Coos Health & Wellness

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Another individual in Coos County has died with COVID-19, local health officials announced Thursday.

A 72-year-old man died Feb. 11 after testing positive for the virus Jan. 16, according to the Oregon Health Authority. He had some kind of underlying conditions and was admitted at Oregon Health & Science University.

His death wasn’t connected to any known outbreaks of the virus, according to Kelsey Orr, a Coos Health & Wellness spokesperson.

Meanwhile, as of Thursday, CHW was still waiting to receive its weekly allotment of COVID-19 vaccine doses. The agency was expecting 500 first doses and 100 booster doses of the vaccine, which have been stalled by severe winter weather across the country, according to Dr. Eric Gleason, CHW’s assistant director.

“The weather has been so severe that it’s delayed out shipments,” Gleason said. “It may not be until early next week. The odds of it showing up by (Friday) are fairly slim with the severe weather we’re seeing in the south.”

That forced the agency to push off its internal plans for vaccinations this week, though Gleason said the delay didn’t require the cancellation of any appointments, as they had yet to be scheduled.

Virus outbreaks are continuing to hit the community. Officials in the North Bend School District are continuing to deal with a handful of virus exposures of students and staff across the district.

On Wednesday, the district announced the quarantine of a group of students at North Bay Elementary School after a presumptive exposure to the virus.

“We are working closely with CH&W to respond to this news and protect the health of our community by temporarily having the students and staff associated with the affected student quarantine,” Superintendent Kevin Bogatin wrote in an announcement to the district. “Due to a longer than 15 minute bus ride, the quarantine will also affect a bus cohort.”

In addition, a cohort of sixth-grade students at North Bend Middle School will continue in quarantine until Feb. 24.

The district is tentatively planning to bring seventh- and eighth-grade students back to North Bend Middle School’s campus March 1, and North Bend High School Students back to campus March 8 — though district officials said those returns would be contingent upon decreases in the county’s COVID-19 case rate.

The exposures in the North Bend School District aren’t related to each other, CHW officials said.

“Those cases aren’t connected,” Orr said. “It’s just unfortunate, our case counts are going up in the county, so it is in the community. More people are getting sick.”

State announces infant death

Also on Thursday, OHA announced the state’s first death of an infant from COVID-19. The Umatilla County infant had some kind of underlying conditions, tested positive for the virus Jan. 17 and died the same day.

“Every death from COVID-19 is a tragedy, even more so the death of a child. The death of an infant is extremely rare,” said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, OHA’s health officer and state epidemiologist, in an OHA announcement about the death. “This news represents a tremendous loss to the mother and family. My thoughts are with them during this difficult time.”

Young children are less likely to develop serious disease when infected with COVID-19, Sidelinger said. Sidelinger noted the virus case and hospitalization rates for children are low compared to adults, and that infant deaths are very rare.

Still, he noted some COVID-19 symptoms in children require urgent medical attention, including trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest that doesn’t go away, new confusion, being unable to wake up or stay awake when not tired and bluish lips or face.

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

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