COVID-19 update graphic

Douglas County saw seven more of its residents die due to complications from the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus over Tuesday and Wednesday, pushing the county’s death toll to 123.

The Douglas County COVID-19 Recovery team reported one virus-related death Saturday, one Sunday, one Monday, three Tuesday and one Wednesday. Three of the deceased — a 91-year-old woman, a 66-year-old man and a 95-year-old woman — were reportedly fully vaccinated. The deaths also included four unvaccinated women aged 58, 59, 72 and 74. The 59-year-old woman was diagnosed Monday and died the same day.

Due to the climbing number of people dying from COVID-19 — in addition to other non-virus-related deaths — the Douglas County Board of Commissioners has secured additional temporary morgue space to help ease the burden on local hospitals, funeral homes and the Douglas County Medical Examiner’s Office.

“The increase in COVID deaths has doubled our need for morgue space, as we still need to accommodate all of the non-COVID-related deaths that occur in our county,” the board said in Wednesday’s recovery team report.

The county continues to post high daily positive test results, with 251 confirmed positive and presumptive cases reported Tuesday and 193 Wednesday.

Eighty-one Douglas County residents are receiving hospital care due to COVID-19, and the recovery team reported that 70 of those had not received a vaccination. Of those hospitalized, 67 are being cared for locally while 14 are out of the area, including two who had to be sent to another state to receive care. At CHI Mercy Medical Center, 15 patients have been placed on ventilators and 14 are in intensive care.

One of those hospitalized is a 17-year-old currently in the intensive care unit at Oregon Health & Science University’s Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland.

“This virus is really starting to spread to our younger people and it’s really starting to make them pretty sick,” Douglas County Public Health Officer Bob Dannenhoffer said during his weekly Facebook Live presentation Tuesday night.

The spike in local positive COVID-19 cases, largely credited to a much more aggressive and more easily transmittable delta variant, has made Douglas County one of the most infected counties in Oregon, according to data from the Oregon Health Authority.

For the reporting week July 25-31, Douglas County had 331 total positive and presumptive cases, or 294.1 per 100,000 residents. The following week, there were 479 such cases. In the past two reporting weeks, Douglas County has seen 2,185 such cases, or 1,128.6 per 100,000.

“We have had more cases in August of 2021 than we had the entire first year of this pandemic,” Dannenhoffer said.

Through Wednesday, Douglas County had 33 deaths in the month of August alone, and Dannenhoffer offered a grim warning that he expects that number to climb over the coming weeks.

“We’re going to be seeing one, two, three deaths per day for the next three weeks, and that’s really sad,” Dannenhoffer. “The worst part is of the ones we’ve seen, they’re almost all unvaccinated.”

Of those deaths related to so-called “breakthrough” cases — those who contract the coronavirus despite already having completed their full vaccination sequence — most have been among the elderly.

“Our older people just don’t make a good reaction to the vaccine. They just don’t have a strong enough immune system,” said Dannenhoffer, adding that nearly 90% of hospitalized Douglas County residents have reported they are not vaccinated.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, Region 3 — which includes Lane, Douglas, Coos and Curry counties — had just six of its available 92 intensive care units available at area hospitals, while 539 out of an available 628 adult non-ICU beds were also in use.

OREGON REACHES GRIM MILESTONE

Tuesday, the Oregon Health Authority announced that 1,000 Oregon residents were hospitalized due to complications from the coronavirus.

“This represents 1,000 people who spent the night in the hospital being away from their families and being cared for by health care providers who even in their exhausted states continue to care for those people who are sick with this virus,” state health officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger said. “We are far exceeding the hospitalization numbers we saw during the pre-vaccination surges of last fall and winter.

“This affects every Oregonian family and it is not sustainable,” he said.

The health authority reported 2,804 new confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, along with 30 deaths. Wednesday, there were a reported 2,777 such new cases of the coronavirus along with 20 deaths.

As of Wednesday, there were only 44 of 662 adult intensive care beds available statewide, and just 320 of 4,256 adult non-ICU beds unoccupied.

WEEKLY COVID-19 REPORT

The Oregon Health Authority released its weekly outbreak report for COVID-19 outbreaks in senior care and congregate living facilities, workplaces and schools, and there wasn’t a lot of good news there either as it pertains to Douglas County.

Six Douglas County workplaces saw an uptick in their active outbreaks, while one that had just resolved a recent outbreak jumped back onto the active list.

Roseburg Forest Products’ Riddle Plywood Plant, which the health authority moved to its “resolved” list last week, returned to Wednesday’s list with a new outbreak of 36 cases related to employees and possible contacts, with the last case reported to the health authority Aug. 17.

Listed as Roseburg Forest Products Riddle Engineered Wood, that plant appeared on the outbreak list for the first time with 17 cases, the most recent being reported Aug. 19

Roseburg Forest Products also saw cases added to its Dillard lumber and plywood plants, with seven new cases at the plywood plant (last case reported Aug. 17) and six at the lumber mill (last on Aug. 18).

