modeling until May 18:
- Cumulative COVID-19 infections: Under current social distancing conditions, the total cumulative infections with COVID-19 in Oregon on May 18 would be fewer than 20,000. However, if the state were to return to moderate social distancing (i.e., reopen non-essential businesses while keeping schools closed), the number of new infections would quickly climb to more than 60,000 by May 18.
- Active infections: Active infections would stay at currently projected levels of more than 2,000 cases per day through mid-May and then begin to slowly subside, if the state maintains current social distancing measures. However, if the state were to return to moderate social distancing, the number of active infections each day would spike to more than 17,000 per day.
- Hospital beds needed: The projected adult acute care and intensive care bed usage will remain below the available capacity in Oregon through the model period (through May 18).
The models were prepared by the Institute for Disease Modeling in Washington. Based on the data, researchers predict there are approximately 7,000 cases of active infection in Oregon at this time.
According to the model released Saturday, the state should expect to see fewer than 500 hospitalizations per day due to COVID-19 if social distancing remains in place and hospitals in Oregon would use fewer than 200 intensive care unit beds per day. However, Oregon hospitals would need nearly 2,000 beds per day by May 18, if current stay home orders were relaxed.