There was a mild decline in positive COVID-19 cases in Douglas County over the weekend, with the county averaging 26 positive and presumptive cases per day from Saturday through Monday.

The Douglas County COVID-19 Recovery Team reported 29 positive and four presumptive cases Saturday, seven positive cases Sunday and 17 positive cases Monday, according to the team’s Monday release.

The three-day average of 19 cases per day was well below the 35-45 cases the county had experienced over the prior reporting week.

Over those three days, no deaths of county residents as a result of the coronavirus were reported.

As of Monday, there were 27 Douglas County residents receiving hospital care due to COVID-19 complications, 15 locally and 12 out of the area. Of those 27, 22 are reportedly not fully vaccinated, meaning those patients have either not completed an initial vaccination sequence or are not 14 days past the last dose of their chosen vaccination.

At CHI Mercy Medical Center, there were two COVID-19 patients being cared for in the intensive care unit and one in the hospital’s progressive care unit. Of all patients being cared for at Mercy, it was estimated that 6% are being treated for COVID-19 symptoms.

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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(20) comments

Mike

4 Covid deaths occurred in Douglas County that went unreported by our County Commissioners press release (below link) issued minutes ago indicating Douglas County has 270 Covid deaths. This is 4 less than was reported in today’s OHA daily report for Douglas County which was issued BEFORE the Commissioner’s press release.

A RECORD 9 deaths were reported in Douglas County by the Oregon Health Authority today, the same day our Commissioners announced the following two changes to their Covid reporting;

1. “Today, Wednesday, November 10, 2021, will be the second and last update for this week, and starting next week our local COVID-19 Updates will be issued on Mondays and Thursdays each week.”

2. “We are going to separate out the newly reported confirmed local COVID-19 related deaths from the delayed and then confirmed COVID-19 related deaths that we receive from these agencies.”

There would be no reason for our County Commissioners to change the way they have been reporting deaths unless they knew there is a backlog of many unreported Douglas County deaths soon to be reported, deaths they are trying to distance their selves from. Under the Commissioner’s leadership, Douglas County is quickly becoming the highest per capita county in Oregon for Covid deaths.

Though the County Commissioners will only be reporting cases and deaths twice per week, the Oregon Health Authority will still be reporting Douglas County cases and deaths Monday thru Friday. It will be interesting to see whether the News-Review will start paying attention to the OHA daily reporting.

https://files.constantcontact.com/16459d00701/abec706c-3fa8-4c57-ada1-0ca5e197fe38.pdf

mworden

It's been in the news for more than two weeks. OHA missed reporting 550 statewide deaths. They're slowly correcting the error.

"Oregon's COVID-19 death toll increases by 550 after state reports 'technical error'

Two computer errors caused approximately 550 deaths to be previously unreported, according to the Oregon Health Authority."

https://www.kgw.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/550-unreported-covid-deaths-in-oregon/283-515f981e-d2a7-4a3c-85e1-41a55c059246

Mike

Douglas County Public Health Director Dr. Dannenhoffer said (below link) on Monday that Douglas County only tracks residents who are infected for 10-days. If a resident dies of Covid 11-days after testing positive, Douglas County won’t find out about the death and report it in their press release until notified by the state, sometimes months later. This means the vast majority of known Douglas County Covid deaths don’t get reported in a timely manner.

https://kqennewsradio.com/2021/11/08/inside-douglas-county-11-8-21/

mworden

That does not negate the fact that the state is currently in the process of reporting 550 previously unreported deaths.

You said: "There would be no reason for our County Commissioners to change the way they have been reporting deaths unless they knew there is a backlog of many unreported Douglas County deaths soon to be reported..."

Yes. It's been all over the news for two weeks. The current number of reported deaths does not represent the past two days. There is no secret backlog of deaths being hidden by local officials. The state snafu has been widely reported. The 550 additional deaths are statewide, not just local.

There have been times, including now, when 1/3 or more of our severely ill Douglas County patients are hospitalized out of the area. If they pass, the data goes from the location of their hospitalization to the state to Douglas County. That's how death statistics work. It's how they've always worked. Sometimes things get mucked up or slowed down before being corrected. It's not a conspiracy.

