COVID-19 update graphic

Douglas County has reached a new milestone.

As of Friday, the county has recorded more than 10,000 COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Douglas County COVID-19 Recovery Team.

One hundred and seventy people were added to the tally Thursday and 105 were added Friday, bringing the total to 10,058.

The virus continues to hammer the area's local hospital, with more than half of the patients at CHI Medical Center having COVID-19. Currently, 93 COVID patients are being hospitalized — 62 locally and 31 that are out of the area, including one that was transferred out of the area for specialized care.

Fifteen patients are on ventilators, 14 are on non-invasive breathing support, 14 are in the intensive care unit, and 15 are in the progressive care unit.

Sadly, four more county residents died.

A 54-year-old woman was diagnosed on Aug. 16 and died Wednesday. A 57-year-old man was diagnosed on Aug. 18 and died Wednesday. A 68-year-old woman was diagnosed on Aug. 28 and died Wednesday. And a 24-year-old woman was diagnosed on Aug. 26 and died Thursday.

None were vaccinated.

"We have seen an unprecedented surge of new 4,726 COVID-19 cases in the county over the last month," said the recovery team's spokesperson Tamara Howell. "It has been both heartbreaking and overwhelming for everyone."

Howell, however, said there was some positive news.

"There is a little bit of good news, as our new case numbers have been slightly trending down over the last three weeks," she said. "However, we still have a lot of hospitalized residents in critical and serious condition in the ICU, on ventilators, BiPaps and ECMO machines. We continue to encourage everyone to do everything you can to stay healthy, stay home if you are sick, minimize contact with those outside your household, wear masks were recommended, wash your hand frequently, take care of your mental health and be kind to others."

Ian Campbell can be reached at ian@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4209. Or follow him on Twitter @MrCampbell17.

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(50) comments

Mike

I suspect tomorrow's News-Review will publish an article claiming Covid cases in Douglas County dropped over the weekend, when in reality it was Covid testing that dropped over the weekend. Less people were tested which explains why less cases were reported. The number of cases is NOT an accurate measure of whether there has been an improvement.

In fact, Douglas County may be worsening because its 7-day positive test rate increased from a recent low of 23% a week ago to a near record 30% over the weekend. What this means is, though less residents were tested for Covid over the weekend, the percentage of those residents who tested positive increased, which is alarming. Both the number of cases AND the positive test rate need to decrease before we can say things are improving.

After initially ramping up testing in response to the increased number of Covid cases, hospitalizations and deaths, it appears Douglas County Covid is now ramping down testing, even though the positive test rate remains very high. Douglas County conducted 314 Covid tests per day over the weekend while averaging 393 tests per day for the past week. This is approximately half the number of daily tests conducted in Douglas County just three weeks ago.

Below is the average number of daily Covid tests conducted in Douglas County for each of the previous 5-weeks.

-----------------------Average

Week-----------------Daily

Ending----------------Tests

9/13/21--------------393

9/6/21----------------569

8/30/21--------------625

8/23/21--------------661

8/16/21--------------440

This should be an issue of concern, especially if testing is intentionally being ramped down to make it appear as if Douglas County’s Covid status is improving, when that may not be the case.

Mike

11 deaths were reported in Douglas County over the weekend by the Oregon Health Authority (below link). More than twice as many deaths as any other County in Oregon. No other county was close. Lane County and Jackson County were the next closest at 5 deaths each.

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/covid19/Documents/DataReports/Oregon-COVID-19-Update-09-13-2021-FINAL.pdf

Mike

Oregon reported 32 Deaths over the weekend. Douglas County, with 2.5% of Oregon's population, had almost 35% of Oregon's Covid deaths over the weekend.

Mike

7 more Covid deaths reported over the weekend. There have been 24 deaths over the past week alone.

Mike

It should take another week or so before we start to see the increased cases and deaths from the Labor Day Super Spreader Holiday.

Mike

“COVID is, by far, the #1 killer of law enforcement officers in 2020 and 2021, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. 154 of 266 "line of duty" deaths listed in 2021 are from Covid. The next highest cause is "gunfire" at 39.

https://www.odmp.org/search/year/2021

mworden

A 15 minute YouTube video with Dr. Dannenhoffer and Dr. Gray from Mercy. It covers number of covid patients, Regeneron (monoclonal antibodies,) false rumors about vaccine side effects, oxygen supply, elective surgery and several other things.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZF4RkIazMU

melrosereader

[thumbup]

Mike

I attended an girls volleyball game yesterday to watch the team our friends' daughter plays on. There were over 100 fans from three different schools in the small indoor venue all sitting next to one another to watch the three teams play. Children, parents, grand parents and great grand parents.

