Cup of Joe, a coffee shop in downtown Roseburg, will be closed for a few weeks because the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Douglas County has started hitting close to home for owner Joe Bardaville.

Bardaville made his decision before Gov. Kate Brown announced on Friday that all restaurants would have to go to takeout only as part of a two-week freeze called as COVID-19 cases continued to break records locally and statewide.

Bardaville’s aunt contracted COVID-19 at an assisted living facility and he was going to shut the business down for the weekend to help his family, but then people all around him started getting coronavirus diagnoses.

“This has been very hard on my mom so I decided to spend some time with her and help make arrangements,” he said. “During this time I was informed that multiple friends and neighbors were infected from a workplace cluster, and then another cluster, and another. Pop pop pop! It seems to me that the shutdown in March was an attempt to prevent this from happening, yet here we are.”

NUMBERS ON THE RISE

Douglas County Public Health Officer Bob Dannenhoffer said during a press conference Tuesday that it took Douglas County months to get to the first 40 cases but last weekend there were 46 cases in just two days.

In the week ending Nov. 7, there were 78 new cases. At the time that was a record-breaker. By Saturday, last week’s case total was already at a new record-smashing 148 new cases, a 120% increase over the previous week and a new weekly record. The total number of confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 now stands at 613.

Ten Douglas County residents have died from the disease, their ages ranging from 61 to 88.

“Many of these people are younger than me, and I consider this to be young. So these are people who had long lives ahead of them and their lives have been cut short by COVID,” Dannenhoffer said.

The county has consistently had low case numbers when compared with state or national data, but the rapidly increasing numbers have local officials worried.

In the freeze Brown announced Friday, every restaurant in the state will go to takeout only, gyms will be closed, and individuals will only be able to hold get-togethers with six people or one outside household. They’ll also be required to wear masks. The new rules have teeth. As misdemeanors, violations are punishable by fines or even arrests, the governor said.

The governor said the new rules are an effort to flatten the curve in time to avoid hospitals becoming overloaded and having to turn away COVID-19 patients.

Also last week, the governor joined the governors of Washington and California in calling on people who travel between states to self-quarantine for 14 days.

ORGANIZING FOR A FIGHT

Behind the scenes, and despite initial low case numbers, county officials and the local healthcare community have been organizing for months.

The county government has already spent $2.5 million on the effort and has drawn the entire healthcare community into the fight.

“I literally called the CEO or the executive director of each healthcare organization in this county on their cellphone one day and asked them, ‘Would you come help us,’ and every single one of them said ‘Yes, what do you need,’” Douglas County Commissioner Tim Freeman said.

The county, unlike most, outsources its public health work to private entities. Key to that effort is the relatively new nonprofit Douglas Public Health Network. That organization has dramatically expanded from six employees to about 30, many of them engaged in aiding the more than 700 county residents who are in quarantine or isolation because they currently have the illness or have come into close contact with someone who has it.

Douglas County was one of the first to have a drive-thru COVID-19 test clinic, the first to have a call center and one of the few areas in the state where schools were able to open to in-person learning.

Dr. Jason Gray, chief medical officer at Mercy Medical Center, said the hospital has gone from two or three COVID-19 patients at a time to between eight and 11, but it has room for more.

The hospital has a current capacity for 130 patients, including 16 in intensive care unit beds. In a crisis situation, they could expand to hold 174 patients, he said.

FOLLOW PRECAUTIONS

County officials want to remind people to follow all safety precautions, such as wearing masks, social distancing, staying home when displaying symptoms of illness, no social gatherings and minimizing travel outside the county.

It’s a matter of science, not of politics, they said.

Freeman said it’s members of this community asking other community members to wear masks and maintain social distance.

“We don’t believe this disease is political. We don’t think the virus knows how you’re registered to vote,” Freeman said.

Scientists studying COVID-19 believe that mask-wearing alone could cut the number of deaths due to the disease by close to one-third.

“I think the data is really quite clear that masking does help, both to help you from spreading it, but also there’s increasing information that it helps to decrease your viral load and decrease your chances of getting the infection, or if you get it, to decrease the severity,” Dannenhoffer said.

Since this is a disease you can spread to others before you have symptoms, it’s important to keep those masks on whenever you’re around others not in your immediate household.

Most of the infections locally are spreading during gatherings — parties, dinners, weddings — where people have a tendency to take their masks down but shouldn’t, Dannenhoffer said.

Gray said he’s worn a mask for years in the operating room, and while it can feel uncomfortable at first, people adapt to it.

“Wearing masks is a sign of respect that I’m giving you, I’m giving others. I want to protect you,” he said.

Bardaville said he has a strict “mask-on policy” inside his shop.

“There are folks who don’t agree with that, and I am quick to point out that there are other places to get your coffee and breakfast sandwiches, but they will (hopefully) have the same strict mask policy to do their part to help slow the spread of COVID-19. My family is very important to me, and I have no plans to bury my mom this Christmas!” Bardaville said.

Dannenhoffer said last week that the problem for many county residents is they haven’t personally experienced the disease or had friends or family members who’ve sickened or died. But with those numbers rapidly changing, he said the impact will soon hit for many county residents.

Other places have already seen it, among them New York, where 33,398 had died as of Thursday. Dannenhoffer grew up in New York City and has family still there, so he’s heard first hand how devastating COVID-19 can be.

“My cousin is a cop, and during the really terrible times he spent his entire shift waiting at the doors of houses where somebody inside had died so somebody could pick up the body. For months this is what he did is stood in front of doors at apartments to wait for people to pick up the dead bodies,” he said.

It was necessary work because the coroner’s office was so backlogged.

“People in New York recognized how bad this was. We haven’t gotten there. We don’t want to have to replay that here so people do know people who have died and see them in the obituaries every day have the same kind of situation. But we can avoid it,” he said.

QUARANTINING

COVID-19 spreads even when people aren’t displaying symptoms, which means that people who come into contact with a person diagnosed with the illness will be asked to quarantine for 14 days.