Three other Douglas County workplaces saw increases in their case counts from the previous reporting period:

  • The Douglas County Jail added six, raising its total to 19, with the last being reported Aug. 18
  • Costco Wholesale in Roseburg added one case on Aug. 17, pushing its total to 17
  • South River Community Health Center in Winston also reported one additional case on Aug. 18, raising its total to eight.

The Umpqua Valley Public Defenders Office (22), Ingram Book Company (18), Applebee’s in Roseburg (7), UPS in Green (7), Umpqua Dairy (6) and Fred Meyer (5) saw no additional cases according to the Oregon Health Authority.

Rose Haven Nursing Center in Roseburg added 11 new cases as well as one death, the fifth connected to the facility since the beginning of the pandemic. Rose Haven’s most recent outbreak has reached 17 cases since being reported July 30.

Four Douglas County senior care, assisted living and congregate living facilities were added to the health authority’s breakout list this week, including Timber Town Living in Sutherlin, which has had 16 since the first case of the current outbreak was reported Aug. 16. The Roseburg VA Medical Center’s River House has reported six cases since Aug. 20. The Pines at the Landing in Roseburg reported three cases, also with the first being reported Aug. 20.

Bridgewood Rivers Assisted Living Center in Roseburg reported four new cases, the first on Aug. 4. There was no change in the case numbers at Umpqua Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (five) or Curry Manor (four).

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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(13) comments

Wretched722

Once again, it sounds like the vaccine is only working some of the time.

Gimpy

Oh, Wretched. There you go again, using the wrong words. Please replace "some" with "most." In fact, why not read a real newspaper once in a while and discover the real number? From the start, not a single medical authority claimed 100% efficacy. However, the efficacy has dropped a lot with the introduction of the Delta variant: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2021/08/24/covid-vaccine-efficacy-delta-variant-cdc-study-los-angeles/5578703001/

Fergy

Big picture, look at Israel and neighboring Palestine. Mirror image of ratio of shots given and deaths. Not good for those receiving shots. And "shedding" becoming a problem.

Oldguy71

Is there any logic to our Commissioners and Sheriff not supporting proven techniques to minimize transmission of the Delta variant? Is their misguided notion of Freedom actually making anyone more free? In my many years of military and professional civilian work I have never witnessed such thoughtless actions. These are real people dying real deaths in real time. This is not some nativist feel-good misguided Charge of the Light Brigade. This is the fourth wave of a PANDEMIC. Read, learn, act responsibly.

Mike

As their THIRD action since being granted Covid restriction control power on July 1 by the Governor, our Douglas County Commissioners recognize residents are dying from their inaction and have now secured additional temporary morgue space to help ease the burden on local hospitals, funeral homes and the Douglas County Medical Examiner's Office.

In case you forgot, their FIRST action was on July 9 when the Commissioners disbanded their Covid Response Team and daily data reporting.

Their SECOND action was on July 23 when the Commissioners “barred all county employees and agencies from helping to enforce COVID-19 pandemic closures or other state directives.”

Mike

The Douglas County COVID-19 Recovery team reported one virus-related death Saturday, one Sunday, one Monday, three Tuesday and one Wednesday is INCORRECT. There were 13 deaths, not 7. Please consider revising.

According to the DPHN report:

Saturday--------3

Sunday----------0

Monday---------3

Tuesday---------3

Wednesday----4

=============

Total------------13

Mike

I don't understand why the News-Review doesn't correct their article to state the correct number of deaths. In case you haven't noticed, the News-Review has not error-ed on the side of overstating deaths.

FedUp

Probably because you are consistently wrong!! I'm actually shocked your not banned!

Gimpy

Mike backs up his numbers with links to sources!!! We can all shout with outrage!!! Indicated by exclamation points!!!!!!! The person who shouts the loudest wins!!!!! Learn how to spell!!!!!!! I'm actually shocked that you're fingers have not revolted against your brain as they ignobly type garbage on the keyboard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike

On Friday, August 20, DPHN reported 110 deaths (below link). Wednesday, August 25, DPHN reported 123 deaths (bottom link).

Do the math.

https://douglascounty-oregon.us/DocumentCenter/View/20059/08-23-21-Douglas-County-COVID-19-Update

https://douglascounty-oregon.us/DocumentCenter/View/20062/08-25-21-Douglas-County-COVID-19-Update

Scomo

Old Mikey, the grim reaper

Gimpy

Old Scomo, adding nothing to the conversation. Again. A lot of people condemn Mike for really dumb reasons. He is trying to make the world a better place. Are you?

FedUp

Evidently you can't read! Saturday only one death is reported per the DPHN website you are getting your information from. I don't know where you are getting 3 because the website you are quoting says 1. You have 0 for Sunday and there was actually 1 reported on your website. Are you actually even looking at your own sources. Or just making up things as they pop in your head? You are the king of misinformation or just can't transpose information from a website to your text. I suggest you try to copy and paste method to eliminate the transfer of wrong statistics.

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