The Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team reported 31 people with new positive coronavirus test results during its noon case update Thursday.

Since Sunday, the number of cases has jumped 82 for a total 3,512 cases, despite increasing efforts to get Douglas County residents vaccinated.

While the 31 new positive cases of coronavirus reported Thursday still fall short of the mid-February spike — 354 positive COVID-19 tests over a two-week period, with a record high of 44 cases on Feb. 11 — the trend of positives in Douglas County is causing concern for local health officials.

Response team spokesperson Tamara Howell Thursday said the most puzzling part of the county’s spike in positive tests and hospitalizations is that there is no common link.

“There’s no common denominator,” Howell said. “I wish we knew the answer to that. Is it because of the recent relaxation in the mandates?”

“It has been pretty broad-based,” Douglas County Public Health officer Bob Dannenhoffer said. “We’re seeing it in all areas of the county. We’re seeing it in schools, workplaces, and we’re seeing all ages, which is a little different from our previous spikes.”

Howell said that of the 21 county residents who are hospitalized with the coronavirus, their ages range from 15 to 61, with the majority of those patients in their 30s and 40s.

“It’s really not the senior population anymore, because a good part of our senior population has been vaccinated,” Howell said. “It’s hard, because you have a lot of pushback from people. ‘It’s up to me what I put in my body,’ and it is, but it’s disheartening to see these numbers go up and up.”

Of the total 800 people being monitored by the Douglas Public Health Network — 207 in isolation and 593 in quarantine — many of those cases are tied to county schools.

Roseburg Public Schools announced that a person at Sunnyslope Elementary School was confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. Riddle School District also announced a person at its junior/senior high school tested positive for COVID-19.

Dannenhoffer said Douglas County’s current spike is an echo of spikes which hit neighboring counties — specifically Lane, Jackson, Josephine and Deschutes — in mid-April.

“It’s kind of a combination of three things at once,” Dannenhoffer said. “The B.1.1.7 and P.1 variants are becoming more common, and people have slacked off on masking and taking other safety measures.”

The B.1.1.7 variant, first discovered in England, has been attributed to an equivalent 50% increase in transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The P.1 variant strain, first detected in Japan and Brazil, has also been shown to spread more rapidly with more severe symptoms than the original SARS-CoV-2 variant, according to the CDC.

The Oregon Health Authority announced 21 COVID-19-related deaths Thursday, pushing the state’s death toll to 2,660. There were 433 new confirmed positive and presumptive cases of the coronavirus statewide.

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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(24) comments

Mike

For those who choose to NOT get vaccinated, let me give you a couple reasons to reconsider. First, Douglas County is the MOST lethal county in Oregon if you catch coronavirus. In other words, if you catch coronavirus in Douglas County, your chances of dying from the disease is higher than any other Oregon county with a population over 24,000 people. Over 2.1% of Douglas County’s coronavirus cases have resulted in death. That’s one death for every 48 cases. The Oregon Average is 1.3%

Second, if you think you will be safe if you catch the disease, consider that roughly 45% of Douglas County’s 75 deaths occurred at Mercy Medical Center. About the same amount died in their “residence,” which could be their nursing home facility. Less than 10% of the deaths occurred in a hospital outside Douglas County.

Third, Douglas County is nowhere near heard immunity unless you are talking about our Senator. I worry our County Commissioners have misled the non-vaccinated into a false sense of security by claiming over 51% of Douglas County has already been vaccinated. The Center for Disease Control website indicates 39.1% of Douglas County residents over the age of 12 years were fully vaccinated on May 28th. This includes vaccinations that have occurred at federal facilities including the VA Hospital and Tribal sites. Check it out for yourself on CDC's website.

If you wish to prolong becoming another Douglas County statistic, please consider becoming vaccinated.

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations-county-view

Mike

One day later and the County Commissioners Coronavirus Response Team now reports 15 more coronavirus cases today in Douglas County, but at least no deaths reported today. This brings the total to 248 cases over the past 14-days, equating to a case rate of 221. Extreme risk category here we come. Gonna have to go out to a restaurant tonight before everything is shut down.

There are currently 6 Oregon Counties that have vaccinated over 65% of their 16+ year old residents that will no longer have coronavirus restrictions imposed upon them according to the Oregon Health Authority (below link). Douglas County, at 40%, has a long ways to go before restrictions are lifted. And deservedly so.

https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/oregon.health.authority.covid.19/viz/OregonCOVID-19VaccineEffortMetrics/StatewideProgress

Mike

The County Commissioners Coronavirus Response Team reported 17 more coronavirus cases today in Douglas County, bring the total to 241 cases over the past 14-days, equating to a case rate of 214.7 and a 7-day positivity of 9.1%.

For the first time in over a year, my wife and I went to Planet Fitness and Costco. It has been over 14-days since we were both vaccinated. At first, I was impressed with Planet Fitness because they required proof of full vaccination before allowing you to NOT wear a mask while working out. We showed them our cards and they entered it into their system so we wouldn't need to be checked again. Then I observed about 75% of the people working out had masks on and the VAST majority had them under their chins or hanging from their ears.

Upon entering Costco, my wife and I were asked by a person checking Costco IDs at the door whether we were vaccinated. We responded in the affirmative and proceeded inside where the only ones wearing masks were some Costco employees, and half of them were not wearing their mask correctly. We did not observe a single customer with a mask on.

75 Douglas County residents have died of coronavirus since July 12, 2021 and STILL the vast majority choose to not protect their selves from a similar fate.

