CHI Mercy Medical Center

CHI Mercy Medical Center in 2019. Mercy has reported one new positive COVID-19 case and six presumptive cases.

A COVID-19 outbreak has been reported at CHI Mercy Medical Center, according to the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team.

The Oregon Health Authority is expected to announce the outbreak Wednesday, the county said, which will be one of 110 reported workplace outbreaks statewide since the pandemic began.

Douglas County Public Health Officer Dr. Bob Dannenhofffer said the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team and the Douglas Public Health Network have been working directly with Mercy and its employees since the first positive case result was returned.

Dannenhoffer said Douglas Public Health Network staff and Mercy officials are supporting the employees that are in isolation or quarantine.

“Douglas Public Health Network has been working closely with Mercy Medical Center providing vital epidemiology investigation and support for this workplace outbreak,” Dannenhoffer said. “We believe it is still safe to seek care at Mercy because they were prepared and they are supporting additional testing while also supporting their staff in quarantine. We are working together to mitigate the transmission to staff, patients as well as the larger community.”

The state reports workplace outbreaks of five or more cases for workplaces that have 30 or more employees.

Mercy officials reported that one employee has tested positive from an off duty exposure, not at the hospital. Six others are considered presumptive.

“Since the coronavirus was identified, our organization has been focused on ensuring the safety of our employees and our patients,” said the hospital’s President and CEO Kelly Morgan. “The employee who tested positive was exposed on their time off, and no patients were exposed due to our PPE protocols. Staff who have tested positive are now in quarantine for two weeks and we will continue to work closely with Douglas Public Health Network as we move forward.

“I personally want to reassure our community that Mercy remains a safe place to receive health care and we will continue our commitment to safety. From screening everyone who comes (into the) facility, limiting visitors, masking both patients, visitors and staff and following the CDC guidelines, we are dedicated to ensuring a safe and healing environment,” Morgan said.

Douglas County added six new cases Tuesday, two positive tests and four presumptive cases.

There are now 13 presumptive cases and 24 people in isolation in the county. The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now 140.

One person has been hospitalized with a positive COVID-19 test, but the DCCRT said that person is from a different state so it is not included in the county’s total.

Dannenhoffer said on Facebook video posted Tuesday night that people in the county are doing a good job of keeping the number of cases down, but a lot of the recent cases have come from out of state.

“When we look at cases, we see two things that play again and again and again,” Dannenhoffer said. “The first is out of state travel.”

He said the second thing is family gatherings or reunions, parties and dinners, which can spread the virus quickly if someone is infected.

He said a lot of recent infections have been traced to other states. In fact, they have been traced back to 10 different states.

The OHA reported 342 new cases in Oregon with five new deaths — all five over 87 years old — bringing the total number of deaths statewide to 333. The state has reported 19,699 total cases of COVID-19.

React to this story:

2
1
7
11
16

Reporter

Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

(24) comments

Mike

You may remember the multiple News-Review articles about Casey’s Family Restaurant gofundme website (below link). Casey's claimed it had been fined 14,000 by OSHA in early May for defying the Governor’s shutdown order and the gofundme proceeds would be used to fight the fine. Casey's gofundme website has so far gathered $14,023.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/casey039s-restaurant-roseburg?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1&fbclid=IwAR3EyHBLt56Os-pR9FC1OuriC6gXGA4aHFUQ0QQ1IR5ERiYePMQJ4guYmLM

According to OSHA’s website (below link), Casey’s Family Restaurant was fined $5,000, NOT $14,000 as previously reported. Also contrary to previous reports, Casey’s citation was for a serious violation, not a willful violation, hence the lower fine. The case is listed on OSHA’s website as open. I wonder if the 187 people who contributed to Casey’s gofundme website feel mislead?

https://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=1474727.015

Country Craftsman

Mask mask mask. Get over it. Its not all about masks its about bogus numbers. ONE employee tested positive with a few presumptive cases. Stop letting numbers scare you. That's why people don't wear mask because the numbers are lies when the so called people in positions of authority tell the truth maybe people will listen. ONE is not a outbreak and certainly not a reason to panic and jump on a mob mentality with pitchforks and torches.

Mike

U.S. Coronavirus cases will pass 5 million cases and 162,000 deaths tomorrow. How many should it take to bring out the pitchforks and torches?

Mike

'Numbers don't lie': Fauci says you can't deny the US has the world's worst COVID-19 outbreak.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/numbers-dont-lie-fauci-says-you-cant-deny-the-us-has-the-worlds-worst-covid-19-outbreak/ar-BB17BZEr?li=BBnb7Kz

Daniel

Maybe now staff at Mercy (including Morgan) will start wearing masks. They haven't been!

