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  For the week of April 19 to 25, the state registered a fifth consecutive week of a greater than 20% increases in new infections   Yamhill County reported 16 new cases on Thursday, bringing the county to a total to date of 4,266 cases. There have been 75 deaths in the county.  

Story By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • - Story Source
Published on Sunday May 9, 2021 - 10:16 AM
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The "principle variant of concern" in the COVID-19 pandemic in Oregon is the so-called UK strain B.1.1.7, Brett Tyler, Director of Oregon State University's Center for Genome Research told a group of journalists this week.

Tyler, who has been overseeing genome testing of sewage samples from around the state, said incidence of the B.1.1.7 variant is "rising rapidly in Oregon.

"That's of concern because there's evidence it can spread up to 50% faster than the original strain. The South African variant is also making an appearance both in the wastewater samples, and in the sequencing of individual samples. That also appears to be able to spread up to 50% faster; and there's also some concern about that variant's ability to resist some protection provided by the vaccines," Tyler said.

However, he said, "Having said that, all the evidence shows that the vaccines are very, very effective against both the variants, even the South African strain. So I think that the message here is that people need to be responsible in their behaviors; stay distanced, wear masks and so forth while the vaccination gets ahead of the spread of these variants. And once a larger percentage of the population is vaccinated, the threat posed by these variants will be significantly decreased."