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Expect Ups and Downs With Covid Now That Masks Are Gone

In this March 2, 2021, file photo, pharmacy technician Hollie Maloney loads a syringe with Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at the Portland Expo in Portland, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. — The OHSU Office of Advanced Analytics predicts COVID cases could increase in the weeks after the state dropped the mask mandate.

Dr. Peter Graven has been leading the effort in creating the state’s COVID-19 forecast.  He analyzes data around the state.

“Cases are at the lowest level we’ve seen,” said Dr. Graven.

On Tuesday, fewer than 200 COVID patients were in the hospital, which is a key metric in determining restrictions .

Dr. Graven added: “When hospitalizations start ticking up, we don’t get to play games with whether we want to wear a mask or not.  We will run out of beds.”

So far, the BA.2 variant of Omicron is causing issues in Europe, but it has not been a problem in Oregon.

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