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Live updates: 20-somethings more likely to get COVID-19 diagnosis

People in their 20s continue to be the most likely to test positive for coronavirus, the Oregon Health Authority said Wednesday.

More than one in five diagnoses since the start of the pandemic has been of a 20-something adult, but this age group is far less likely to be hospitalized or to die after infection. The virus continues to be most deadly to older adults, and has been fatal to one in five people diagnosed after the age of 80.

A breakdown of severity and rates of COVID-19 by age group in Oregon found that:

The Oregon Health Authority released its weekly report Wednesday with a review of COVID-19 data from the week of July 27 through Aug. 2.

It found that the percentage of tests returning a positive result has increased from 5.1% to 6.4%. That’s still better than the national average of 8.7% positive test results, according to Centers for Disease control figures. The World Health Organization advises that positivity rates should be at 5% or lower for two full weeks before communities begin to reopen.

The state report said that 141 people were hospitalized in Oregon with the coronavirus in the most recent week, up from 127 people a week earlier.

In most cases, health officials were not able to identify how newly diagnosed people became infected.

Coronavirus infection rates among Pacific Islanders are about 12 times that of white Oregonians, according to data from the Oregon Health Authority.

Pacific Islander migrants from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau have long felt barriers to medical access. Known as Compact of Free Association (COFA) migrants, they are allowed to live and work in the United States legally, but cannot access social safety nets the same way American citizens can. COFA migrants have difficulty accessing programs like unemployment benefits and the Oregon Health Plan.

Lack of access to health care has resulted in high rates of chronic diseases, like diabetes and hypertension which put them at higher risk of COVID

Related: Pacific Islanders in Oregon experience disproportionate rates of COVID-19

Oregon edged closer to its 20,000th coronavirus diagnoses Wednesday, as health officials announced 299 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases. That means 19,979 people have been diagnosed with the virus in Oregon since the pandemic's start, with 4,037 confirmed recoveries.

The Oregon Health Authority also reported five more deaths due to the coronavirus Wednesday:

Related: COVID-19 by the numbers

Clark County, Washington, is edging closer to its 2,000th coronavirus case. The county reported 45 new positive tests Wednesday, bringing total diagnoses to 1,991. The number of people who have died of the virus held steady at 40.

Statewide, 60,084 people in Washington have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and 1,624 have died, according to the latest data available from the state.

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Courtney Sherwood
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