PORTLAND, Ore. – A new COVID-19 variant is now predominant in Oregon.
Outgoing Multnomah County Public Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines says it’s called XBB.1.5, “OHA has been tracking this one closely, it took awhile to get here, but it’s here. And it’s more contagious as each of the omicron variants have adapated…so people are thinking this may be the most contagious sub-variant yet.”
But, she says there’s good news, “Early information is optimistic is that it doesn’t appear to be more severe than other variants…it’s a coin toss whether it evolves to be more or less severe. So we’re lucky, quote unquote, to be less severe for now.”
The Commonwealth Fund ranks Oregon 5th in the nation in terms of COVID response.
That’s based on multiple indicators such as vaccine uptake and infections and deaths per 100,000 people.