I counted 14 signs on the wall before entering the small gym, all saying "masks are mandatory beyond this point." Saying 5% of the 100+ fans were wearing a mask would be an overestimate. Saying fans were social distancing would be a joke.

Remember the group of women who, over a year ago at the beginning of the pandemic, were sewing cloth masks for emergency responders and healthcare workers. It was interesting observing some of those SAME mask sewing women, whom I know to NOT be vaccinated, some who work for the school district, sitting in the stands maskless in defiance of the posted signs. Before masks were made to be a political issue, these same women proudly wore the masks they sewed.

Mike

Met up with and talked to some friends today, one of which works at a local mill. He told me everyone in his department except him (he's vaccinated) are out with Covid, two are on ventilators. One just returned back to work and had lost 30 lbs after previously having been hospitalized for a month.

Another friend who works in the Public Defenders office where vaccination is mandatory, said over half of the PD's office was diagnosed with Covid recently, all from one meeting attended by most of the staff. It was found later to be 100% delta variant.

Our local bar was closed down for 2-weeks because all of the workers except one contracted Covid and were quarantined.

And yet locals attend girls volleyball games totally unmasked as if nothing is different.

Wretched722

Do any of you really believe that all of those people in the stands (packed to the rafters) at the football games are vaccinated - they were not wearing masks. And, I don't believe they are all going to die.

CitizenJoe

You don't?

CitizenJoe

It was a joke. A macabre, sophomoric joke, since we all die.

mworden

[thumbup]Got the gallows humor immediately, but was too dang grumpy to smile. It was actually a pretty good joke.

mworden

No, not everyone in the stadium will die. But 660,000 Americans have died of covid in the last 18 months. Including a doctor I know, who was strong and healthy. Including 3 people a day in Douglas County, including young-ish people who were perfectly healthy before they caught covid (per Dr. D.)

So, with deep respect and kind thoughts for you, Wretched ... please shut up with your logical fallacies and heartless comments.

More Americans have died of covid in the last 18 months than Americans who died in combat in all wars since WW1. Not every service member who went to war died in combat. Not everyone in the Towers or on the street below died on 9/11. Not everyone in your hypothetical stadium would die.

Are you saying we shouldn't care unless every single last one is wiped out?

Mike

If not for the rest of the public to read, why bother to answer Mrs. Briggs repeated questions clearly aimed at spreading misinformation? She claims to have multiple degrees, yet often asks the same questions over and over again in the comment sections of different articles without bothering to read, or more likely, comprehend the articulate and coherent responses provided to her.

"Wretched" is defined as, "being or appearing mean, miserable, or contemptible." The name Mrs. Briggs picked for herself pretty much tells it all.

mworden

I've said before that my responses to Wretched's comments are aimed at other readers, not her. Maybe she reads the responses, maybe not. It doesn't matter.

When something posted is obviously false, it seems fitting to correct it by providing facts.

Today may be the first time I responded so directly to Wretched, the poster, rather than merely to the contents of her post, There was something especially illogical in her statement today, something I've been hearing other people say. It's such an odd thing for anyone to believe or repeat. CitizenJoe responded with gallows humor -- which was appropriate and funny -- and I couldn't muster up a single smile. Not because of Wretched, but because of ... everything.

Anyway, Mike ... at least someone read my comment and responded. I don't happen to think Wretched is at all wretched. IMO, it's an example of her in-your-face humor. She's enjoying her new name and her little hit and run forays of disinformation.

Today I felt annoyed with that because so many people are dying. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone on that.

Mike

You are not alone.

mworden

Here's another interesting article on covid. It's titled "Roseburg Clinic Spreads Misinformation About Coronavirus." It's from Jefferson Public Radio, a service of Southern Oregon University. It's a written article, not a radio broadcast.

https://www.ijpr.org/health-and-medicine/2021-09-10/roseburg-clinic-spreads-misinformation-about-coronavirus

Mike

The first two paragraphs say it all:

"A major health clinic in Douglas County is promoting misinformation about the coronavirus just as the region is experiencing a massive surge of patients that have filled intensive care units beyond capacity. Doctors with Evergreen Family Medicine in Roseburg use the clinic’s blog to share false or misleading information about herd immunity, vaccines, and face masks. Local hospitals and the county’s public health agency have steered away from criticizing the clinic because it’s a major medical provider in a region that’s desperate for health care."

