COVID-19 update graphic

Two more deaths from COVID-19 were reported Wednesday by the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team.

A 64-year-old man who was diagnosed with COVID-19 Nov. 24 and admitted to the hospital Nov. 30 died Tuesday.

A 78-year-old man who was diagnosed Nov. 25 and admitted to the hospital Dec. 6 died Wednesday morning.

No additional information was released.

Their deaths bring the county’s total death toll to 36 since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Every COVID death is one too many to report, and today we mourn the passing of two more Douglas County residents to this terrible disease,” Douglas County Commissioner Tim Freeman said in a press release, and he extended condolences and prayers to their loved ones.

The outbreak at Forest Hill Assisted Living, formerly known as Forest Glen, in Canyonville has continued to grow. It’s now at 65 cases and one person has died, according to the Oregon Health Authority’s weekly outbreak report. Last week the facility had 50 cases.

Curry Manor Memory Care’s outbreak has risen to 60 cases, up from 56 last week. No new deaths were reported this week from that outbreak.

CHI Mercy Medical Center’s workplace outbreak has reached 59 cases, seven more than reported last week.

Umpqua Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center’s outbreak is at 21 cases, one more than reported last week.

New on the list this week is Sherm’s Thunderbird Market in Roseburg, which has an outbreak with seven cases. The first case was on Nov. 14.

Fred Meyer in Roseburg is at seven, one more than last week.

There were no new cases in the Roseburg VA Medical Center’s workplace outbreak.

Five new Douglas County COVID-19 cases were also reported Wednesday.

There are 13 county residents hospitalized with the disease, 12 locally and one out of the area.

And the Douglas Public Health Network reported Wednesday it is now supporting 569 people in quarantine.

Of those, 300 are quarantining because a single person chose to go to work while sick, the response team said. The person later tested positive for COVID-19.

That’s a new record. The previous high for people quarantining from a single contact case was 96, the COVID-19 response team said.

The Douglas Public Health Network is also supporting 159 people with the disease who are in isolation, making the total number currently supported in isolation and quarantine at 718.

Another Facebook Live question and answer session with Douglas County Public Health Officer Bob Dannenhoffer will take place at 4 p.m. Friday on the Douglas Public Health Network Facebook page.

Most weeks, Dannenhoffer offers a Facebook live question and answer session at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and 4 p.m. Fridays.

Questions can be submitted via Facebook during the live shows or ahead of time by emailing facebookquestions@douglaspublichealthnetwork.org

The next drive-thru testing clinic will be held this Friday in Roseburg. Contact a primary care provider for authorization. If you don’t have one, you can call Sutherlin Aviva Health Clinic at 541-459-3788.

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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

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(4) comments

Mike

17 new coronavirus cases and 0 deaths were reported in today’s press release by the County Commissioners Coronavirus Task Force, bringing the county totals to 1,244 cases and 36 deaths. 17 of those deaths occurred over just the past 14 days. Douglas County passed Lincoln County yesterday to become the 11th most deadly county based on per capita deaths out of 36 Oregon Counties.

Meanwhile, our County Commissioners keep issuing press releases patting their collective selves on their backsides for the fine job they are doing responding “nimbly and effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic.” I’m not sure those 36 families who suffered a loss feel the same way about the Commissioners and their downplaying of the pandemic from the very beginning.

Today’s press release from our HYPOCRITE County Commissioners also laid total blame on residents for recent super spreader events where residents participated in weddings, church services and holiday dinners that later led to infections. At no point do our Commissioners accept blame for the own super spreader anti-mask rally led by County Commission Chairman Chris Boice at the County Courthouse.

Mike

According to the article, “the Douglas Public Health Network reported Wednesday it is now supporting 569 people in quarantine. Of those, 300 are quarantining because a single person chose to go to work while sick.”

The DPHN not only endangers everyone because they choose to not identify people who have this life threatening disease, they embolden people to shop, go to work, attend school and do other activities while sick, knowing the DPHN will keep their identity secret. Healthy, restriction abiding people don’t know who to avoid because the DPHN keeps sick people’s identity secret. DPHN claims the sick person’s privacy is more important than everyone else’s health.

If a person is arrested in Douglas County for burglary, his name, mugshot, address and personal history is published on the front page of the News-Review. Because of that publicity, the rest of us know who to avoid. And that is ONLY if he is arrested but NOT convicted of a non-life-threatening crime. Meanwhile, the identity of a person who knowingly violates coronavirus guidelines and potentially infects hundreds with a life-threatening disease is able to keep their identity secret from the public. How does the privacy of one person rank higher than the public’s health? How does this make any sense?

Mike

Sweden's king said in a new address that the country's strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19 has "failed" as the fatality count in the Scandinavian country continues to rise.

Sweden is the last country to support the failed "herd immunity" strategy repeatedly advocated by Mercy Medical Center Director and Evergreen CEO Dr. John Powell in his letters to Oregon's governor and his columns in the News-Review. Dr. Powell wrote that all of the directors at Evergreen Family Medicine, owned by Mercy Medical Center, were in agreement that "herd immunity" through infection is what Douglas County should be striving for, rather than waiting for the vaccine to achieve "herd immunity," regardless of the loss of lives that would result.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/sweden-s-king-on-coronavirus-strategy-we-have-failed/ar-BB1c0xTr

Mike

Mercy Medical Center is the 18th largest of Oregon’s 62 community hospitals located across 36 counties based on available hospital beds. Yet, at 59 cases, Mercy Medical Center has the 4th largest on-going coronavirus outbreak among its employees of all 62 hospitals in Oregon. This is according to Oregon Health Authority’s outbreak report (below link) published today. Though you won't find anything about Mercy's outbreak mentioned on their Facebook page.

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

For those who may not know, Mercy Medical Center, technically a nonprofit hospital, had the 10th highest net income of all 62 hospitals operating in Oregon in year 2017 at $43 million according to the last year published by the Oregon Health Authority. This is approximately double the net income Mercy made in 2011. Salem Health Hospital had the highest net income at $106 million in 2017. Mercy Medical Center’s 14.9% operating margin was the 8th highest of all 62 Oregon hospitals in 2017.

To qualify as a nonprofit hospital, Mercy Medical Center must show on their tax returns they are providing free services to the local community. One way of doing that is for Mercy and other Douglas County nonprofit medical facilities to provide “volunteer” staff to the County Commissioners Coronavirus Task Force which Mercy can then write off on their tax returns at their normal billable rate as “free” services provided to the community. While our Commissioners may claim the majority of the task force are volunteers, that’s not the way Mercy Medical Center’s financial officers look at it.

Also noteworthy, while a large number of Douglas County coronavirus deaths have occurred in nursing homes as indicated by the headline of this article, 18 of Douglas County’s 36 coronavirus deaths occurred at Mercy Medical Center.

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