Coos County may have escaped the fate of much of the state by avoiding significant COVID-19 spikes following recent holidays and breaks.
County health officials said Thursday the county hasn’t seen the increases the rest of the state has following spring break, Easter gatherings and a soccer event officials raised alarm about last week.
“We are doing pretty good locally, but as a state our numbers are going up and it would coincide with the end of spring break and the Easter holiday,” said Coos Health & Wellness spokesperson Dr. Eric Gleason.
Cases since Easter in early April and school spring breaks the weeks prior have plateaued in the county, with daily new case reports in the low single digits as statewide daily cases creep back towards 1,000 a day.
But Gleason wasn’t sure what’s caused the county’s lower case rates and said a spike could still come.
“Hopefully that means that we just did a good job as a community,” Gleason said. “Number fluctuations have a tendency to hit rural areas later. We’ve always been a month or two behind the state average, so we’ll see what happens, but I haven’t seen anything that would indicate we did a bad job over the holiday, which is great.”
CHW previously expressed worry about the possible impact of a soccer event held April 10 which included at least one virus-positive individual, but Gleason said investigators haven’t uncovered any transmission connected to that event.
“There was exposure, we didn’t necessarily know if there was any transmission. We haven’t seen anything that we could put together that would suggest that there was, so maybe we got lucky,” Gleason said.
Still, Gleason said the agency would continue monitoring events like that one in case the agency’s fears of virus spread did come to fruition.
“By doing what we did to say that we were concerned about an exposure at this event was able to garner a couple people that were worried about their youth and their families, we were able to have conversations with them and get them the guidance that they needed,” Gleason said. “And in the event that something like this were to happen again, if we had no other choice, we would do the same thing.”
Cases still slowing across region
COVID-19 case rates are still slowing across the South Coast, according to the latest ZIP code data from the Oregon Health Authority.
The region’s largest increase between April 11 and 17 came from the Brookings-Harbor 97415 ZIP code, with 14 new cases bringing that area’s pandemic total cases to 388.
Twelve new cases during the same period brought the Coos Bay area to 884 since the pandemic began, and nine brought the North Bend area’s total to 427.
Port Orford recorded its first new cases since March, while Bandon and Lakeside reported no new cases during the week.
The chart below shows the total number of cases each ZIP code area has reported since the pandemic began, according to OHA. Data is reported on Wednesdays for the previous week, and the Powers ZIP code is not included in state data due to its low population.