“Ivermectin is not public health’s battle,” says Douglas County’s public health director Bob Dannenhoffer, noting that Evergreen is one of Roseburg’s main vaccine providers. “What doctors prescribe or what doctors don't prescribe in their office is not the job of public health.”

CitizenJoe

“What doctors prescribe or what doctors don't prescribe in their office is not the job of public health.”

Well, if it's not the job of Public Health, it should be.

Consider the case of the notorious Dr. Allen Thomashefsky, who practiced to the rich, famous, and gullible in California--and in Oregon, as well. His sloppiness (and other failings) resulted in Hepatitis C infections and other problems in his patients. He was shut down by an aggressive public health officer, Dr. Charity Dean. (It's nicely chronicled in Michael Lewis' book, The Premonition.)

She shut down Thomashefsky's office. It was briefly re-opened, but he ultimately surrendered his licenses in California and Oregon.

Dr. Dannenhoffer has done heroic work in a county that is inamicable to public health, both structurally and temperamentally. We need to intelligently restructure our system and assign Dr. Dannenhoffer far greater authority.

mworden

[thumbup]Yep, Joe.

NJ

Good article. Forgive me, I so want to unpack their statements.

“At this time, our physicians and staff are busy delivering care to our community.” Translation: We ignored this deadly pandemic and now our clinics are operating at full capacity, so good on us, right?

“We have found the best way to communicate to our community is through our website.” T: And that's just tough if you can't reach our website. Also, we're not interested in helping the entire community, just our clients.

“Evergreen’s response to this surge and the pandemic in general is broad and complex. The subject does not lend itself to a feature column or 2 minute media spot.” T: Don't publish anything about us again, our motto is no publicity is good publicity since nothing said will change our agenda, our egos wouldn't survive it.

“We will provide some context to everything that our medical professionals are doing to combat this disease in our community.” T: When we get around to it, we'll write you a story about our team of supreme doctors who completed our magic elixir in just over 18 months and expect perhaps by Spring we'll show you that our clients are now completely impervious to all disease. Also, they will smell just like peanut butter.

melrosereader

[thumbup]

CitizenJoe

Meanwhile, Denmark is back to normal--masks mandated in airports, only--otherwise fully funtional: bars, restaurants, schools, concerts, fooootball, etc.

~75% of population vaxxed.

Must be the socialism.

melrosereader

Or the Danes believe in science

CitizenJoe

Nah. Couldn't be that. What's science ever done for us?

https://youtu.be/Qc7HmhrgTuQ

mworden

I found this article from the Oregonian enlightening. It covers information about Dr. Powell and his role in the local medical community. It also discusses Sen. Dallas Heard's influence and comments at the school board meeting.

https://www.oregonlive.com/coronavirus/2021/09/prominent-roseburg-doctor-echoes-skeptics-claims-about-vaccine.html

You can view Dr. Powell's blog at Evergreen.

melrosereader

The article is especially noteworthy in that it quotes several physicians who debunked Dr. Powell's claims. Powell's claims may fly with the local antivaxxers and antimaskers, but they get no traction from Powell's medical peers.

melrosereader

The story in th Oregonian is definitely worth reading. https://www.oregonlive.com/coronavirus/2021/09/prominent-roseburg-doctor-echoes-skeptics-claims-about-vaccine.html

Mike

****Why does the News-Review keep deleting my below comment. I've referenced each quote by the link I provided. I would sure like to know what it is that I am doing wrong. I've asked the N-R editors in an email exactly that and they have not responded.****

A Eugene newspaper published an article (below link) today about the misinformation spread by Mercy Hospital Director and Evergreen CEO Dr. Timothy Powell. Below are some of the quotes from the article:

“Dr. Timothy Powell, CEO of one of the largest medical offices and urgent care centers in the county, issued a stunning manifesto questioning the safety and efficacy of the vaccine -- even as he got the vaccination himself” (without initially mentioning in his blog he was vaccinated).

“Powell, who is also a member of the hospital’s board of directors, wrote on his Evergreen Family Medicine blog that the vaccines are less effective and far more dangerous than health officials are claiming.”

“The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division sanctioned Evergreen last spring after the agency’s investigation confirmed two complaints from employees that the company was not enforcing mask requirements.”