“A local student was sick and went back to school before she was better. Had she waited a few days, she would have lost 3 or 4 days of school, but her class would not have been impacted,” Dannenhoffer said. “Unfortunately, she went to school and exposed 40 others. Now, those 40 others will need to be quarantined for 2 weeks and will miss a total of 760 days away from activity. In addition, those 40 families will need to take time away from work, school and activities to care for them. So, the economic impact of going back to school or work before you are well is enormous.”

Dannenhoffer said Tuesday that about half of the 700 people quarantining in the county at that time were doing so because of COVID-19 cases in schools. In Roseburg Public Schools alone, four adults tested positive for COVID-19 which led to 10 classrooms being asked to quarantine for a 14-day period.

There is some help available for people who need to stay home because of illness, especially when that turns out to be COVID-19 related.

The Oregon COVID-19 Temporary Paid Leave program is available to people who need to quarantine or isolate because of exposure to the novel coronavirus or are experiencing symptoms.

Any business with more than 50 employees will also be required to offer help under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Employers are to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. This leave can also be used to help care for children who attend a school that is closed due to the pandemic.

As of Friday, several schools in Douglas County have decided to go back to distance learning because of the rising case numbers in areas they serve.

Roseburg Public Schools also changed course, continuing to educate fourth and fifth graders virtually rather than bringing into the classroom as originally planned.

“Our top priority continues to be the safety of our kids, our staff, and our community,” said Roseburg Public Schools’ Superintendent Jared Cordon. “Given the upward trend in COVID case rates and test positivity in Douglas County, it’s possible all districts may need to transition students to comprehensive distance learning.”

A SOLUTION

Dannenhoffer said many COVID-19 vaccines are in development, but the closest to being ready is one by Pfizer, which has shown a 90% success rate in trials.

Dannenhoffer said when the vaccine is ready to be distributed, Douglas County will be ready and working to get local people vaccinated. High-risk health care workers will likely be the first to receive the vaccine before it is distributed to others.

While there have been politically-based fears about a vaccine, Dannenhoffer said a group of western states has created an independent review panel. The panel includes top-notch medical minds, including some in California who he is familiar with and trusts.

“I think if the FDA says it’s safe, if these California people say it’s safe, I think we can be pretty sure it’s safe. And if I’m eligible, I’ll be the first in line,” Dannenhoffer said.

And despite some challenges regarding the distribution of the vaccine — the virus has to be kept at negative 112 degrees Fahrenheit, for example — Dannenhoffer was confident that the drive-thru clinics would be the most effective way to distribute the vaccine.

Freeman said Tuesday that since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 85 drive-thru testing clinics.

While work continues on a vaccine, it is not anticipated to be released until the end of this year, and most recipients won’t be able to access it until some time in 2021.

So for now, local health officials urge residents to stay home, limit their interactions with people and wear masks.

For Bardaville, that means staying closed for the time being.

“I have family members with lung disease and lung cancer,” Bardaville said. “I am in no way trying to tell anyone how to live their lives. Closing my shop temporarily is the right thing to do, for me. And I will reopen as soon as I feel it is safe for me, for my customers, my neighbors, my family to do so.”

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at sgodfrey@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4203. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

React to this story:

20
6
1
7
3

Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

(69) comments

mworden

Here's the link to the graphic again. Hope it's not cut off.

https://www.co.douglas.or.us/media_room/coronavirus/information/DPHN%20Should%20I%20get%20a%20tested%20for%20COVID%2019.jpg

mworden

For ANNIE, from DPHN, if you're reading this comment section. Where, specifically, do I find the graphic you mentioned in your response to Mike? I've looked around and I've missed it.

Same question to anyone else who knows. Thank you.

mworden

I found the graphic. First I went to the DPHN home page, then I clicked on the latest covid-19 update and facts. Then I scrolled through all the daily reports going back to March and a video of a press conference. Then I found the governor's information page, followed by the county coronavirus info website. I clicked on that and came to https://www.co.douglas.or.us/media_room/coronavirus.asp

Under information, I found an entry, "DPHN Should I get tested for covid-19." I clicked and found this graphic: https://www.co.douglas.or.us/media_room/coronavirus/information/DPHN%20Should%20I%20get%20a%20tested%20for%20COVID%2019.jpg

It's a nice clear graphic. I would encourage DPHN and the County to make it easier for the public to find. Maybe it's been available all along and I missed it. I don't know. I've made an effort to stay informed. Many in our county haven't. If someone who has tried to stay informed has missed it, I can see how many others would miss it too.

It's a good graphic. Show it off more, please!

Mike

22 new coronavirus cases and 1 death were reported today by the County Commissioners Coronavirus Response Team, bringing the total to 645 cases and 11 deaths. 20 Douglas County residents are currently being hospitalized for the virus.

Douglas County Commissioner Tim Freeman said today, “Another treasured Douglas County resident has been lost to the deadly COVID-19 virus…we cannot stress enough how important it is to be vigilant in following the health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID.” This comes one day after the same Commissioner bragged about his leadership during this pandemic allowed Douglas County schools to reopen early. It’s hard to stomach reading this from a hypocritical County Commissioner whose repeated actions in defiance of coronavirus restrictions have placed politics above the health and welfare of Douglas County residents.

The Roseburg Veterans Affairs reported 3 more cases since yesterday, increasing their total case count to 66.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 255 coronavirus cases and received 1,721 test results over the past two weeks in Douglas County. Dividing 255 cases by 1,721 test results gives Douglas Count’s a RECORD 14-day positive test rate of 14.8% today. The school re-opening metric is a maximum of 5.0%. But none of that is important according to our Commissioners as long they can brag Douglas County schools were among the first to reopen.

The 255 coronavirus cases over the past two weeks represent a RECORD HIGH 14-day case rate of 229.8 today for Douglas County. The school re-opening metric is a maximum of 50.

The six counties surrounding Douglas County reported 122 new coronavirus cases today and 1,207 cases and 5 deaths over the past week.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 766 new coronavirus cases and 4 deaths today in Oregon while also reporting a two week low 2,152 test results. The 7-day positive test rate for Oregon is 13.5% today. Douglas County’s 7-day positive test rate is 14.7% today.

