The Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team reported 36 new cases Wednesday.
The new cases continue the surge in cases that have made the past week the county’s worst ever, according to Douglas County Public Health Officer Bob Dannenhoffer.
“It’s very, very, very worrisome as to why we’re having so many cases,” Dannenhoffer said in a Facebook Live session Tuesday.
He said a nursing home outbreak involving 50 people, both staff and residents, is partly to blame, along with two other nursing home outbreaks. Every patient in the nursing home with the major outbreak who was not vaccinated is believed to have contracted the disease, he said, while 90% of those who had received the vaccine were protected.
There are also 23 school outbreaks, he said, primarily due to, not time in the classroom, but to social activities like birthday parties and activities bonding with sports teammates.
Workplace outbreaks are also a factor, he said, and these too primarily involve social activities with coworkers.
“I think we’re seeing there’s a laxity in some of the behaviors and a sense that hey we can kind of return to normal, but it’s very clear that when we return to normal and let go of some of those things that the diseases will come roaring back,” he said.
Eventually, these outbreaks make their way to seniors, he said. One of the nursing home outbreaks is tied to a sleepover and a workplace outbreak, he said.
No new deaths were reported Wednesday.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said severe winter weather is causing widespread delays for vaccine shipments across the country.
“Shipping partners are working to deliver vaccine where possible, contingent on local conditions, but the adverse weather is expected to continue to impact shipments out of the FedEx facility in Memphis, Tennessee, as well as the UPS facility in Louisville, Kentucky, which serve as vaccine shipping hubs for multiple states,” CDC spokesperson Jasmine Reed said.
The response team said those delays will be felt in Douglas County.
Statewide, 707,244 vaccinations have been given, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Of those, 8,894 have been in Douglas County.
County residents are being asked to first contact their regular doctors to set up vaccine appointments.
Some local pharmacies also have vaccines. They include those at Bi-Mart, Fred Meyer, Costco and Albertson’s stores, as well as Gordon’s Pharmacy in Canyonville.
Vaccines are also being sent from the federal government to the Roseburg VA Medical Center and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians.
Currently, seniors 75 and older are eligible. Seniors 70 and older become eligible Monday.
Fifteen county residents are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 10 locally and five out of the area.
The Douglas Public Health Network is supporting 264 people who have the illness are in isolation, as well as another 481 people who have been in contact with an infected person and are in quarantine.
The Oregon Health Authority reported 473 new cases and five new deaths statewide Wednesday.