“Powell declined to talk to The Oregonian/OregonLive. Instead, his office issued a statement”

“More recently, Powell wrote that he is licking his wounds after dealing with a band of vocal critics who questioned his position on vaccines. He retreated from some of his earlier statements writing “Covid Vaccines have unquestionably saved lives… and have proven highly effective against severe illness leading to hospitalization or death,” he said. “They are largely safe.”

“David Jaques, a Roseburg real estate salesman and publisher of an alternative, conservative newspaper, The Roseburg Beacon, said Powell’s stake in Evergreen Family Medicine “counts for a lot. I think his is one of the most respected voices in the county,” Jaques said.”

“I see him post these things and I’m like, c’mon man, you’re not helping,” said Nathan Hamm, a Roseburg dentist. “I just think it’s irresponsible. There’s little if any evidence to support some of these things he’s saying.”

“John Santa, a retired medical doctor and member of the Oregon Health Policy Board, noted that Powell himself did get the vaccine. “Seniors across the country are paying with their lives when they don’t get vaccinated,” Santa said. “My advice to seniors in Roseburg is to do what Dr. Powell does. Ignore what he says.”

“The Federation of State Medical Boards said…doctors risk disciplinary action, including revocation of their license. The Oregon Medical Board declined to comment whether it has received any complaints about Powell or if it’s investigating any claims.”

“Powell concedes in his blog post that the data he cites is “not considered to be true.” But, he concludes, “neither has it proven untrue.”

“There’s no scientific evidence for (Powell’s) statement,” said Dr. John Moorhead, a veteran emergency department doctor at Oregon Health & Science University. “The misinformation that’s out there is crazy.”

The Powells are, “the most powerful and visible family in Douglas County medical circles. Tim Powell and his brother John have for decades run one of the largest medical offices and urgent care centers in Roseburg. Both Powells are members of the Mercy board of trustees. Tim Powell’s daughter-in-law, Dr. Nancy Powell, is chief of staff at Mercy.”

“Dr. Robert Dannenhoffer, the county’s normally outspoken public health officer and an ardent booster of vaccines, declined to comment for this story.”

https://www.oregonlive.com/coronavirus/2021/09/prominent-roseburg-doctor-echoes-skeptics-claims-about-vaccine.html

CitizenJoe

Mike, I get comments deleted, sometimes, when there is a link to O-live, or to WaPo.

Mike

I wonder why they don't list those links as forbidden in their terms of service?

Comment deleted.
dejadoodoo

[thumbup][thumbup]

Comment deleted.
mworden

OregonLive also wrote about the Powell controversy, with further details. They included info about Sen. Dallas Heard.

"Sen. Dallas Heard, R-Roseburg, has emerged as a leader of this hard-right movement. He recently spoke at a meeting of the Winston School Board, which was considering whether to comply with Brown’s mandate that school kids be masked.

“Remember this, no matter what side you are on, Kate Brown and others like her... They flat out think you are trash,” Heard said. “They do not think you’re capable of making the right decision. So you will do what you are told.”

"The Winston School Board rejected the mask mandate.

"Heard did not return multiple phone calls and emails."

https://www.oregonlive.com/coronavirus/2021/09/prominent-roseburg-doctor-echoes-skeptics-claims-about-vaccine.html

Dallas Heard is the only person calling Douglas County residents "trash" who are incapable of making the right decision. That's why he keeps telling you what to do.

Mike

History was made when 14 Douglas County residents died in Roseburg when Pacific Powder Company exploded in 1959. That episode pales in comparison to the 61 Douglas County residents who died over the past 20 days from Covid.

History shows George Rutherford was the name of the truck driver who caused the explosion in 1959, killing those 14 residents. Likewise, the names of Douglas County Commissioners Chris Boice, Tom Kress and Tim Freeman will go down in history as the Commissioners who CHOSE to NOT take actions to save lives. Their names will always be remembered in shame. Three Commissioners who cared more for their politics than the lives of the residents they represented.

NJ

"That episode pales..." Not for some, Mike. My elder's life-long friend, Lyle Wescott was one of the first three fire dept. responders to the tire outlet blaze that caused the dynamite truck to explode. Both of Lyle's friends, fellow fire fighters, died in the explosion. His first question in Mercy's E.R. was , "where are my buddies", nurses chose to no answer. Members of his family still reside in Roseburg. I apologize for getting off topic. But if anything, your statement about county commissioners is very true when you compare them to regular folk in 1959. My parents and many other citizens rushed downtown to help business owners secure their stores, find those the blast hurt and check on those in homes impacted. It was the best showing of a community coming together and defined a strong sense of civic duty that was never questioned. That was in the before time, and not where we are now.

