A ninth Douglas County resident has died from COVID-19.

Douglas County Public Health Officer Bob Dannenhoffer said the 81-year-old woman died Wednesday morning due in part to complications from COVID-19. She had tested positive for the illness and had been hospitalized since Oct. 10. The county provided no further information about her, citing privacy concerns.

The Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team reported 12 new cases Wednesday, including 10 positive and two presumptive.

And another local business, Clint Newell Motors, has now been added to the Oregon Health Authority’s workplace outbreak list, with five positive or presumed COVID-19 cases.

Owner Clint Newell disputed the OHA’s conclusion.

He said one Clint Newell Motors employee tested positive on Oct. 31, after taking a family member to the Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Newell said after that visit, the employee and two other family members returned positive tests.

“Technically, it’s incorrect,” Newell said of the state’s Wednesday report. “(The employee) didn’t contract it here.”

The OHA includes additional contacts of infected employees toward a workplace’s outbreak total.

The VA currently lists no employee cases and seven patient cases. The OHA lists the VA as having 13 cases, with the last one being on Oct. 19.

Tim Parish, VA spokesperson, said they have no outbreak there.

“It’s important to note that no Veterans have contracted coronavirus while receiving direct inpatient care at an RVAHCS facility due to effective safety protocols that have protected our most vulnerable Veteran population,” he said in an email.

The rest of the OHA list provided mixed news for Douglas County. While CHI Mercy Medical Center and Roseburg Forest Products-Riddle plant came off the authority’s active list, two assisted living and care facilities saw new cases added.

Umpqua Valley Nursing & Rehabilitation had one new case, bringing its total to 12. The health authority also reported two new cases at Timber Town Living in Sutherlin, as well as two deaths traced to the facility.

Neither facility returned a request for comment.

The Roseburg Forest Products-Dillard plant had no additional cases reported by the OHA Wednesday, with their last case listed as reported Oct. 9. With no further cases reported, the plant would come off of the “active” list effective Friday.

Evergreen Family Medicine in Roseburg also saw no increase from last week’s report, with its last reported case on Oct. 20.

Nearly 400 Douglas County residents are now either isolated or quarantined. Sixty-one who returned positive tests are being monitored in isolation as active cases, while an additional 338 presumptive positives are presently in quarantine, according to the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team.

“Our team has been has been incredibly active. Their job doesn’t stop. The prevention measures have been around for a long time, and they haven’t changed,” spokesperson Tamara Howell said.

“We are all tired of COVID, tired of social distancing and tired of talking about this pandemic,” the county’s response team said in Wednesday’s update. “But, the truth is that this virus is not going away anytime soon. Residents should prepare for a long winter with continued recommendations for following virus spread prevention measures.”

Those measures include regular hand-washing, social distancing, and wearing masks in public.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 597 new positive and presumptive cases in its Wednesday update, as well as four deaths. Those who died ranged in age from 69 to 98 years of age, and three of the four had confirmed underlying health conditions.

When Douglas County first started reporting COVID-19 numbers in March, there were 189 cases in the first 190 days. In the past seven weeks, the county has averaged four cases per day.

Six of the county’s nine COVID-19 deaths have happened in the past two months.

Donovan Brink can be reached at dbrink@nrtoday.com and 541-957-4219.

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Cops and Courts Reporter

Donovan Brink is the cops and courts reporter for The News-Review.

(10) comments

melrosereader

I had my car serviced at Clint Newell two months ago. No masks then either.

Mike

A RECORD 17 new coronavirus cases and 1 more death were reported in today’s press release from our County Commissioners Coronavirus Response Team, breaking the previous record of 15 cases reported on July 23. This increases Douglas County’s total to 428 cases and 10 deaths, with 6 of those deaths occurring over the past two weeks.

Today’s press release from our hypocrite Commissioners exclaims in bold print, “Clearly, this should be a wakeup call for all of our residents!” What I want to know is how many more Douglas County deaths need to occur before our Commissioners heed THEIR OWN wakeup call, considering there were 2 deaths at the time County Commission Chairman Chris Boice led the anti-mask rally at the county courthouse.

