CORONAVIRUS, Health, Oregon

Forecast predicts Omicron will take a heavy toll in Oregon

Oregon is facing a surge from the Omicron variant of the coronavirus that by early February could put twice as many people in the hospital as the Delta variant, state officials announced Friday.

That forecast, by Oregon Health & Science University, comes as infections and hospitalization from the Delta variant are waning. The forecast shows that Omicron will likely sweep through the population in the next two to three weeks, becoming the dominant strain.

By February, hospitalizations could surge past 3,000, surpassing those for Delta.

“Once again, many Oregonians will need a staffed hospital bed, which are in drastically short supply now around the state,” Dr. Renee Edwards, chief medical officer of OHSU, said during the conference that included Gov. Kate Brown and Oregon Health Authority officials.

Their main message was that Oregonians who are not vaccinated need to do so and that those aged 16 and older who . . .

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