Mike

I'm willing to bet that when history looks back on Douglas County's Covid deaths and the lack of response from our County Commissioners, their names will be prominently portrayed.

NJ

Absolutely right about that. It will be a dark history for quite a number of those who feel their prominence in society.

Wretched722

Once again....just exactly WHAT do you suggest the Commissioners do?????

Mike

I'd respond AGAIN, but its clear you don't bother to read or comprehend those responses.

CitizenJoe

Well, I think I must have missed the part where the Commissioners recommended vaccination.... "We continue to encourage everyone to do everything you can to stay healthy, stay home if you are sick, minimize contact with those outside your household, wear masks were (sic) recommended, wash your hand (sic) frequently, take care of your mental health and be kind to others." Being kind to others includes getting your own sorry derrière (I mean, arm) vaccinated, folks!

Mike

4 MORE COVID DEATHS were reported in Douglas County today, including the deaths of a 24-year-old woman. ALL were unvaccinated. Douglas County Commissioners have reported 61 DEATHS in the last 20 DAYS. Let that sink in.

Douglas County’s 61 deaths is over 4 TIMES the number of U.S. soldiers killed during the evacuation of Kabul, Afghanistan, an event that triggered many, many angry letters to the News-Review editor. Why is there not a similar outrage for our County’s 61 avoidable deaths? These were people, family, neighbors who lived among us. People we knew.

82% of Douglas County deaths were UNVACCINATED. It is clear from Douglas County statistics the vaccine is working. It is clear Covid is searching for the many unvaccinated people to kill while dragging down much fewer vaccinated older residents with them. It is clear that getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your family, and most importantly, your children. It is clear vaccination prevents death.

So, why haven’t our Douglas County Commissioners used the powers given to them by the Governor to mandate vaccination of county workers like other counties? Why hasn’t Roseburg and Sutherlin City Councils mandated vaccination of their city workers like other cities? It is clear they have the power to save lives by taking that bold step. Isn’t that what we should expect from our elected leaders?

Mike

There were 3,972 Covid cases and 84 deaths in Douglas County on June 30 when Oregon’s Governor lifted ALL Covid restrictions and delegated her Covid restriction authority to our Douglas County Commissioners. That was less than three months ago. Since then, there have been 6,092 new Covid cases and 82 avoidable deaths.

Why have our County Commissioners taken actions to save lives, actions that Commissioners in other counties have taken?

dejadoodoo

I was in industry all my working life. I called it the school of hard knocks, because that's what it was. College doesn't make anyone smart, and many of the non-educated were brilliant. One recurring theme is crisis management -- you quickly learn that solutions transcend job titles, and a good idea is a good idea no matter who came up with it.

Dealing with this "unvaccinated" situation is not unlike many international issues. An economic embargo may be more productive than an edict. People have their issues with mandated vaccination -- so be it. They are saying they wish to be separate but equal, so I say "okay" to that wish. States and the Fed can shut the unvaccinated out from services, and the private sector can do the same, as long as it's legal.

Remember, we are a Democratic Republic wherein we elect people to make laws and decisions for us...laws we must abide by or suffer consequence. Those last two words is where my ramblings are headed...suffer consequence. The private sector should be granted the choice to serve either the vaccinated or the unvaccinated. Birds of a feather should be allowed to flock together. Personally, I choose not to do something that I believe is foolish...I want to avoid the unvaccinated. Some local businesses are ignoring the state mask guidelines, and that's where my money is NOT being spent these days; it's my personal choice "embargo."

I say it's time to give the lepers their own leper colony again -- just let us know where it is so we can avoid it. Common sense says this separation won't be forever...sooner or later everyone will acquire herd immunity or die -- and that defines a group I want no part of.

Mike

I certainly don't blame you.

S

Using the term "leader," to describe local elected officials is an oxymoron. The Governor left it up to local officials to do the right things as long as she could. They didn't act so she stepped in with mandates to protect Oregonians, from the Pandemic AND local elected "morons."

Mike

Oregon's 7-day positive test rate is 9.6% today. Douglas County’s is 28.6% today.

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