The OHA reported 40 people are currently on ventilators state-wide. This is the highest number since April 17.

Mike

Don't be fooled because coronavirus case and death numbers appear lower on Sunday and Monday. There are health departments in many counties and several states that don't work weekends and don't report statistics. And because every locale is reporting numbers from the previous day, Sunday and Monday's numbers are always the lowest.

Rather than show a big jump in cases on Tuesday, most dashboards go back and add the cases and deaths back to Sunday and Monday's data. However, Tuesday does always see an increase because that is because all of the reporting agencies are back to work testing and processing data.

One fly in the ointment is testing, which ultimately defines the number of cases. Most testing is done during the week. But the schedule of when test results are received is dictated by laboratories analyzing the tests which is different for every counties health department.

A shorter version is, expect to see another week of record cases and deaths starting again on Tuesday through Saturday.

GhostofTMcCall

I hope Annie's comment below doesn't get lost because of responses to my comments. I think what she has to say is more important than my comments.

Mike

I'm more interested in her reponse to my response.

GhostofTMcCall

I was listening to an interview with former President Obama this morning on NPR. It was interesting as he described the divide in this country. The biggest issue, in his opinion, was due to social media and politically bent “news” sources that have diminished the ability to have a baseline of agreed upon facts. He attributes a lot of this to identity politics. No longer are we choosing elected officials based upon policy, voting records, or even our own self-interest – but with identifying with a certain group. You are either in the group or out – we either like you or hate you – you are either like us and all good or like them and all bad.

It’s making our country more partisan – and weeding out the moderates in both parties that actually prevent political gridlock. In the eyes of Republicans everyone who is not them is AOC. In the eyes of Democrats everyone who is not them is Trump. I see a lot of playing fast of loose with the facts in these comments sections and an incredible amount of identity politics being thrown around. You want to say more testing needs to be done? Great, that’s a reasonable debate. Saying that the reason there isn’t more testing in Douglas County is because of some nefarious plot by the Commissioners, the County Public Health Officer, and the entire local medical community is insulting to their combined efforts and hard work in battling this pandemic.

You want to say that Commissioner Boice shouldn’t have attended a courthouse rally (at the organizers invitation) to hear the concerns of constituents who think that the mask mandates are an infringement on their freedoms? If you think a group so devoid of science and good public health practices don’t deserve an audience -- that is a reasonable perspective to have. But to continuously state that Commissioner Boice – and even further – that the Board of Commissioners organized and held an anti-mask policy is an intentional lie that is only meant to sow seeds of discord.

The Board of Commissioners have delegated the public health response to Commissioner Freeman. To date he has helped organize and support a vast network of health care professionals that by comparative metrics have been successful. Through his public information team he has ensured the public has received daily updates on the status of the pandemic locally as well as updated information on measures the public can do to protect themselves and this community. If you think he should be doing more – great, that is a reasonable debate to have. To keep quoting a statement he made last March, which downplayed the severity of the COVID virus, as though he said it yesterday – despite the fact that he has released hundreds of statements since that have evolved commensurate to the new information he’s received – is intentionally misleading. This statement has been conflated by some as being “Trumpian” which is clearly identity politics at its worse. There has been nothing Trump like in his response to this pandemic. He has not once brought politics into his leadership on this matter – which is clear from this NR article (which has been ignored by the commentators on here).

Lastly, and most disturbing to me is the continued accusation, with no evidence or proof, that Dr. Dannenhoffer is political puppet who has forgone his allegiance to the Hippocratic oath for the sake of doing the bidding of elected officials. The dedication that this man has made to stopping the spread of this pandemic locally is incredible – and the efforts that he has made to educate the community despite the public scorn of those who have bought into the Trumpian propaganda about the virus is a profile in courage.

A lot of people on here should be ashamed of themselves. Do you think you are political warriors and the means justify the ends? You are part of the problem that President Obama describes. You are not, as President Elect Biden is encouraging to help unify this country, one of our better angels.

CitizenJoe

GhostofTMcCall: thank you for your thoughtful analysis.

Have you any evidence that any commissioner has directly told the public that masks work, should be worn properly, and when? If so, did they ever do that when speaking directly to the people who are inclined not to wear masks? I am reminded of the election night gathering at the county Republican Headquarters; the participants there were as maskless as the election-night gathering Trump held. Seems like they ought to be a target audience, if commissioners want to stop the transmission.

I may have overlooked occasions when the commissioners made such exhortations. If most of us overlooked those, it may be because they were so few.

Dr. Dannenhoffer is a separate case. I have nothing but admiration for him.

And, oh: has any commissioner condemned the Great Barrington Declaration's promotion of herd-immunity-by-disease? Now, more than ever--with vaccines just a short time away--it makes sense to keep people alive instead of sacrificing them on some altar of ignorance.

CitizenJoe

I hasten to add, in re a local physician's guest column on these pages, touting the Great Barrington Declaration and advocating Sweden's approach: Sweden, with about twice the population of Norway, has had twenty times the cumulative deaths from COVID-19.

GhostofTMcCall

The Commissioners send out COVID updates to thousands of Douglas County residents and press releases to the news media every day. These updates also provide guidance to the public on COVID safety precautions including wearing a mask.

If you haven’t signed up for the newsletter you can find them all archived here:

https://www.co.douglas.or.us/media_room/coronavirus.asp

There have been at least 250 of these messages distributed by your County government. This does not include additional information distributed or provided by other means including through the County’s Public Health provider DPHN and the County’s Health Officer Dr. Dannenhoffer.

It seems what some are really wanting is for the Commissioners to be more confrontational rather than informative with those who see masks as a partisan political issue. Commissioner Freeman seems to address that in his quote in the article above. He states, “It’s members of this community asking other community members to wear masks and maintain social distance. We don’t believe the disease is political.”

