COVID-19 outbreaks tied to CHI Mercy Medical Center and Curry Manor Memory Care grew substantially over the past week, according to the Oregon Health Authority.
Mercy’s outbreak has grown to include 34 people, up from 25 last week.
And Curry Manor’s outbreak grew from three last week to 13 this week.
Curry Manor Administrator Renee Briggs said the cases there have been split between staff and residents of the facility.
Briggs said eight staff members quit early on due to the pandemic, so the recent illnesses have left the remaining staff — usually at about 50 — shorthanded and it has been a struggle.
“There’s several of us that have worked night and day for 17 days already. We’re just praying for the end to come soon,” she said.
Two of the patients have gone to the hospital, but the others are being housed in a makeshift COVID-19 unit. A new round of tests have been done, with results expected soon and Briggs believes the facility’s case numbers will go up again.
“We’re plugging away though. We just love these residents, and we’re doing our best to take good care of ’em,” Briggs said.
That’s not easy in a memory care facility, where some simply can’t understand what’s going on or the need for safety measures like remaining in their rooms or wearing masks.
“One gentleman, he just about ran over me because I was kindly trying to get him to stay in his room,” she said.
The man had tested positive for COVID-19.
“They just don’t understand, and so they get combative. It’s not easy on a good day,” she said.
There are some good moments, she said. One man had stayed his 10 days on the COVID-19 unit and was scheduled to be released on Wednesday.
“We’re getting his room all spiffied up for him, get him showered and shaved and all that stuff so he feels good. There’s light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.
A county spokesperson said last week that not all of Mercy’s outbreak numbers actually reflected staff illnesses. The OHA includes contacts of staff members who get sick in its workplace outbreak counts.
That’s not true of care center outbreaks, where only staff and patients are included in the totals.
No new Douglas County businesses were added to the outbreak list in OHA’s weekly report on Wednesday.
Some organizations already on the list had smaller increases or none at all.
Umpqua Valley Nursing & Rehabilitation was at 16 cases, up from 13 last week. The Roseburg VA Medical Center was at 15, up from 13 last week. The Sutherlin Bi-Mart rose from six last week to seven this week.
Organizations still listed as active but with no new cases included Timber Town Living and Clint Newell Auto.
Evergreen Family Medicine was moved off the active outbreak list.
The Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team reported 23 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the county total to 701 since the pandemic began in March.
Fourteen Douglas County patients are currently hospitalized with the illness, 13 locally and one out of the area.
The Douglas Public Health Network is supporting 729 people in isolation or quarantine. That includes 216 people with the illness who are in isolation, and 513 people who are quarantining because they have been in close contact with someone who has it.
Statewide, the Oregon Health Authority reported 1,099 new cases and 10 new deaths on Wednesday. That brings the total statewide cases to 59,669 and the statewide death toll to 788.
The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients across Oregon rose to 406 on Wednesday, a new record, with 94 of those patients in intensive care unit beds, OHA said.
The county will offer another drive-thru testing clinic on Friday. Patients who would like a test should contact their doctor first. Patients without a primary care provider can contact Sutherlin Aviva Health Clinic at 541-459-3788.
Also at 4 p.m. on Friday, Douglas County Public Health Officer Bob Dannenhoffer will hold the next of his twice weekly Facebook Live question and answer sessions. Those are available at the Douglas Public Health Network’s Facebook page.
The county offers a COVID-19 hotline at 541-464-6550. It’s staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.