COVID-19 update graphic

Three more Douglas County residents have died of COVID-19, raising the county’s death toll to 15.

The Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team reported the deaths on Thursday, along with 27 new cases.

One was a 76-year-old man who was diagnosed on Oct. 29 and admitted to the hospital Nov. 14.

One was an 83-year-old man who was diagnosed Nov. 3 and admitted to the hospital on Nov. 8.

One was an 82-year-old man who was diagnosed Nov. 9 and admitted to the hospital on Nov.13.

No additional information is being released about the people who died.

“With the passing of not one, but three residents in the last 24 hours to this relentless virus, we are reminded how precious each and every life is, and just how quickly and unapologetically this virus can take lives away from us,” Commissioner Tim Freeman said in a press release.

He urged people to take precautions.

“Please take a moment and think about how you would feel if someone got you sick, or if they got sick because of you, or if you unintentionally spread the virus to your family, coworkers or loved ones. The virus is no longer illusive in Douglas County, it is here and spreading quickly,” he said.

Hours after this announcement came another in which the three county commissioners said they “have concerns” about Gov. Kate Brown’s two-week freeze.

The governor has said the freeze is intended to slow the exponential growth of the illness reflected in the growing case numbers and deaths, and to avoid hospitals now nearing capacity from running out of room for COVID-19 patients.

The commissioners acknowledged the threat the virus poses.

“The virus is real, it is not the flu, people are dying in Douglas County, and our hospital is on the verge of being overwhelmed,” they said.

But they said they do not support county enforcement of state-issued COVID-19 guidelines.

“We feel that most people will do the right thing, if given the opportunity and knowledge to do so. We cannot in good conscience condone citing or potentially arresting people for gathering with family to give thanks on Thanksgiving or for attending Church services,” the commissioners wrote.

They said businesses are closing, families are suffering and children are struggling because they need to be back in school.

“We fear that with this new shutdown and the coming metrics to follow, that those unintended consequences will continue to rise. Our communities can’t bear much more,” they wrote.

As of Thursday, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the county since the pandemic’s beginning stood at 728.

There are 14 county residents currently hospitalized with the illness, 12 locally and 2 out of the area.

The Douglas Public Health Network is supporting 226 cases in isolation as well as another 467 people who’ve had close contact with an infected person for a total of 693 people.

Statewide, the Oregon Health Authority reported 20 new deaths on Thursday and 1,225 new cases.

That brings the statewide death toll to 808, and the total number of cases since the pandemic’s beginning to 60,873.

Lane County had 130 of the new cases, and the youngest of the new deaths was a 30-year-old man in Lane County.

A 40-year-old Malheur County man died of the illness at West Valley Medical Center in Idaho.

The others included in Thursday’s Oregon deaths ranged in age from 49 to 95. Most were from Jackson and Multnomah Counties.

Half of the new deaths are known to have had underlying conditions, and the presence of underlying conditions in the other half are being confirmed.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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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

(14) comments

Patriciaclair

We the people have some power. When these men are up for reelection next time, we can vote them out. Remember - Chris Boice, Tim Freeman and Tom Kress - VOTE THEM OUT! Their stance is appalling.

Melly

I can't help but note the irony when our county sheriff will begin a campaign to enforce seat belt rules but decline to enforce the recent COVID 19 rules, both are public safety measures and both rely on taking personal responsibility for the public good.

Mike

The vast majority of laws, texting while driving, crosswalks, etc. are public safety laws. The ONLY difference this time is its POLITICAL. Our Sheriff is placing his personal politics above the public's safety.

Citizen495

[thumbup]

Mike

[thumbup]

S

THREE MORE DEAD . . . and the THREE STOOGES OF THE COURTHOUSE are whining about the Governor's move to keep their constituents safe, seriously who is actually surprised?

Mike

This link takes you to the press release.

https://www.co.douglas.or.us/media_room/2020/11_november/11-19-20%20Douglas%20County%20Commissioners%20Issue%20Statement%20About%20Two%20Week%20Pause.pdf

mworden

So let me get this straight -- life is precious, but not precious enough to break the lockstep pretense that individual responsibility is all we need to get through this.

You go right to the worst case scenario, ie, the prospect arresting people in church or entire families at Thanksgiving dinner. As if there's nothing in between nothing and mass arrests you could do.

You could talk to your supporters about community responsibility, not just individual responsibility. You could tell them that missing grandma's Thanksgiving turkey is nothing compared to missing grandma. You could say that keeping schools open and having an education is more important than keeping bars open and having parties. You could. But you won't. You'll keep bashing Kate Brown with your hands on your hearts and you'll send thoughts and prayers and condolences to the bereaved. And 70 percent of Douglas County voters will cheer for you.

So it goes.

P209

[thumbup]

Citizen495

Agree

Mike

There's a reason I'm a cynic. I got tired of disappointment. I've known and worked with people like our Commissioners for a long time. Their ideology is common for politicians and people enthralled with their power. It's stubbornly based entirely on personal gain as opposed to serving the public who elected them. Only the lives of those close to them, in their cliche or campaign contributors have value. Not attributes particularly desirable for a public servant. As I've said before, its been my experience trying to convince them to see the light is a waste of time. But don't let me slow you down.

Good luck pleading with them to change. It's not in their DNA. Especially to change for someone they view as outside their cliche or less than equal. Achieving that change is seldom pretty. You will either have to buy them off or take their power away by making it painful for them. I foresee that slight possibility happening for the whole crew only after many more deaths when a lot more of the public begins questioning their uncaring attitude toward the public's welfare. And I mean slight possibility. People haven't raised up against Trump yet even though his politics will probably kill over 400,000 people.

The vaccine light at the end of the tunnel has strengthened the Commissioners resolve. They only have to continue their charade of caring for those passed away for a another 3 or 4 months and then everything will go back to the way it was, actively campaigning against everything, no matter how rational, democratic.

Just remember, it had to take all three Commissioners to be in it together to make it work, no matter how quiet one of them attempts to portray himself.

mworden

Most cynics were at one time idealists, IMO. I'm more of a pragmatist. That means I seldom feel disappointed when other people, especially politicians, behave in selfish or ridiculous ways and I'm not surprised when they don't change.

I don't expect the commissioners to pay any positive attention to what I have to say. Obviously, I've been critical. But there was something just ridiculous about the approach they took in their press release. Basically, they make the case that it would be wrong for them to arrest people worshiping in church or families gathered for Thanksgiving dinner, so they can't do anything at all except stand with their supporters who disapprove of Kate Brown.

There are a lot of smart people out there who feel what's going on deeply, but they may not have the words to express exactly how messed up and ridiculous the commissioners' press release really is. Maybe a few readers here will think about how silly it is for the commissioners to take such an either/or position. Either we're raiding churches or we're helpless. Either we're busting your family dinners or we're helpless. Either you fall for our ridiculous line of reasoning or .... or what? Or you see through them.

CitizenJoe

I think it's best to be a "possiblist" rather than cynic, pessimist, or Panglossian optimist. On a practical level, a cynic will decline all sorts of opportunities for happiness and prosperity, and a starry-eyed optimist may wind up falling for the scam artist and abuser, over and over.

A "possibilist" will work to suppress this virus with all the tools now available, knowing that the vaccine will be a far more powerful tool--but it is not so powerful that it will raise the dead who were killed by stupidity and cupidity first.

Mike: I think you're actually more of a possibilist, too.

S

No truer words . . . well stated.

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