It’s been a record-breaking week for COVID-19 cases.
Just five days into the week, the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team has reported a record 106 new cases this week. That’s already topped last week’s 78 new cases, which was the former record.
The county reported 19 new cases on Thursday. The response team lists 563 total cases since the pandemic began in March.
“It has been a terrible, terrible, terrible week with COVID. It has been the week with the most cases in the world, most cases in the US, the most cases in Oregon and the most cases in Douglas County,” said Douglas County Public Health Officer Bob Dannenhoffer in a press release.
The Oregon Health Authority reported 5,177 new cases in the week between Nov. 2 and 8. During that time, 212 Oregonians were hospitalized with the disease and 42 died.
Statewide, a daily record of 1,122 new cases were reported Thursday. Most of these were caused by small social gatherings, OHA said.
Four Oregonians have died, raising the death toll to 746.
OHA recommends socializing only with the same six people or only those in your household.
The number of COVID-19 cases at CHI Mercy Medical Center has mushroomed from 15 to 25, pushing the facility back onto the active workplace outbreak list with the most recent case reported Nov. 6, according to the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 Weekly Report released on Thursday.
A Mercy spokesperson referred questions to Douglas County spokesperson Tamara Howell, saying the goal was to have a single source of communication for keeping messages clear and accurate.
Howell said the latest numbers are really all part of the same ongoing outbreak, and she’s not sure why Mercy was removed from the list last week.
However, she said as with many local businesses many of the numbers there don’t reflect actual staff members being infected. The OHA includes contacts of staff members who get sick in its workplace outbreak counts.
A number of local cases have been attributed to businesses when they really started at social events like church gatherings, Halloween parties and poker games and just included staff members of local businesses, Howell said.
Lately, she said, local health officials have begun to see some of these outbreaks attributed to more than one place.
“With the abundance of outbreaks that we are having, what we are seeing is a lot of overlap. One that’s related to this business or this school or this organization they’re all part of the same,” she said.
Sutherlin Bi-Mart also joined the OHA list this week, with six COVID-19 cases since Nov. 4.
OHA reports Clint Newell Auto Group had a sixth case in its workplace outbreak on Nov. 5, up from five last week. As The News-Review reported last week, Clint Newell has disputed the numbers, saying the outbreak attributed to his business didn’t start there.
Active workplace outbreaks with no new cases this week include the Roseburg VA, which still has 13 according to OHA, and Evergreen Family Medicine, still listed at five cases.
Curry Manor Memory Care joined the list this week of assisted living facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks. The facility reported three cases, the first on Nov. 4.
Other local active care facility outbreaks include Umpqua Valley Nursing & Rehabilitation with 13 cases, up one from last week, and Timber Town Living with seven cases, also up one from last week.