When you have a large (likely the majority by 70% based on election results) group in the local community that believe the disease is political – being intentionally confrontational might appease the 30%, but it doesn’t move the dial to get a good public health outcome. I think some commentators on here would rather have a figurative (and maybe a literal one as well) shouting match of competing political viewpoints rather than recognizing pragmatic efforts by our local elected officials to move the public towards taking better measure to fight this virus while navigating a challenging political landscape.

mworden

GhostofTom, I read the reports daily and have for months. The message to wear masks, socially distance, avoid gatherings and avoid travel have usually been buried rather deeply into the dense type of multi-page releases. In the past week or so, as cases mount, the message has been easier to access in the report. The past week.

The message has been well-hidden in the written reports. Dr. Dannenhoffer has made no bones about it. He strongly urges people to take the proper precautions in his Tues and Fri talks. The written report is not good evidence for your case.

Catering to peoples' dangerous beliefs about the virus just because they may be in the majority in our local area does not represent leadership. Just on a logical level, you can't bring in Barack Obama and Joe Biden as witnesses for your prosecution in one post and then call a total kowtowing to dangerous right-wing beliefs "pragmatic efforts" in the following post. What kind of sense does that make?

Bottom line: You are defending the actions of the county commissioners and attacking or challenging those who oppose them. Which is your right. But please, don't bring Barack and Joe into it and don't insult your own intelligence by presenting the daily report as solid evidence of the commissioners talking honestly about the virus with their supporters. It doesn't hold up.

Like CitizenJoe, I have admiration for Dr. Dannenhoffer and the hard work he and his team are doing. Do I agree with every aspect of it? No. Does that matter? No. We're lucky to have Dr. D. But I'm not impressed that the commissioners have given DPHN more money for boots on the ground. If early on the commissioners hadn't put politics before health, we might not need as many boots. Until I see the commissioners on TV, facebook, twitter and in the paper telling people in no uncertain terms to stay home for Thanksgiving while we're waiting for the vaccine, then ... no, none of them get profiles in courage awards. They're like arsonists who want credit for funding the fire department. That's great, guys, but it would help a lot if you stopped lighting fires.

GhostofTMcCall

MWorden – it appears that you are taking the position of shouting political viewpoints at each other. Good luck with that. I listened to Barak Obamas 60 Minute interview yesterday and his NPR interview this morning. Whether you like it or not, your attitude is the problem he describes. I’m hopeful President Elect Biden will find a more productive way to bridge the divide in this country. It is simply unproductive.

mworden

GhostofTom, perhaps partisan shouting is in the eye of the beholder. I disagreed with several of your key points and agreed with an important one. In fact, you are the person who motivated me to publicly voice my support for Dr. Dannenhoffer some weeks back. I think he's an asset to our county and I realized it was time to say so publicly.

Maybe it's partisan shouting for me to say it's not good form to try to weaponize Barack Obama and Joe Biden in an attempt to shame and shut up people who voice things you don't like. In fact, the first time I interacted with you was because I did not like what I was perceiving as efforts to shame another poster into silence.

"A lot of people here should be ashamed of themselves ...." That's what you said in your first post here today. What's with this effort to shame people? That is not in the spirit of Barack and Michelle Obama. Maybe it takes more than watching him twice to figure out his mojo.

Trust me on this: Holding President Obama in front of you when talking to people who disapprove of our commissioners does not have the same effect as holding up a cross to ward off vampires. Nice try though.

CitizenJoe

GhostofTMcCall: Thank you, again. I am getting the newsletter; it seems not to come daily; maybe I should sign up again. And yes mask wearing is advised, but "• Please wear a mask where recommended. Not just for your protection, but for the protection of others," seems a bit non-specific. I'm not really asking the commissioners to engage in shouting matches--just to publicly and frequently tell people what needs to be done. I know that that may invite a shouting match from the "other" side, but it's up to leaders to lead, and to show that all of us are on this side, and the virus is on the other.

mworden

[thumbup] for CitizenJoe. Thank you for replying to Ghost in a more diplomatic way than I have been doing. Sorry, GhostofTMcCall. You are a valuable contributor to this community and I appreciate your posts.

GhostofTMcCall

Citizen Joe – I think you make a valid point.

MWorden – Really? Taking the words of Obama and Biden to heart and trying to apply it is weaponizing them? Former President Obama clearly said that stating false information to make a partisan point – and not calling that out (even, and particularly, by your own political party members) is creating decisiveness in the country. Just because Trump has taken that to new levels doesn’t mean we should tolerate it when it’s in support for something we believe strongly in. Are you fine with people writing clear lies or misstatements as long as it supports your political beliefs? I believe those ends never justify the means. I’m all for healthy debate, discussion and disagreement – but, as Biden describes, our better angels shouldn’t let that turn into identity politics where we can’t agree on basic facts. You spend a good deal of time calling out hypocrisy where you see it – but somehow fail to see the irony of your own criticisms.

One thing I will agree with you, is that I do not have Obama’s mojo. I wish I could write half as well as he speaks. As for his spirit – who are you to lecture me on that? You seem ok with attacking people with false statements and downright lies – I’m against that. I think Obama would be to – regardless of the political party of the person being attacked.

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving. Properly wear a mask when appropriate, social distance, and avoid large gatherings! I’m done commenting for a while. Maybe I will just sit next to the fireplace and read Obama’s new book.

mworden

GhostofTom, I will say this as directly as I can so there is no miscommunication. I find your repeated tendency to use shaming toward other posters to be a particularly egregious behavior. To use shaming in a post promoting the words of Obama and Biden about ending divisiveness is not a good way to end divisiveness.

