Eighty-nine Douglas County residents are currently hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19, and four more residents died Wednesday and Thursday.

The Douglas County COVID-19 Recovery Team reported 144 new positive and presumptive cases of the coronavirus Thursday and 195 Friday. Of the 89 hospitalized, 81 reportedly have not been vaccinated.

CHI Mercy Medical Center, already at near capacity with its 16 available intensive care unit beds, has converted an additional 20 primary care beds to serve as part of the hospital’s ICU.

As of Friday, 11 patients were in the ICU, 10 patients were on ventilators, and 19 required the use of a bi-level positive airway pressure — or BiPap — machine. The recovery team said that as of Thursday, 63% of all patients at the hospital are receiving care for COVID-19 as the hospital is at 87% capacity.

Four more county residents have died this week, including a fully vaccinated 43-year-old man who tested positive for the coronavirus Aug. 8 and died Thursday. A 66-year-old man died Wednesday, and a 50-year-old man and 81-year-old man died Thursday. Neither of those three had been vaccinated.

The recovery team got a behind-the-scenes look inside the hospital and said that while most staff in the ICU and PCU — who normally work three 12-hour shifts per week — have been working five or six 12-hour shifts per week. While the ICU historically would have between six and nine patients at a time for one or two days of care, that number has skyrocketed to 30-35 patients requiring care for two weeks or longer.

“They normally don’t place ICU patients in the PCU wing, but the Mercy maintenance team have worked continuously to retrofit rooms with negative isolation units, breathing machines and glass windows in order to expand the wing to provide lifesaving care to more and more patients,” county spokesperson Tamara Howell wrote in Friday’s report. “They have definitely learned to be adaptable in an unimaginable situation.”

When Howell asked Critical Care Director Allison Williams what she would ask for if granted one wish, Williams replied, “Fifty critical care nurses to walk through that door.

“But, more than anything, I want people to know that COVID is real,” Williams added. “People are dying, our hospitals ARE really full, critical care beds are extremely hard to open up, and the current COVID survival rates in ICUs are not good.”

Vaccinations are available throughout Douglas County. To find the nearest place to begin or complete a vaccination sequence, contact the county’s COVID-19 hotline at 541-440-6550. Coastal residents can call the Lower Umpqua Hospital District’s COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center at 541-271-2175. The Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians is available at 541-672-9405. Aviva Health can be reached at 541-672-9596.

Donovan Brink can be reached at dbrink@nrtoday.com and 541-957-4219.

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Cops and Courts Reporter

Donovan Brink is the cops and courts reporter for The News-Review.

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(23) comments


No vaccine how about no ICU bed. When I saw on the news a young child from the Medford area had to go up to Portland for Cancer treatment because of the rampart Covid spread and lack of facilities/staff it made me sick. Most of the beds are being occupied by the unvaccinated and I think that “sucks”.

Marine Vet

After the Sherriff's comments about the Mask Policy.My Wife & I CANCELED our Buying of a New Car in this town. We will Travel out of Douglas County now to make any Meaningful purchases. My Money Spends anywhere in America. I NO LONGER WILL SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESS'S that Don't RESPECT ME AS A HUMAN.


I see where 10% or more of the deaths are coming from fully vaccinated people - there must be some other underlying conditions here. Also, how many of these people in the hospital have also been vaccinated? Doesn't make sense any more.



You write: "Doesn't make sense any more."

It makes sense; the numbers and statistics are widely available. I've made multiple comments on these pages, and written a letter to the editor, outlining a simple use of statistics based on then-currently hospitalized patients in Douglas County, showing that the vaccine is about 90% affective against hospitalization. Statewide and nationally, the vaccines are about 90% effective against both hospitalization and death.

It makes perfect sense, actually.

Other commenters here have already directed you to those comments and the letter.

May I ask: Do you really wish to understand?




Oh, Wretched. Makes perfect sense. All that you have to do is want to understand it.


At the end of the day, all of you anti-mask, anti-vax people are just a bunch of selfish ninnies.


melrosereader: "At the end of the day, all of you anti-mask, anti-vax people are just a bunch of selfish ninnies."

in fairness, at dawn*, as well.

*will not, will not, must not make reference to Delta Dawn....

oh, heck:


All those anti-vaxx, anti-mask, pro-virus idjits. I gotta hope that science and math finally dawn on them. Or mansions in the sky.

Huge bbfan

Which doesn't explain why most healthcare people remain unvaccinated.


Maybe it does.


Actually it does. With the rare exceptions of those who, for medical reasons, cannot take the vaccine.


Huge bbfan: you have made that false claim on these pages before. It is an utter lie.


Huge bbfan: you made that false claim almost precisely a week ago. Here was my response at the time; and the numbers of vaccinated health care workers has only increased since then. It was a lie when you said it a week ago, and it's a bigger lie today. But you do you.

CitizenJoe Aug 22, 2021 1:22pm

Huge bbfan: you assert that "most healthcare people aren't vaccinated."

Can you cite your source?

It appears that as of about two months ago (references 1-4), "Vaccination rates vary greatly, with 96% of physicians but 55% of nursing home staff, fewer than 50% of nurses, and just 26% of home health aides being fully vaccinated."

Now that's from two months ago--or even longer. The numbers are higher today, but we won't know today's precise number for another few months.

In any event, you think if 96% of docs were vaxxed already, back in June, maybe they might be smarter than deniers? And-maybe, just maybe, the docs know more than the home health aides?--Or are they all part of the cabal?

Also, as of June, around 86% of teachers were vaxxed. Today, it is higher.