Mike

I forgot to mention the County Commissioners Coronavirus Response Team reported 2 more coronavirus deaths today in Douglas County

sectorstar

Ya that's pretty accurate to what I've been seeing at my job working there since this week. Such a joke

Wretched722

States like Florida and Texas - who lifted their restrictions - have no deaths and a declining rate of infection....and Florida has LOTS of elderly....so it cannot be the mask mandate, or the vaccine, can it?

mworden

Rise, stop getting your info from people like Lauren Bobert. She's a liar. The Austin American-Statesman gave her a Pants on Fire rating for her claim that no Texans have died of covid since the mask mandate was lifted. In fact, 3000 have died.

https://www.statesman.com/story/news/politics/politifact/2021/05/26/texas-recorded-thousands-covid-deaths-since-removing-mask-mandate/7436158002/

A headline from today's Tampa Bay Times: Florida adds 15,991 coronavirus cases and 393 deaths in a week. On average, the Florida Department of Health has reported about 2,284 infections and 56 deaths per day over the past seven days.

https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2021/05/28/florida-adds-15991-coronavirus-cases-and-393-deaths-in-a-week/

Stop the lies, Rise.

Mike

Wretched,

Florida and Texas had the most new coronavirus cases and deaths in the U.S. over the past week. Between May 20 - 27, Florida had 15,991 new cases and 376 deaths. Over the same period, Texas had 11,023 new cases and 279 deaths.

No other state had more cases or deaths over the past week. Just another big lie by a Trump supporter.

Marine Vet

"There's no common denominator," Howell said. "I wish we knew the answer to that. Is it because of the recent relaxation in the mandates?" WTF.????????????????? Maybe Douglas County NEEDS SOMEONE Who has a CLUE THEN.?

Mike

Even though Douglas County had 31 new cases yesterday, the Commissioners sent a letter (below link) yesterday to the Governor asking for the current restrictions to be relaxed.

https://douglascounty-oregon.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=35

CitizenJoe

I am shocked, shocked. The virus is spreading among the unvaccinated/unmasked.

No one could have predicted.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/interactive/2021/covid-rates-unvaccinated-people/

Mike

The following is Douglas County’s percentage of people in each age group who have received at least one vaccine shot according to today’s Oregon Health Authority Report (below link).

Age

Group

12 – 15--------8%

16 – 19-------18%

20 – 29-------23%

30 – 39-------26%

40 – 49-------29%

50 – 59-------37%

60 – 64-------47%

65 – 69-------57%

70 – 74-------60%

75 – 79-------57%

80+------------54%

https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/oregon.health.authority.covid.19/viz/OregonCOVID-19VaccineEffortMetrics/StatewideProgress

Mike

Douglas County suffered its 74th coronavirus death today according to the Oregon Health Authority. There was no mention of this death in today's County Commissioners Coronavirus Response Team press release.

Mike

"Douglas County's 74th death is a 94-year-old woman who tested positive on Feb. 18 and died on March 23 at her residence. She had underlying conditions."

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/ORDHS/bulletins/2e1cda2

Mike

Douglas County has had 231 new coronavirus cases over the past 14-days, which equates to a case rate of 206. A case rate over 200 moves a county into the EXTREME risk category which forces bars and indoor dining to shut down. It is quite possible the Governor will announce early next week that Douglas County will be moved into the EXTREME risk category.

GhostofTMcCall

Never seen someone so excited about the possibility of our County moving to the extreme category so they can unleash their blame on elected officials they don't like. It's kind of like those that hope the economy tanks during a Presidential election year when they don't like the incumbent.

Marine Vet

Who is Excited.? You maybe but No One else has expressed Excitement. Seems You Wake each & every day with a Complaint about something or someone. Just like the 4 Year Herpetic Infection that Occupied the WH for 4 years.

GhostofTMcCall

If you think insulting Trump is insulting me -- you will need to try again. I'm not a Trump supporter. You're great at making assumptions though. I've had my vaccinations, I've supported vaccines, and I've supported mask mandates and other restrictions when they've made sense. What I don't support is baseless attacks on our County Commissioners. It doesn't align with the my Army veteran code of ethics.

melrosereader

So...now that vaccinated people are not required to wear masks, how many of the un-vaccinated anti-maskers are parading around without masks?

You all say there is no pattern to the current surge? It seems that the anti-maskers who are lying about being vaccinated might be a good place to look.

sectorstar

It's a joke where I work at Costco. I'd say easily 70 percent of the people shopping in the store at a given time since the new CDC guidelines all claim to be "vaccinated". I'm in my early 30s, I've yet to see anyone my age or younger with a mask on shopping either. I'm glad at my job they quickly changed the "opt out of wearing a mask policy" to where you have to show proof of being vaccinated instead of ot being an honor system. So far less than 10 employees can truthly prove they've been vaccinated.

melrosereader

It is people like Dallas Heard who tell people they have the freedom to do what they want---wear a mask or not, get vaccinated or not, and so on--who complain when restaurants are closed, schools go virtual, and other restrictions because of our risk level WHICH THEY CREATE!!!

This is what they call self-destructive behavior. It would be fine with me if they wanted to put themselves at risk, but the problem is that their bad behavior has an impact on the rest of us too.

NJ

[thumbup]

CitizenJoe

melrosereader: precisely. Every person who behaves irresponsibly in this pandemic endangers the lives, health, and prosperity of the rest of us. Dallas.

Mike

Don't forget our three County Commissioners who all sent a letter to the Governor yesterday (below link) protesting the Governor's coronavirus restrictions.....again.

https://douglascounty-oregon.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=35

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