GhostofTMcCall

MWorden -- your tolerance of people lying doesn't provide you with much credibility. People can only be shamed if they feel shame. If merely calling people out on repeatedly lying is shaming someone into silence (which is not the intent -- and I think you know it), what do you call the repeated cheerleading of people who lie or intentionally misstate the facts? I think that is just as shameful as the actual deed. The legacy of our country's most esteemed leaders, past and present, are not owned by you, Mike, or any other commentator on here. If you don't like how they inspire my life, viewpoints and actions, so be it. But honorable men and women do not need to lie to make their point. Obama, Biden, McCain, Bush (both) should serve as examples -- not by their policies which me all agree or disagree with, but by their understanding that politics doesn't need to be a blood sport and there are some costs of character that aren't work paying.

mworden

GhostofTom, you do realize that in your effort to talk about the importance of ending divisiveness, you managed to tell people they should be ashamed of themselves and you said I make false statements and I'm a downright liar? That's just today, You can't end divisiveness by calling people liars. Name calling does not help mediate understanding.

As philosophers like to say, Define Your Terms. A downright liar is a person who tells a complete lie without restriction or qualification. A lie is a purposeful untruth meant to deceive. A false statement is known or believed to be untrue by it's maker and is intended to deceive.

Ghost said to mwordern today: "You seem ok with attacking people with false statements and downright lies"

Show me. Show me where I downright lied and attacked people with false statements that I knew to be untrue and that I said in order to deceive. Show me your evidence. I am willing to listen.

You also said to me today, "Are you fine with people writing clear lies or misstatements as long as it supports your political beliefs?"

Just for the record, the poster who seems to annoy you most, the one you've often accused of lies and misstatements ... we don't share political beliefs. Pretty sure. That poster would probably say the same. We don't share political beliefs, but we converse cordially, even in disagreement. You could say we are not divisive with each other. That may be the reason you don't realize we have different beliefs. We're nice to each other.

I have not been nice to Chris Boice, Dallas Heard or Dr. Powell. I have no regrets. If I have been unkind to you -- not merely annoying for having ideas you disagree with -- I do regret that. I enjoy your participation in the comment section and I don't really mind if you think I'm a liar.* I've been called worse around here.

*Pretty sure I'm not.

GhostofTMcCall

MWORDEN - let me apologize - for being an unclear writer that is - I didn’t intend to call you a liar. I was just pointing out that you seem to support the right of others to lie (by your clear definition) without any fact checking. I do not agree. You seem to think in me doing so, that is shaming people. I’m fine with that. I won’t be shamed into not fact checking lies and misstatement for the sake of not shaming lies and misstatements. You will notice that just about everyone who had issues with Mike’s lies and misstatements are no longer commenting on here. There seemed to be a concerted (or coincidental) effort by a group to silence anyone who opposed Mike’s viewpoints as undercover commissioners or trolls. I guess the shaming works both ways, but that must be ok. Or maybe dissenting viewpoints are unwelcome unless they meet some stringent criteria of “non shaming”. You seem like a reasonable person, but reasonable people can disagree and at the end of the day not think treat or think the other as the enemy. That is what ends the decisiveness in this country. Good day to you, sir.

mworden

GhostofTom, thank you for your apology. Accepted, with no hard feelings. Perhaps on some other day we can discuss the nature of fact-checking, shaming and silencing. We may find areas of agreement and disagreement. We may be using completely different definitions. Cheers!

melrosereader

Let me add, State Rep Leif was pictured on the GOP election night gathering without a mask.

AND here is State Sen Heard two days ago in the Oregonian: "Drazan attributes the partisan divide over coronavirus restrictions to a philosophical difference in beliefs between individual responsibility and collective obligation.

Sen. Dallas Heard, R-Roseburg, said he’s laser-focused on those differences. He said while he initially wanted Oregon to be cautious and open to new information about the virus, he had lost patience with the governor’s “elitist” attitude in mandating how Oregonians live.

He called Brown’s restrictions on family and religious gatherings “a bold infringement on the citizens of Oregon’s baseline rights.” He maintains the consequences of the restrictions are worse than the virus, citing suicide rates, layoffs, and her administration’s failure to deliver basic services like unemployment benefits. And he says hospital capacity is not an issue in his district, though it may be in Portland."

So, yes, our local leaders are continuing to minimize the threat by their words and actions.

GhostofTMcCall

Fair criticism of Leif and Heard. Pointing out the unfair criticism doesn't mean fair criticism isn't warranted.

melrosereader

I think it is a valid criticism that the early actions of the commissioners, that is, their promotion of freedom over safety, has had an impact on the trajectory of covid-19 in Douglas County. Why do I say that? I say that because an unknown number of the local people took that idea-- an idea that was reinforced by POTUS and other GOP leaders-- to heart. For many if not most people it is difficult to change a belief once that belief has set in.

And Boice's and Kress's continued silence reminds me of the saying that bad things happen when good people do nothing. Especially when Leif and Heard are sending the wrong message.

Mike

Just because you personally don't agree with criticism doesn't mean that criticism is unfair. Maybe, in your opinion its unfair, however you are just one person and not the arbitrator of what is fair or unfair, no matter how ghostly you are. Stating your opinion is your right as it is mine. Suppressing the opinions of others is not your right.

GhostofTMcCall

Mike - we are entitled to our own opinions -- we are not entitled to our own facts. You know that you have lied repeatedly to further your vendetta -- and you know that you have intentionally misstated facts to paint a picture that serves your own political purposes. I think everyone on here knows it too. When I call you on it -- apparently that is "shaming" and "silencing". If that were true I would be the worlds biggest idiot (maybe I am anyway) because it hasn't and will never work. I know you have no shame or will be silent. I just think its important, amongst the cheerleading of your actions, that occasionally that this is pointed out for the casual reader. You can fool some people some of the time, but not all of us.

Mike

A liar is someone who knowingly misstates the truth. You claim I am a liar. Make your case. Prove it. When you knowingly can't do that, what does that make you?

GhostofTMcCall

Mike - I’ve already proved it. Unless you are saying that you have chronic amnesia which prevents you from knowingly misstating the truth. If that is the case, my sincere apologies and Godspeed on treatment and a cure.

Mike

Just because you say something doesn't make it so. Still waiting for your proof.