70% of all Oregon Healthcare workers were vaccinated by July 3. However, vaccination rates for health care workers vary wildly by region, ranging from a low of 46% in Harney County to a high of 86% in Washington County. 59% of Douglas County total healthcare workers have been vaccinated on August 15 according to the OHA.



[thumbup] Although I have another word in mind instead of "ninnies."


The Oregon Health Authority (below link) reported a NEW RECORD 3,191 new coronavirus cases and 20 deaths today in Oregon. Oregon’s 7-day positive test rate is an all-time RECORD 9.9% today. Douglas County’s positive test rate is three times higher at 28.5%

There are currently a RECORD 1,113 Oregonians hospitalized with Covid, a RECORD 312 in ICU and a RECORD 184 Oregonians on ventilators.

The Oregon Health Authority also tracks hospital statistics for seven different regions in Oregon. Region 3 consists of Douglas, Coos, Curry and Lane Counties. 245 coronavirus cases are hospitalized in Region 3 today. 63 are in ICU and 38 are on ventilators in Region 3. 59 new coronavirus cases were reported in Region 3 today.



Correction: 591 new coronavirus cases were reported in Region 3 today, not 59.


I'm starting to see a lot more people between friends and co-workers that I'd consider extreme far right Trump worshipers that were avid covid deniers or didn't take things seriously now seemingly having second thoughts about it. Unfortunately I think at this point its too little too late. One co-worker of mine was praised the commissioners anytime they bashed the governor for something and I doubt wore a mask anywhere besides work recently tested positive. Even after being gone for 2 weeks you could tell he still looked and felt like trash. Dr told him was nearly on the verge of having of pneumonia. Doubt he thinks the same way about covid as he did before.

A former co-worker and his soon to be wife who does work with me recently posted pictures on facebook of a massive bridal shower she had with I'd say about 40 people, covid was clearly of no concern to anyone there from the pics. I believe the wedding was supposed to have transpired early next month. A few days ago he posts on facebook that he regrets to inform everyone that due to multiple people in his family, including his mother testing positive and sick, the wedding is delayed. Gee.....I wonder where they all could have gotten it from?

When the virus first got out of hand around March last year, I'd say we'd only have a couple presumed cases of employees maybe once a month, sometimes longer spans than that. Now just this last month it seems like we can't got more than one week without atleast 2-5 people being out of work presumed positive. Last I heard we had nearly 30 people out of work presumed. I stress the word presumed because where I work they don't require that you actually get tested, and most of them won't due to their strong political beliefs. Sadly as much as I hate to say this, I kind of wonder with over half of them as they are people that even before covid had pretty shotty attendance records and would take any opportunity they could to not work. I figure out who it is thats not at work when theres presumed cases, than look at their social media posts and scratch my head. Someone gets a stuffy nose, "oh I must have covid, 2 week vacation from work for me!!!"


Just got back from shopping on a typically quiet Friday at Costco. Only one cashier was open. I counted 11 customers and 1 employee inside the store without masks or their masks around their necks. The same three maskless people invaded my social distancing space several times. Each time I had to back away. Their blatant disregard for the safety of my wife and I made me uncomfortable.

Many other shoppers wore their masks below their chin or noses. The majority of customers in the parking lot were maskless with their mask in their hands as they walked to the store and talked in the parking lot. Most didn't put their masks on until just before entering the store.

Costco employees collecting shopping carts were all maskless in the parking lot. No wonder Costco had so many cases on the OHA Outbreak Report. Horrible that Costco cares so little for the health and safety of its customers.


Supposedly on Monday we're going back to the strict everyone has a mask on period or you can't shop in the store. I never really got a clear answer as to why we're not strictly enforcing it now. One manager said it was because the county wasn't enforcing it, but they didn't really seem to understand that, or if that was even the real reason. As for the maskless cart pushers, per corporate policy, apparently as long as your not around people when pushing carts thats allowed to pull your mask down. Which I guess makes sense in a way because depending on what part of the parking lot your in, your not really near other people, but I can see both sides of the coin. Honestly though I don't think many of the presumed employees are getting it from other employees or shoppers in the store. As I said previously, most of them are very far right, and if you look at their social media pages and see what they're doing outside of work......well its like how did they not get it already.


Same thing, Wednesday night I was shopping about 7pm. I wasn't paying attention but finally it dawned on me all these mask less shoppers, No mask anywhere on them. I used self chek. A mask less woman with a 65" tv was also checking out. I asked the employee, Michael, "is Costco not enforcing the mask mandate?" He literally laughed in my face when he said "no we aren't and I don't think our sheriff is either". I hold costco to a higher standard as they have better quality and customer service. SHAME ON YOU ROSEBURG COSTCO, PEOLE ARE DYING OR FIGHTING FOR THERE LIVES OR A MINIMUM MISSING WEEKS OF WORK WITH AN EMPLOYEE SHORTAGE!


papasteve and sectorstar,

The Douglas County Sheriff has never at any time during the pandemic enforced mask-mandates or any other type of restrictions.

In the past, Costco enforced mask-wearing unevenly until an order came down from corporate headquarters. Customer complaints had a lot to do with that.

You can live chat with Costco corporate customer service through this link:



Tried without success, but got the following message from Costco:

"We're experiencing higher than normal hold times and apologize for the inconvenience. Please review our Customer Service featured articles and self-service options which may be helpful. Thank you for your patience and understanding."


Douglas County has had a total of 127 Covid Deaths, 43 of which happened since the Governor gave Covid restriction control to our County Commissioners on July 1. 38 of the deaths occurred in August alone, BY FAR Douglas County’s worst month for deaths.

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