COOS COUNTY — The amount of COVID-19 cases in Coos County continues to rise.

Earlier this week there were two positive cases and two presumptive positive cases reported in the area, all stemming from a group of individuals who had recently gone to Portland. One of the cases that was initially reported as presumptive positive has since tested positive.

Additionally, there have been two presumptive positive cases that stem from the individual who most recently tested positive. That individual, who has previously been identified as a woman under the age of 40, did not immediately isolate upon returning to Coos County.

“It’s a perfect presentation of if you don’t get your claws around every person, as amazing and responsible as the other individuals were, once they knew that COVID-19 was in the mix before they even had symptoms, it just takes one person, and a very brief amount of time,” said Coos Health and Wellness epidemiologist Brian Leon.

“The concern is that, obviously, if that presumptive turned confirmed case had exposed a few people and the ones we know of most of them have at least come down with one symptom, then we really need to make sure we’re really getting in touch with everybody.”

In addition to the two additional presumptive positives, there are another four individuals who are now symptomatic. These individuals appear to have plans to get tested. There is one person in that group who Coos Health and Wellness has been unable to reach.

As of Thursday afternoon, Coos Health and Wellness has reported that there have been 34 positive cases of COVID-19 in the county and now five presumptive positives.

“The number of cases that we’ve had and nailed down over the last seven days is a concern. This is a pretty significant increase compared to the last 28 days,” said Leon.

The latest surge of cases has been a clear view of how fast the virus can move.

“They’re all pretty healthy, they’re all younger, you know the fact that it just went rapid fire through this group of people definitely says we ... have to really, really act quickly and move fast in order to get ahead of it,” said Leon.

First hospitalization in county

Last week in Coos County, a man who is over 60 years old tested positive for COVID-19. The man had been traveling outside of the state in his RV.

Coos Health and Wellness has reported that the man has been hospitalized and is in serious condition. This is the first COVID-19 related hospitalization in Coos County.

“Personally, when I think of serious there’s not a specific criteria,” said Leon. “Someone, say in the ICU someone on a ventilator, I’m not going to get into those specifics for this person but I would say … he is over 60, we know what this disease can do to people that are that old and yeah, he’s in rough shape.”

Prior to the hospitalization he had reported symptoms of shortness of breath, a cough and a fever.

Across the state, Oregon Health Authority has seen a rise in cases over the past weeks.

“For the fourth week in a row, newly reported COVID-19 cases increased over the previous week. During the week of June 15-21, OHA recorded 1,263 new cases of COVID-19 infection, a 40 percent increase from the previous week’s total of 898 new cases,” read a statement from OHA.

This has mirrored nationwide trends of increased positive cases of coronavirus. According to the New York Times, 36,880 cases were reported on Wednesday — the worst day of infections so far in the country.

Reporter Zachary Silva can be reached at 541-266-6036 or by email at


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