SALEM, Ore. – Since the start of the pandemic, more than 5,000 Oregonians have died of coronavirus-related causes.
The state reached the new record high on Monday, just days before the Thanksgiving holiday.
“As we head into the second Thanksgiving holiday since the start of the pandemic, too many Oregon families will see empty chairs around their holiday dinner tables, making this latest tragic milestone all the more heartbreaking,” said Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen.
Allen said the more recent COVID-19 deaths are “especially painful” as nearly all of them could have been prevented by vaccinations.
With the Delta variant still posing a danger to the public, Allen shared tips for having a safe holiday.
“This holiday, you’re at less risk if you’re vaccinated and if you get a booster when the time is right. Smaller gatherings are less risky than large gatherings, especially indoors. Take care around older adults. Think hard about wearing a mask if you’re indoors with people who aren’t vaccinated, especially older people,” Allen said.
Those choosing to get vaccinated now won’t be fully protected by Thanksgiving and should wear a mask when spending time with others, Allen added.