CitizenJoe

Apparently, we have been outdone by Clackamas County:

Defying governor’s orders, Clackamas County leader says she’ll celebrate Thanksgiving 'with as many family and friends as I can find’

https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2020/11/clackamas-county-leader-plans-to-celebrate-thanksgiving-dinner-with-as-many-family-and-friends-as-i-can-find.html

Can our County Commissioners limbo under that bar?

Mike

Flu vs. coronavirus: New study shows hospital deaths for COVID-19 twice the rate of influenza patients.

https://www.oregonlive.com/coronavirus/2020/11/flu-vs-coronavirus-new-study-shows-hospital-deaths-for-covid-19-twice-the-rate-of-influenza-patients.html

CitizenJoe

Mike, it appears that the comparison was made among patients from 1/1/2019--4/15/2020. We* are a lot better at treating ARDS in COVID-19 now than we were early this year. I expect those numbers to change a bunch. Also: by the time you get to a population of very sick people, a great deal of the selection process has already occurred.

*"we"=a bunch of smart people who are not me.

Mike

You've probably heard about contact tracing. That's where workers contact people who are sick and try to figure out who infected them among other things.

Oregon's tracing numbers changed significantly near the end of October. According to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), on October 28, 35% of cases were deemed sporadic because they could not be traced to a known source. Just six days later that number jumped to 80% of cases that could not be traced to a known source. Because of this increase in sporadic cases, the OHA no longer publishes its weekly "Watch List" of counties that may need additional tracing resources because nearly every Oregon county would now be on that list.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/contact-tracing-picture-grows-fuzzy-as-covid-19-cases-swamp-the-system/ar-BB1aY3Sx

Mike

Help may come on January 20. And eventually, science will stop this plague. But until those things happen, Americans may have to save themselves.

Mike

Small-town hospitals overwhelmed by COVID-19 deaths. Some patients have died waiting for space at big-city hospitals. Six patients died in six days recently; two died within 24 hours last week.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/our-neighbors-our-family-members-small-town-hospitals-overwhelmed-by-covid-19-deaths/ar-BB1b1Fu1

Mike

The Roseburg Veterans Affairs reported 3 new coronavirus cases today, bringing their total cases to 66.

https://www.accesstocare.va.gov/Healthcare/COVID19NationalSummary

CitizenJoe

As a consequence of the rapidly growing pandemic, worldwide, personal protective equipment will soon be in very short supply--worldwide. Trump has not yet invoked the Defense Production Act*, and it seems unlikely that he will. He continues to do nothing significant to defend us against this pandemic.

* well, in truth, he did invoke that act, to assure that meat production could proceed despite that pesky problem of killing the actual workers. He had to keep his supply of "hamberders" intact.

Mike

Oregon fails to test enough residents for coronavirus as need hits all-time high. The number of Oregonians tested for coronavirus has barely budged amid a record-setting wave of infections, with health care systems and state officials failing to deliver at the time of greatest need.

https://www.oregonlive.com/coronavirus/2020/11/oregon-fails-to-test-enough-residents-for-covid-19-as-need-hits-all-time-high.html

Mike

Previous coronavirus outbreaks at two Douglas County senior assisted living facilities appear to be worsening and a third has been added to the list. The Oregon Health Authority reported (below link) last Sunday Timber Town Living in Sutherlin has 7 coronavirus cases and 2 deaths and Umpqua Valley Nursing Center in Roseburg is now up to 13 coronavirus cases. The new outbreak is at Curry Manor Memory Care which reported last Sunday to have 3 new cases.

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Emerging%20Respitory%20Infections/COVID-19-Weekly-Report-2020-11-12-FINAL.pdf

Mike

Covid-19 Hits Rural Nursing Homes. Nursing homes reported more than 1,900 resident deaths from Covid-19 in the last week of October, as well as more than 32,000 confirmed and suspected cases among staff and residents, according to newly released federal data analyzed by The Wall Street Journal. Facilities in rural counties reported 18% of nursing-home Covid-19 deaths in the week ending Nov. 1, though they housed only 10% of the overall population.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/covid-19-hits-rural-nursing-homes/ar-BB1b23gy?li=BBnb7Kz

Mike

Mercy Medical Center’s SECOND workplace outbreak among its staff and employees continues to expand since first reported by the News-Review four weeks ago. Mercy is now up to a total of 35 cases for the two outbreaks, which are ten more cases than was reported the previous week by the Oregon Health Authority (below link). Meanwhile, our County Commissioner’s Coronavirus Response Team’s daily press release failed to notify the public of either outbreak at our local and biggest hospital.

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Emerging%20Respitory%20Infections/COVID-19-Weekly-Report-2020-11-12-FINAL.pdf

Likewise, Mercy Medical Center’s Facebook page (below link) does not mention their workplace outbreaks. It does however mention how to make a sweet potato pie.

https://www.facebook.com/mercymedicalroseburg/

Mike

10 new coronavirus cases were reported today by our County Commissioners Coronavirus Response Team, increasing Douglas County’s totals to 623 cases and 10 deaths.

The Commissioner’s Response Team reported 236 coronavirus cases and received 1,602 test results over the past two weeks in Douglas County. Dividing 236 cases by 1,602 test results gives Douglas County a RECORD 14-day positive test rate of 14.7% today. The school re-opening metric is a maximum of 5.0%.

The 236 coronavirus cases over the past two weeks represent a RECORD HIGH 14-day case rate of 212.7 today for Douglas County. The school re-opening metric is a maximum of 50.

The six counties surrounding Douglas County reported 117 new coronavirus cases today. The six counties surrounding Douglas County reported 1,193 cases and a RECORD tying 8 deaths over the past week.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 862 new coronavirus cases and 2 deaths today in Oregon. The 7-day positive test rate for Oregon is 13.3% today. Douglas County’s 7-day positive test rate is 14.4% today.

