On a day when the Oregon Health Authority released the largest number of COVID-19 related deaths for the pandemic, state epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger did provide some upbeat words. During a press conference Tuesday on metrics that need to be reached to open schools in the state, he said there are signs may start to trend in the right direction. He says the total number of COVID-19 cases began to decrease in Oregon in the last week, hospitalizations are leveling off, and test positivity is declining. He added models indicate transmission rates are beginning to decline, and could reach a point with “the continued cooperation of all Oregonians” where the virus cannot reproduce enough to sustain itself at current levels. But Sidelinger also said for that to happen, Oregonians must continue to follow state guidelines currently in effect.