COVID-19 vaccine

The surging COVID-19 pandemic in Coos County has claimed five more victims.

On Monday, Coos Health & Wellness reported four people died over the weekend after contracting the virus. On Tuesday, an additional death was reported.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 55 Coos County residents have died after contracting the virus, with the recent surge being the most deadly by a long shot.

The deaths reported this week included a 70-year-old man, 80-year-old man, 64-year-old man, 70-year-old man and an 82-year-old woman. They all died at local hospitals and most had underlying conditions.

Over the weekend, 79 new COVID cases were reported in Coos County. On Tuesday, an additional 87 cases were reported. Many of the new cases were found at a drive-through clinic at Bay Area Hospital. The hospital and Coos Health & Wellness partnered to offer the clinic where those interested in getting a test do not have to leave their car and results are known almost immediately. Around 100 people came to the drive-up clinic in four hours Monday with 19 tests coming back positive.

The drive-through clinic will continue from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. On Thursdays, the clinic will run until 6:30 p.m. The tests are being offered at the first-floor west entrance to the hospital on Thompson Road. Signs will be posted to guide drivers to the clinic.

With the new cases reported, Coos County has 575 active cases, a high since the pandemic began. As of Tuesday, 20 people were hospitalized with the virus. Since the pandemic began, 3,412 cases have been reported in Coos County.

The surge is also playing havoc in the Curry and Douglas counties, with case numbers and deaths increasing.

Over the weekend, Curry County reported 58 new cases and two deaths, bringing the death total since the pandemic began to 16.

Douglas County has been ravaged with the virus over the last few weeks, and the weekend was no different. Douglas County reported 442 new cases from Friday through Sunday as well as 10 new deaths.

While the elderly remain at greater risk, the Delta variant is having a greater impact on younger residents. One of the deaths in Curry County was a 34-year-old man while Douglas County reported a 43-year-old man died.

Dr. Eric Gleason, assistant director of Coos Health and Wellness, said even in the middle of the surge, getting vaccinated remains the best way to protect yourself from the worst of COVID.

While the state has been reporting more cases of vaccinated people getting COVID, Gleason said the vast majority of those in the hospital and those dying are unvaccinated. Across Oregon, more than 87% of people hospitalized with COVID have not been vaccinated.

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