Mike

You’re the ONLY one writing about a conspiracy. According to the reports, all of those 550 deaths occurred between May and August of this year. Need I remind you Douglas County reported more Covid deaths SINCE April 19, 2021, when Covid vaccines were made available to everyone, than ANY other Oregon County, including those with 8 times the population? NO other county has had more Covid deaths than Douglas County since April 19. Given the fact Douglas County Covid deaths constituted a significant portion of all of Oregon’s deaths since April 19, I don’t think it’s a stretch to believe the same fact will apply to the 550 previously unreported Oregon deaths. Time will tell.

If today was the day Oregon slowly began reporting the first of the 550 previously unreported deaths as YOU claim, it doesn’t bode well for Douglas County since 12% of the total deaths reported in Oregon today occurred in Douglas County. 66 more deaths. That’s what 12% of 550 is.

mworden

We had a similar conversation months ago about suicide statistics taking months to be reported and finalized. You thought the stats were final, but you noticed the numbers changed more than six months into the following year. I said that's how it always works. Stats don't flow instantaneously. You didn't like it.

Just like the suicide stats, the covid stats don't seem to be reported in a manner you like. But that's the way death stats go. It's not unusual. The covid deaths will be reported. The commissioners can't distance themselves from it.

I have no love for the commissioners. I'm particularly annoyed at Tim Freeman since he showed up at the school board meeting along with Dallas Heard. I considered that a two-faced approach to our county's covid crisis. To me, it was a low move. I felt disgust. Still, I can't rationally say I find anything about their reporting on covid cases and death suspect. Is it 100% timely? Nope. Is it the way death stats usually work? Yep The final figures will arrive and they can't hide from how terrible it's been. It's been dire. And with our low vaccination rate it can become dire again.

There are no victories here.

Mike

Don't tell me what I like and don't like because you don't have a clue what you are talking about.

Mike

And by the way, 12% of all Oregon deaths reported today were in Douglas County. I guess that "technical error" you claim only applies to Douglas County with its 2.5% of the population.

mworden

The deaths reported today in Douglas County happened between August 23 and October 27.

It's the state that claimed technical error regarding 550 deaths. They reported it to the media and counties. They are correcting it now. It is not hidden or a secret or evidence of shenanigans. I've known about it since October 21.

Mike

According to the state, the 550 previously unreported deaths occurred between May and August 2021. How do YOU know some of the Covid deaths currently being reported are some of those 550 deaths YOU brought up? When did the state start adding it back in? Point me to the link.

Mike

9 Covid Deaths and 49 new cases were reported (below link) in Douglas County today by the Oregon Health Authority, bringing Douglas County’s total to 274 deaths.

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/covid19/Documents/DataReports/Oregon%20-COVID-19-Update-11-10-2021-FINAL.pdf

Mike

That makes it 11 Covid deaths in the last two days in Douglas County. Chances are it will be even higher once the Commissioners press release comes out today.

CitizenJoe

Mike: well, that's discouraging! I also note in your link that we have a >10% positivity rate, which means were are not doing sufficient testing. Thanks.

mworden

Some of those deaths did not occur in the last two days. The state announced a while back that they had suffered two "technical glitches" and 550 deaths had not been reported. They are slowly correcting those errors and that's increasing the daily and weekly death toll. It's not representative of what's happening in Douglas County right now.

But too many people are still unvacccinated and getting sick. That is representative of what's happening here right now.

There are reports that cases are increasing in the north and in mountain states. It will not be surprising if we see increases here. Great Britain in currently experiencing a surge and the U.S. usually follows Britain by about six weeks.

With our low vaccination rate here in Douglas County, the holiday season does not bode well for us. People still have time to get vaccinated before Christmas.

I want to make it clear that I am not faulting public health efforts here for our low vaccination rate. It is political. Red counties have lower vaccination rates. Blue counties have significantly higher vaccination rates. Can't get any more political than that.

