More than 50% of Douglas County eligible residents are either fully or partially vaccinated, the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team said Wednesday.
That number differs from the Oregon Health Authority, which as of Wednesday, reported that only 38% of eligible Douglas County residents had been vaccinated.
The discrepancy was caused by the reporting from the Roseburg VA Health Care Center and the Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians, which receive their vaccines directly from the federal government. Because of the source of those vaccines, the VA and tribe report their information relating to doses administered directly to the federal government and not the state health authority.
As a result, those people who have been at least partially vaccinated by the VA (8,814) and the tribe (3,034) had not been counted among numbers reported to the state.
“For reasons unknown to us, the federal government has not been very forthcoming in supplying or providing their vaccination data to the state or the county,” the county’s response team said in Wednesday’s report. “It is important to note that because we have a great relationship with both the Roseburg VA and the Cow Creek Tribe, as they are part of our COVID-19 Response Team, they have been more than willing to share their vaccination data with us.
“However, (the Oregon Health Authority) has stated that they have yet to find a good way to combine the state and federal vaccination data in their weekly reports,” the team continued. “The obvious discrepancy in vaccination data has created unnecessary turmoil and confusion not only for Douglas County residents but several other counties in Oregon as well.”
With the adjusted numbers, Douglas County has shot ever closer to the goal of having at least 65% of all county residents 16 and older at least partially vaccinated, at which time many COVID-19 restrictions would be lifted as the county would be reclassified as a “low risk” county. Presently, Douglas County remains under the high risk designation.
Only five Oregon counties — Benton, Deschutes, Hood River, Lincoln and Washington — had reached the 65% benchmark as of Wednesday.
Douglas County has 94,878 residents age 16 or older, and so far 47,647 — 50.3% — are either partially or fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. The county will reach that 65% plateau when another 14,024 residents receive at least one shot of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson.
While the adjustment in vaccination numbers was encouraging for Douglas County, the response team noted its fourth consecutive day with new double-digit COVID-19 cases and the county’s 72nd death.
Wednesday’s daily report announced that 17 county residents had tested positive for the coronavirus, as well as one presumed positive test. Fourteen area residents were receiving hospital care, eight locally and six out of the area.
The county’s 72nd death was a 66-year-old woman who was diagnosed with COVID-19 on April 21 and died Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Oregon Health Authority reported a decline in the number of weekly positive tests, but saw a rise in both deaths and hospitalizations. The authority announced 394 new positive and presumptive cases in its Wednesday report along with seven additional deaths.
From May 10 through Sunday, the health authority reported 4,108 new daily cases of COVID-19, a 16% decrease from the previous week. Patients hospitalized (265) jumped 20 from the prior week, while the 26 deaths reported in that period were the most in 10 weeks.
WEEKLY REPORTDouglas County had mixed results in the health authority’s outbreak report for workplaces and senior living and care facilities.
Chantele’s Loving Touch Memory Care saw no change in the number of cases in its reported outbreak, remaining at three with the last reported onset reported April 28.
The Roseburg Forest Products Dillard Composites plant, which reached 14 total cases, did not have another onset over the past reporting week and was moved to the list of resolved workplace outbreaks.
However, Roseburg Forest Products Dillard Plywood appeared in the workplace outbreak report Wednesday with a total of 18 cases, with the most recent reported May 5.
GETTING VACCINATEDThe Douglas County Tiger Team will be holding its final pop-up vaccination clinic for the week Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the headquarters of the Diamond Lake Ranger District, 2020 Toketee-Rigdon Road.
Aviva Health, which recently opened a dedicated — and free — vaccination clinic in northeast Roseburg, will be hosting a free vaccination event Saturday from 8-11:30 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. The event is available to all county residents age 12 and older, with an emphasis on those ages 12-14, who just recently became eligible to receive the vaccine as the Pfizer vaccine was approved for that age group on May 13.
The clinic is located at 4221 NE Stephens St., Suite 101, across from Aviva’s Roseburg clinic near Costco.
Children ages 12-14 will require written parental or guardian consent to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. To schedule an appointment, call Aviva Health at 541-672-9596.