Coronavirus

As Oregonians being a two-week "freeze" on some business and recreational activities under new state regulations, public health officials across the state are continuing to report record high cases rates.

The state broke new records this week, reporting 1,225 on Thursday alone, yet another new daily case record.

Oregon also passed 800 deaths from the virus, less than three weeks after it reported its 700th death. Since the pandemic began, more than 60,800 Oregonians have gotten the virus, and 808 have died.

“These are family, friends, neighbors and we note their deaths with sadness and a renewed determination to suppress the spread of the virus,” Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen wrote in a press release Thursday.

“I have heard frequently from those who have refused to believe this pandemic is serious if we aren’t seeing hospitalizations and deaths. Those hospitalizations and deaths are here and are only likely to go up."

The state's test positivity rate also rose to 12.5% this week, OHA reported.

Unlike previous periods of the pandemic, the South Coast has been no exception to statewide case increases.

Coos County saw 40 new cases of the virus since Nov. 13, bringing it to 360 total cases of the virus. Nov. 14 set a record, with 14 new cases representing the county's highest one-day case total since the pandemic began.

The Coos Bay-Charleston ZIP code saw the county's largest increase in cases, with 26 between Nov. 12 and Nov. 18, according to the state's ZIP code data. North Bend-Lakeside saw 11 new cases during the same period.

Curry County hit a somber COVID-19 milestone this week, too, announcing its 100th case of the virus on Thursday. The county's seen 19 new cases of the virus since Nov. 13, and 27 are considered "active," according to the county's health department. 

The Reedsport area's case count more than doubled last week, with 17 new cases reported between Nov. 12 and Nov. 18. The 97467 ZIP code has seen a total of 29 COVID-19 cases, according to state data.

According to Coos Health & Wellness, half of the attendees at a 50-person Douglas County Halloween party last month have now reported cases of COVID-19. A portion of those cases were brought back to Coos County, assistant director Eric Gleason said.

"It really can spread through these groups, these group gatherings and we need to really be mindful of what that means for the people in our lives," Gleason said. "We as individuals can affect a significant number of people by our actions and the things that we do and the choices we make."

In other words, as Gleason said, "no one person is an island."

Douglas County reported 130 new cases of the virus this week, bringing its total to 723 since the pandemic began.

Douglas County also reported five new deaths since Nov. 13, increasing by half the number of COVID-related deaths in the county.

An 85-year-old woman, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 and hospitalized on Nov. 8, died Monday.

An 86-year-old man, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 and hospitalized on Nov. 10, died Tuesday.

A 76-year-old man, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Oct. 29 and hospitalized on Nov. 14, died Wednesday.

An 83-year-old man, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Nov. 3 and hospitalized on Nov. 8, died Wednesday.

An 82-year-old man, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Nov. 9 and hospitalized on Nov. 13, died Thursday.

“As we have from the very beginning, and will continue to do, we ask that you do everything you can to protect the ones you love by following the guidelines for preventing the spread of this deadly disease," Commissioner Tim Freeman wrote in a press release Thursday. "Please take a moment and think before you go to a friend’s house for a visit, join colleagues in-person for a business meeting or attend a birthday party, about how you would feel if someone got you sick, or if they got sick because of you, or if you unintentionally spread the virus to your family, coworkers or loved ones."

Reporter Zack Demars can be reached at worldnews3@countrymedia.net.

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