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Increase in COVID-19 cases tied to low vaccination rates, Delta variant

"This pandemic ends with vaccination and if we don't get a high enough vaccination rate well then we're stuck with managing the pandemic," Luedtke said.

Posted: Jul 28, 2021 8:35 PM
Updated: Jul 28, 2021 8:35 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The Delta variant is playing a role in the increase of COVID-19 cases across the state, experts say.

Dr. Patrick Luedtke with Lane County Public Health said he still urges people to get vaccinated to combat the variant. 

RELATED: OHA NOW RECOMMENDING MASK USE INDOORS REGARDLESS OF VACCINATION STATUS

"This pandemic ends with vaccination and if we don't get a high enough vaccination rate, well then we're stuck with managing the pandemic," Luedtke said.

Just a few weeks ago, Lane County was averaging fewer than 10 new cases per day. On Tuesday and Wednesday this week, the county averaged more than 80. In that same span, Douglas County averaged about 60. The two numbers don't seem too far off, but there are more than three times as many people in Lane County than there are in Douglas.

Douglas County also has one of the lower vaccination rates in the state. According to the Oregon Health Authority, Douglas County has vaccinated about four out of every 10 people, while Lane County has one of the higher rates -- closer to six out of 10.

"I wish our vaccination rate was higher, but we have to make due with what we have," Luedtke said.

For Oregonians, they'll only have to make a few adjustments if they choose to follow the OHA's newest recommendations for mask wearing in public indoor spaces, but those slight changes are still enough to make some nervous.

MORE: 'WE NEED TO INSPIRE VACCINATION': OFFICIALS TALK NEW CDC MASK GUIDANCE

"It's bad news," John Marshall said.

While others just see it as just another day in a pandemic.

"I've never been that concerned. I've followed the rules, but I've continued to do everything that I've done before," John Kennedy said.

It's important to note Luedtke advises those who aren't in the medical field to stick with the cloth and surgical level masks.

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