Mike

Roseburg’s Veterans Affairs just reported 2 more coronavirus cases today, both are employees of the VA. This brings Roseburg’s VA total coronavirus cases to 17.

https://www.accesstocare.va.gov/Healthcare/COVID19NationalSummary

Really?

Mike, enjoyed your comments. Can’t wrap my head around the stupidity of those who gripe about masks. I am to the point when I see a large group being careless and not giving a darn about those around them I think “ok it now is natural selection” and as long as a group of wackos want to take the chance so be it. America needs to weed out the ignorant.

CitizenJoe

Thing is, though: the mask mostly protects others; the wearer to some extent, but mostly others--and some people just don't care about anyone else. So you can get "Darwined" by a maskhole.

Mike

Douglas County Commissioners jeopardized residents’ safety by waiting weeks to warn the public of previous workplace outbreaks. In addition to Mercy Medical Center, the Oregon Health Authority weekly (below link) report classifies both Norris Blueberry Farm and Romtec in Douglas County as “Active Workplace Outbreaks,” not “Resolved Workplace Outbreaks.”

OHA reports Norris Blueberry Farm now has 27 coronavirus cases. The first case tested positive on June 25. The last case tested positive 35 days later on July 30. Our County Commissioners WAITED until July 29 (over 3 weeks) to notify Douglas County residents of this outbreak. By that time, Norris Blueberry Farm had already confirmed 26 of its 27 cases and had made news nationwide.

OHA reports Romtec now has 8 coronavirus cases. The first case tested positive on July 1. The last case tested positive on July 14. Our County Commissioners NEVER notified residents of Romtec’s outbreak. The Romtec outbreak was reported by the News-Review on July 16 after the OHA weekly report was published with this information, two days after Romtec had confirmed its eighth case.

The failed disclosure of Norris Blueberry Farm and Romtec workplace outbreaks by our County Commissioners is further evidence of their downplaying the coronavirus pandemic, leading to more people becoming infected with the virus.

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Emerging%20Respitory%20Infections/COVID-19-Weekly-Report-2020-08-05-FINAL.pdf

Mike

The Oregon Health Authority provided the following Douglas County zip codes as of August 2 with the number of coronavirus cases for each (below link). ZIP codes that have fewer than 10 cases were reported as “1–9”.

97417: 1-9

97435: 1-9

97457: 1-9

97462: 1-9

97467: 1-9

97469: 1-9

97470: 31

97471: 24

97479: 35

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Emerging%20Respitory%20Infections/COVID-19-Weekly-Report-2020-08-05-FINAL.pdf

sectorstar

Well when I've been reading on here and elseware about the people inside not wearing masks.....and its like "What did you think was going to happen?"

I had posted a few times on here about my experiences working at Costco. Atleast in my city, I think Costco and Goodwill were the only places in my city to make customers wearing masks mandatory before it became a statewide order months later. Acourse it turned out to be a joke because the entire town developed "medical conditions" over night to where they were exempt from having to wear a mask and defeated the whole purpose of it. We were powerless to really do anything about it because of the american's with disabilities act and not being able to question it. It got to the point to where you saw more maskless shoppers in my store than you saw people wearing masks.

Last week (I think on the 24th or 25th?) the governor created a new policy in Oregon where all stores and businesses would be required to have customers to wear masks, and medical conditions were no longer exceptions to the rule. If they could not wear a mask or some type of face covering, they could not be in there period. Word going around is that Sherms and Safeway had recently got fined several thousand by the health dept for their lack of enforcement, so I'm sure it was probably a big wake up call for every other store. I'm sure all they had to do was walk in there for 10 seconds and say "Theres no way all these people have medical conditions!?"

Saturday was declared D-Day at Costco for when it was going to be enforced period. It was almost like working at a different store in comparison to how things had been the last few months. There was atleast 2 managers at the entrance door making sure customers had or put on a mask that was offered for free by us. Several tried to make a deal about it, but they were just referred to the giant sign we had outside explaining the new policy in Oregon and they were talked to about alternatives if they couldn't wear a mask. We could have a an employee shop for them while they waited outside, or explained other options such as Instacart or ordering from the store's website.