Mike

The Oregon Health Authority reported coronavirus cases for each Douglas County zip codes as of a week ago on November 8 (below link):

97417: 9

97435: 9

97442: 9

97443: 11

97457: 61

97462: 18

97467: 12

97469: 9

97470: 104

97471: 122

97479: 80

97495: 9

97496: 23

97499: 9

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Emerging%20Respitory%20Infections/COVID-19-Weekly-Report-2020-11-12-FINAL.pdf

mworden

I've spent the past couple days talking with friends and relatives about the idea that missing a traditional Thanksgiving is a pain in the rear, but not a catastrophe. The catastrophe is what happens to our elders and our economy if we defiantly demand to go on as usual. "But I want to hug my grandkids ...." Deep sigh. Of course you do. And that's why it's important to stay healthy during this difficult time.

Our grandparents fought in WWII. They sacrificed for years. I don't understand why the people who claim to be the biggest patriots now are the least willing to sacrifice to save lives, keep our hospitals functional and save the economy. Is Mom's special dressing and sweet potato casserole worth all the defiance and anger?

sectorstar

People have already started to act like morons again since Brown's announcement. Despite the fact that the pause doesn't start till weds. Fri after the announcement where I work at Costco we had got a truck of a 1000 units of toilet paper. Normally that would last us for a few days, and I'd say it had gotten a lot better since march. Last I read we were about at 85 percent back to our number before the virus. By the end of the night when we closed friday we had sold 823 units of that 1000 units of toilet paper, even with a limit of 1. Yesterday we had less than 200 and it was gone by mid afternoon. People ask when we're getting more? Honestly can't say because what we had was supposed to have lasted a few days. There is not another "shortage" like some people thought and never was, the problem is stores simply aren't meant for everyone in town to shop and buy things in one day like that. Not even weds yet and this is just a taste of what I'll have to deal with soon.

On Fri I caught probably atleast 30 people trying to put like 5 things of toilet paper in their cart despite the limit 1. Some tried to tell me things like "Oh, theres a limit again? I thought you stopped" We haven't stopped since march and as long as people continue to act this way it'll probably have a limit forever at this rate. Also on the sign the limit 1 part is highlighted in BRIGHT neon highlighter. Several people also tried to claim there wasn't a part where it was highlighted or said they "didn't see it". If their vision is indeed that bad I'd be terrified to be next to these people on the road.

melrosereader

We are where we are because too many people are too selfish to observe modest safety measures. Now all of us have to suffer.

This is just like they are little kids.

CitizenJoe

melrosereader: that is unfair to little kids. Most of them learn to share, as toddlers. Not all toddlers, of course.....

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3359011/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3359011/

Mike

First, Commissioner Freeman brags in the article that Douglas County was one of the few areas in the state where schools were able to open to in-person learning. This was followed by, Douglas County Public Health Officer Dr. Dannenhoffer saying that about half of the 700 people quarantining in the county on Tuesday were doing so because of COVID-19 cases in schools, causing many County schools to go back to distance learning.

If coronavirus cases in Douglas County are skyrocketing and the County’s Public Health Officer attributes half of those cases to be caused by school re-openings, why, other than for political reasons, would Commissioner Freeman brag about re-opening schools, something that contributed so significantly to the increased cases? That’s like bragging about Douglas County having the most refrigerated trucks to back up the morgue.

Mike

According to the article, “The county has consistently had low case numbers when compared with state or national data, but the rapidly increasing numbers have local officials worried.

The reason for that is because most cases go untested. Douglas County is the 5th lowest per capita testing county in Oregon and Oregon is by far the lowest per capita testing state in the U.S.

Douglas County does NOT follow CDC guidelines for testing and tracing. CDC recommends BOTH testing and isolating close contacts of people who have tested positive for the virus to trace the virus to its source. Douglas County isolates close contacts, but Douglas County does NOT test close contacts, so the tracing stops there. If CDC guidance was followed and a close contact was tested and found to be positive, the tracing of that close contact would continue to their close contacts and so on until the source was identified. But that doesn’t happen in Douglas County like most other places in the U.S. that follow CDC guidelines. Therefore the source of the first positive case is seldom identified and is continues to infect others in the community.

Annie

Mike, you are wrong. We strongly encourage close contacts to be tested, even when the CDC was "confused" on this issue. Indeed, many of our drive through tests are for contacts. You also point out absolute testing numbers- far more important is the positivity rate, which until this surge was very low in Douglas County. And our sporadic case rate has been very low, a measure that we DO find cases early. Happy to discuss this.

Mike

Annie,

If I am wrong, then why:

1. Does the Douglas County Public Health Network website only say “quarantine is recommended for contacts of confirmed or presumptive cases?” Testing is not recommended.

2. Has the number of people in isolation and quarantine increased 500% over the past month but the number of total test results has barely gone up 15%? If all those 700 people being supported in isolation and quarantine were being tested as you claim, shouldn’t the testing numbers have gone up significantly?

3. In an August 27 News-Review article did Douglas County Public Health Officer Dr. Dannenhoffer brag about how DPHN only quarantines people in direct contact with coronavirus cases but doesn’t test them.

http://www.nrtoday.com/news/health/coronavirus/cdc-change-on-covid-19-testing-follows-oregon-guidance/article_3eb514ac-5abe-5b31-b323-5edff941c88d.html

Furthermore, according to the Oregon Health Authority’s “Watch List,” the number of Douglas County sporadic cases has more often than not exceeded 20% over the past four months and is often over 30%. I don’t call that “very low” and neither does the OHA. If true you “DO find cases early,” how many sporadic cases have there been this past week that we should worry about?

Regarding positivity rate, Douglas County’s 7-day positivity rate has hovered over 4% since the beginning of October. So YOU knew there were lots of coronavirus cases out there that had NOT been identified by testing. Yet the average number of test results from July through October actually went down, from 94 tests per day in July to 92 tests per day in October. Douglas County’s average 7-day positivity rate has gone from 2.3% in September to 4.3% in October to 12.3% in November. That’s a 500% increase in positivity over three months. Meanwhile Douglas County averaged 91 total tests per day in September, 92 tests per day in October and 117 tests per day in November, a 28% increase. And the average number of negative tests per day has actually gone down. How do you explain that if you are testing the direct contacts?

mworden

Mike, Dr. D talks about testing contacts in last Fridays FB talk. It's still up. I watched it yesterday. It may answer some questions.

