PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - As new cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations related to the virus trend upward around the country, the same can be said for Oregon, though on a smaller scale.
According to the Oregon Health Authority, hospitalizations in the state increased from 106 on July 9 to 168 on July 20.
Dr. Ralph Yates, Chief Medical Officer for Salem Health, said hospitalizations there have increased as well, with new cases likely linked to the Delta variant of COVID-19.
"The assumption is that this is the dominant variant in the community. And when people are admitted, the assumption is that's probably what we're looking at," said Yates.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Delta variant now makes up 83% of the genetically sequenced samples in the United States.
"What we know is the Delta variant is outcompeting some of the other variants, so you're seeing more of this one than you are of other ones. But is that because it's more transmissible, it's easier to get from one person to the next, that I think we don't have a real good handle on," said Ken Stedman, a virologist at Portland State University.
In L.A. County, where a surge in cases of COVID-19 has been attributed to the spread of the Delta variant, the health department has recommended even vaccinated people go back to wearing masks indoors.
The Oregon Health Department has said there is no imminent change in masking guidelines here, but the agency continues to urge Oregonians to get vaccinated.
Studies have shown the current vaccines are close to 90% effective against the Delta and other variants.