Mike

Douglas County Public Health Director Dr. Dannenhoffer said (below link) on Monday that Douglas County only tracks residents who are infected for 10-days. If a resident dies of Covid 11-days after testing positive, Douglas County won’t find out about the death and report it in their press release until notified by the state, sometimes months later. This means the vast majority of known Douglas County Covid deaths don’t get reported in a timely manner.

https://kqennewsradio.com/2021/11/08/inside-douglas-county-11-8-21/

Mike

Though having has an underfunded health care system, Puerto Rico now has over 74% of their island's 3.2 million people fully vaccinated -- well above the US total of 58% and Douglas County’s 49.5%

So how is the US territory leading the rest of the US in Covid vaccinations? Experts credit the surprising success to a public health response untainted by political polarization seen on the mainland.

As a result of the high vaccine uptake, Puerto Rico is crushing its coronavirus curve, with daily cases currently running at 3 per 100,000 people and deaths at 0.1 per 100,000. Comparatively, Douglas County is 10 times higher, running at 27 daily cases per 100,000 people and 1 death per 100,000 people.

The Covid situation in Puerto Rico is the complete opposite of what was expected at the start of the pandemic, when the odds seemed stacked against the Caribbean archipelago. Puerto Rico's poverty rate is 43 percent, more than double that of Mississippi, the poorest US state. Its government is facing an ongoing financial crisis that skyrocketed debt in 2017 when Hurricane Maria ravaged the island, leaving nearly 3,000 dead. After that, an earthquake destroyed nearly 8,000 homes in January 2020.

Puerto Rico’s disasters appear to have created a critical wave of unity. Their people have responded to the challenge. They are doing their part. Contrast that with Douglas County where its unity response after experiencing multiple tragedies has been exactly the opposite. After a mass shooting at its Community College and multiple forest fires that left many of its residents homeless, political leaders in Douglas County have instead unified residents AGAINST Covid restrictions, to NOT do their part.

Unlike what has happened in much of the United States and Douglas County, Puerto Rico has not politicized the response to the pandemic. The United States’ political acrimony to Covid does not exist in Puerto Rico, whose success has been a combination of science and solidarity. Puerto Rico’s response to imposed restrictions was largely favorable. Nothing like the nastiness we’ve seen here in Douglas County.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/science-and-solidarity-why-puerto-rico-leads-us-in-covid-vaccinations/ar-AAQw0aP

Mike

Regarding late reported deaths in Douglas County, Douglas County Public Health Director Dr. Dannenhoffer stated during a radio interview (below link) yesterday that DPHN only tracks people through the first 10 days of their infection and relies on the State to identify Covid deaths that occur 10 days after they test positive. Douglas County residents who have died of Covid have averaged 17 days after they tested positive. 95 of Douglas County’s 265 Covid deaths died 10 days or less after testing positive.

https://kqennewsradio.com/2021/11/08/inside-douglas-county-11-8-21/

Mike

Contrary to the News-Review headline, 42 new Covid cases and 2 more DEATHS were reported today by the Oregon Health Authority (below link), bringing Douglas County total Covid Deaths to 265.

Historically, 2.1% of Douglas County Covid cases result in death. That means one of the cases reported today will ultimately die.

"Do you feel lucky." That's what anyone at this point who is unvaccinated should be asking their selves. Even if the trend is going down, it's just a matter of time before Covid seeks you out and you have the opportunity to roll the delta dice.

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/covid19/Documents/DataReports/Oregon%20-COVID-19-Update-11-09-2021-FINAL.pdf

dejadoodoo

Our turn to visit Eugene today. Major stops were Hobby Lobby, Trader Joes, Winco and Newnan's Fish (why can't someone with a deep fryer offer three pieces of cod and fries for $9 here in Roseburg?). Anyway, all those places, and we noted only two people not wearing a mask -- you guessed it...two women from Roseburg at Hobby Lobby grousing about how messed up Eugene people are!

CitizenJoe

Good news. This trend is our friend. We'll no doubt see more deaths and disability from the virus, and occasional recrudescence of infection rates; it's not time to let up on vaccination efforts and other measures: keep that R0 low! The other good news is on the therapeutics front, with Pfizer's ritonavir reducing risk of hospitalization or death by 89% compared to placebo in non-hospitalized patients.

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