Mike

I watched the video (below link) and it indeed did verify DPHN does not test direct contacts. Dr. Dannenhoffer said DPHN "offered" testing to close contacts who "wanted it...but most people don't take us up on it…we’re not big on asymptomatic testing”

Dr. Dannenhoffer was clear. DPHN does not test people who are asymptomatic, even if they are close and direct contacts of someone who tests positive for coronavirus, which is contrary to CDC guidance.

And this was 3 minutes after Dr. Dannenhoffer stated in the video that people are MOST contagious one to three days before showing symptoms.

http://www.nrtoday.com/news/health/coronavirus/douglas-county-officials-stay-home-save-lives/article_3de0387c-31e7-5473-8d2d-12cb414ac181.html#comments

Annie

Please point out where we say that testing for close contacts is not recommended. I think our graphic very specifically suggests testing of contacts.

Our testing at the fairgrounds is open ended. We cannot make people get tested.

You misread the August article. I said that asymptomatic testing of those who are not contacts is not recommended. That is still correct. We do recommend testing of close contacts.

This, week, there has been an explosion of cases, mostly related to small gatherings. Testing would not have changed that.

Mike

And I argue the reason Douglas County has recently had an explosion of cases is because DPHN did NOT follow CDC guidance in the past and test close contacts of people who have tested positive. Failing to do so eliminated the chance of finding other positive cases that could be traced to even more people who were outside your isolation/quarantine circle and are likely the cause of the recent explosion of new cases. There is a reason the CDC makes the recommendation to test close contacts. You don't get to be like Dr. Scott Atlas who ignores CDC guidance and then claim it was the exploding cases that were at fault in your faulty strategy. And if you are truly Dr. Dannenhoffer, why do you use a fictitious name?

Mike

If you strongly encourage testing of close contacts as you claim, why doesn't it say that on your daily press releases? You never answered that question.

Annie

I will make it abundantly clear tonight on Facebook.

I'm Here to Fact-check Mike

Mike loves to claim DPHN doesn't recommend testing for close contacts. I've called him out on this before, yet he continues to spew BS and double down on his proven lies. Keep up the good fight, Annie. Mike's rants are dangerous to our community. He's gone as far as accusing COVID-19 patients of willfully spreading the virus across the community. The pandemic by itself poses a significant threat to the people of Douglas County. Mike's false narratives only put our community at greater risk.

Mike

Yeah, you've called me out, but you've NEVER proven me wrong. Look at EVERY daily press release from Dr. Dannenhoffer and the Commissioners. Each one clearly says, "quarantine is recommended for contacts of confirmed or presumptive cases,” period. They DON'T say "TESTING and quarantine is recommended for contacts of confirmed or presumptive cases." If Dr. Dannenhoffer truly recommends testing for contacts, why doesn't he put that in his daily press release and why did he brag about NOT recommending testing for direct contacts in August?

I'm Here to Fact-check Mike

Mike, I encourage you to watch today's (Tuesday, Nov. 17) Facebook live with Dr. Dannenhoffer. You got a special call out! Congrats! Looks like you'll have to pick something else to BS about as your assertion regarding DPHN not recommending testing of asymptomatic contacts was proven -- wait for it -- untrue! Is that enough proof for you? Have you apologized yet to the Sutherlin family whose young daughter was diagnosed with COVID-19 for publicly and unfairly vilifying them?

Tdmartin7

I have heard the death count from covid is inflated because of the way data is collected. For example, I have heard if you tested positive for covid-19 and you die of a heart attack it is added to the covid death list. Or if you die in a car crash or fall off your roof, etc. Anyone know if this is true?

CitizenJoe

Tdmartin: it's complicated. What we do know is that infection with the coronavirus makes you more likely to die sooner, whether of lung, heart, brain, kidney, or other (or all) infection, and of thrombosis caused by the virus. Assigning a singular cause of death is often intellectually dishonest even in the absence of a pandemic; I know, because I practiced pathology for many years. A common sort of situation would involve, say, a long-term smoker with coronary artery disease, emphysema, and lung cancer---all diseases due to the smoking; and this patient dies with pneumonia, heart failure and widespread metastatic disease; how to code the death?

In the case of COVID-19, we do know that all-cause mortality adds about 30+ % over the cases that are coded to the disease itself. It is likely that, with about 250,000 deaths currently attributed to the disease in the U.S. thus far, the actual number is around 330,000. Overall, the current error is on the downside, so that when you hear that, "the death count from covid is inflated," the precise opposite is true.

CitizenJoe

Headline writer really needed to include: Wear masks! (Properly)

https://images.dailykos.com/images/883689/large/CarolineBrehmanRFS.jpg?1605454200

Marine Vet

Real Question here in Roseburg & surrounding Douglas County is.? Are the Church's going to Stop gathering & Or Start wearing Masks.? 03/2020 The Word Super Spreader Event 1st came to National Attention with what.? Church's Mass gatherings No Masks. From the Very Start America was Doomed by Willful Ignorance. Now what 7 8 Months later You ask people to do what was Known from the start.? I have Watched people in this County Thumb their Noses at Almost every chance they could.

melrosereader

Thank you for this report. Well done.

CitizenJoe

Thank you, Carisa!

Thank you, News-Review.

I hope this article gets many thousands of eyeballs in the county. It is a call-to-action with just the right balance of human interest and anecdote, mixed with science-based recommendations. And it avoids (I hope!) triggering political reactionaries.

This nation and much of the world are headed into a very nasty couple of months. Action now will save lives a month from now, six weeks from now, but the deaths and disease coming up in the next few weeks are, tragically, already baked-in.

Thank you, again.

CitizenJoe

Sanne, thank you, as well. I did not see you on the byline initially.

Sorry.

And here is a nice NYT addition:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/14/opinion/sunday/coronavirus-cases-deaths-winter.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

CitizenJoe

I see that that New York Times article appears in the dead-tree version of the News Review. Thanks.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.