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Lane County sees fewer coronavirus cases as omicron seems to retreat

Rachael McDonald

Health officials in Lane County are cautiously optimistic that the omicron peak is over and case counts are going down.

Steve Adams is Incident Commander for COVID-19 at Lane County. He said they’re seeing a decline in new cases. Hospitalizations are also on the downswing. But there were 12 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the past week in Lane County.

“We’re cautiously optimistic,” he said. “As we go into the late March time frame if everything that we’re seeing right now holds true, it’s quite likely we’ll have reduced risk in that period of time.”

The Oregon Health Authority last week said it would lift the indoor mask mandate by the end of March. That depends on hospitalizations reducing to 400 or fewer by that time.

“There’s time to plan.” Adams said. “Particularly for folk who haven’t gotten their vaccinations, their primary shots. Or for folk who haven’t gotten their booster shots. That is one proactive step that people can take now.”

Adams says he expects a bump in cases of covid-19 when that happens. He said we’ll also likely see more flu and other respiratory illnesses.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.