I would say the ones that made the biggest deal about it were the ones in their early 20s who before, also seemed to be the ones that developed medical conditions over night more quickly than any other age group when this all started. One case I saw, this man thought he was going to be all macho and intimidating and ignored the managers when he got to the entrance door and stormed inside. The store manager and another manager followed him the entire time, and guy just kept making a fool of himself for lack of a better term. Said "you can't physically drag me out of here!" The store manager said to him "I'm not gonna drag you out, I just want you put on a mask." Hope his $2.99 case of bottle water he got was worth that show he put on because its the last thing he'll ever buy from us. The store manager revoked his costco membership after that. With the medical conditions no longer being an excuse, employees also now had authority to tell someone they needed to put their mask back on if they took it off in the store or wear it correctly (not on their chin as most had been doing for months). I saw several managers even going as far as telling other customers they needed to have their noses covered as that defeated the whole purpose of wearing a mask if you don't have it on correctly. Most of them I think just said "F-U" under their breath and every case I saw them uncover their nose as soon as they walked away. But the fact that we can now actually enforce someone to have the mask attached to their face the entire time they're in the store was a major victory for us and other stores in Oregon anyways.

melrosereader

Well said sectostar. Unfortunately there are very many selfish people hereabout.

Mike

All good news. Thanks for the report.

sectorstar

I'm pretty sure the part about Sherms getting fined is true. Last week I heard from another co-worker when she was there shopping that well over half the people in there both customers/employees had no masks. Yesterday while driving on Stewart Parkway, Sherms always has this giant sign on the sidewalk near the entrance to Big 5 advertising something on sale that day. Instead of a sale, it had a giant picture of a mask and said masks/face coverings were required. It'd be one heck of a coincidence to me if they just happened to make a big deal about it now if they didn't recently get fined for it. But Sherms has been well known by people for years as a rather "odd" place to shop in terms of the employees and people you see in there, so I would not be surprised if they had no care or concern about the new enforcements with masks until they got a hefty fine slapped on them.

Mike

I checked OSHA’s website for citations and can see Casey’s (Mounts Enterprises Llc) on May 8, but don’t see a citation for Sherms or Safeway. Maybe it’s not in OSHA’s system yet.

https://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.html

jtegerdine

Effect of masks on oxygen levels:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5npQivAmcE

Mike

Today’s Douglas County Public Health Network’s noon update email reported 1 new coronavirus case today bringing the total to 141 cases. Today marks two months since our County Commissioners decided to re-open Douglas County. Since then, Douglas County coronavirus cases have skyrocketed at least 386%, not including the cases our Commissioners refuse to report because the patient’s primary residence is not in Douglas County.

DPHN has reported 20 cases over the past week. There must be 10 or fewer cases over a week before schools can be re-opened in Douglas County.

The six counties surrounding Douglas County reported 20 new coronavirus cases today and a death in Josephine County. The six counties surrounding Douglas County have reported a total of 1,372 coronavirus cases and 217 cases over the past week.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 280 new coronavirus cases today and another 5 deaths. That brings Oregon’s total coronavirus cases to 19,979 with 338 deaths.

The OHA reported a record low 705 non-ICU hospital beds available statewide in Oregon today.

Mike

Yesterday, the County Commissioner’s Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team published a COVID-19 Risk Index Chart (below link) defining the relative risk of various activities. Not included on the chart is “floating the river.” Several states define “innertubing” as a high risk activity.

Meanwhile, I continue to watch literally hundreds of people float by on the river every day, often with their innertubes all tied together in big flotillas.

https://www.co.douglas.or.us/media_room/coronavirus/information/080420%20COVID-RISK%20Index.jpg

melrosereader

In Fred Meyer two days ago. Almost everyone wore a mask. Unfortunately my unscientific estimate is that half the people did not have their noses covered. Come on People!

Mike

Oregon considering potential travel restrictions to slow spread of COVID-19

https://www.oregonlive.com/coronavirus/2020/08/oregon-considering-potential-travel-restrictions-to-slow-spread-of-covid-19.html

Mike

How is it that every pro-athlete and every politician is named who tests positive for coronavirus, but DPHN refuses to release ANY information about people who test positive in our community?

Mike

According to Mercy CEO Kelly Morgan. "The employee who tested positive was exposed on their time off, and no patients were exposed due to our PPE protocols.”

It appears Mercy’s PPE protocols may protect patients (still unknown) but not their own staff. This doesn’t give me a great deal of confidence.

Rise722

STAY HOME!!! Why do these people have to deliberately try to bring this Covid-19 to our area???

Mike

After repeatedly saying Coronavirus is no worse than the flue, why do you care?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.