The County Commissioners Coronavirus Response Team reported 87 coronavirus cases and received 1,253 test results over the past two weeks. Dividing 87 cases by 1,253 test results increases Douglas County a RECORD HIGH 14-day positive test rate of 6.9% today. The school re-opening metric is a maximum of 5.0%

The 87 coronavirus cases over the past two weeks represent a RECORD HIGH case rate of 78.4 today for Douglas County. The school re-opening metric is a maximum of 50.

Mike

The six counties surrounding Douglas County reported 127 new coronavirus cases today and 1 death in Jackson County and a RECORD HIGH 668 cases and 6 deaths over the past week.

The Oregon Health Authority reported a RECORD 790 new coronavirus cases and 4 deaths today. The 7-day positive test rate for Oregon is a RECORD HIGH 10.1% today. Douglas County is close behind with 7-day positive test rate of 10.0%.

Mike

The U.S. passed Ecuador yesterday to become the 9th highest nation for per capita coronavirus deaths out of 213 countries in the world. There are 204 countries in the world whose leadership is doing a better job of protecting their citizens than the United States.

About 95% of the world population (below link) lives in countries where both the government and leading disease experts recommends or mandates the use of masks in public places to limit the spread of COVID-19. Citizens in those countries view mask wearing as a collective responsibility to reduce the transmission of the virus. A face mask in those countries displays solidarity, the message that people are in this together. As a result, masking is shifting to become a new social norm in most of those countries even though many people may not understand exactly how it helps.

Masking is about preventing the spread of disease rather than preventing getting the disease. Masks limit the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by respiratory droplets and aerosols, which are thought to be the major pathways of infection, exhaled from infected individuals during breathing, speaking, coughing, and sneezing.

Contrary to most of the world, in the U.S., the public usage of masks by a large portion of the U.S population carries a large stigma or belief that wearing a mask is an infringement on their personal rights. An U.S. study (below link) found people who did not report mask use also reported engaging in significantly fewer other mitigation behaviors than those who did report mask use, thus raising the risk for everyone around them.

According to a German study (below link), much of this can be avoided by governments mandating mask use. Their findings indicate the public views mandated masking as a social contract in which compliant people perceive each other more positively and noncompliance is negatively evaluated. The study also indicated voluntary policies have the potential effect to increase polarization and thus cause more stigmatization. The key to convey this critical public health message is for World leaders to be role models for masking, to set the example. In contrast, President Donald Trump’s inconsistent and confusing mask message is often pointed to in the studies as an example of that polarization and stigmatization.

Embracing mask wearing by all in the U.S. will be difficult due to the motivation to protect one's identity in relation to their political group and personal rights. This is evident by rallies, similar to the ones led by our County Commissioners, taking place almost daily protesting against masking mandates. To turn this around, it will be necessary to call upon and convince respected public leaders, sports figures, music artists and sports coaches to lead the way, to emulate the desired mask wearing behavior. If nothing else, make it a fashion statement. We can do better than relying on a vaccine that may never come.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Face_masks_during_the_COVID-19_pandemic

OregonHusker

Thankfully we're rounding that curve....

Mike

It appears we've rounded it so far that we ended back up where we started, only worse.

CitizenJoe

Clint Newell: No virus here.

VA: Nope, no problem here.

Douglas County Republicans: Virus? What virus? Let's all get together, maskless, indoors, for hours on election night. Disease-induced herd mentality--we mean, immunity--is good!

OregonHusker

Oops, that should read "denying."

OregonHusker

Walk into Clint Newell's service garage and you'll see most of the employees not wearing masks and not social distancing either. I took my car in recently and was surprised by this. Instead of dying the report, I invite Clint to walk into his own dealership and look around. It's easy to see why they have an issue.

Mike

I've recently had the exact same experience. The vast majority of their service department staff were maskless or had their mask around their neck.

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