(Update: Adding video, county and hospital comments)
Warm Springs also reports first death; OHA reports 396 new cases, 39 in Central Oregon; Mt. Bachelor Memory care reports 2 deaths, more cases
PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) — COVID-19 has claimed nine more lives in Oregon — the highest daily count since the pandemic began — including two at Bend’s Mt. Bachelor Memory Care, raising the death toll to 282, the Oregon Health Authority and local officials reported Friday.
OHA also reported 396 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. Friday, bringing the state’s total to 16,104 cases, along with 350,463 negative test results.
The OHA’s reported death toll so far has not include the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs report late Thursday of its first COVID-19 death. Warm Springs’ COVID-19 cases are included in the Jefferson County statistics.
Friday’s nine reported deaths, including two Deschutes County residents in their 90s, are the highest number of deaths reported in a single day in Oregon since the start of the pandemic.
Friday’s new cases are in the following counties: Baker (1), Clackamas (25), Columbia (1), Crook (1), Curry (2), Deschutes (16), Douglas (6), Gilliam (1), Hood River (4), Jackson (5), Jefferson (22), Josephine (1), Klamath (2), Lane (16), Linn (7), Malheur (18), Marion (58), Multnomah (71), Polk (6), Umatilla (59), Wasco (1), Washington (54), and Yamhill (8).
Morgan Emerson of Deschutes County Health Services confirmed the two deaths in the county that OHA officials reported Friday were from Mt. Bachelor Memory Care, hit with an outbreak in recent weeks.
Emerson said recent test results have found that a total of 60 people — 38 residents and 22 staff — at the facility have tested positive for COVID-19, about double the initial count.
All residents and staff originally were tested, and more recently, those who originally tested negative were re-tested, Emerson said. The plan going forward is to test all staff and residents who tested negative each week, until there are two weeks with no new positive results.
“The key challenge when you look at long-term care facilities is when you have many people living and eating together,” Emerson said. “Just like we see in our residents across the county, we see more cases that are associated with household contacts or close contacts.”
Emerson said the facility has about 50-55 residents and 50 staff total. “Of those who have tested positive, the majority of staff have developed symptoms and the majority of residents have not developed symptoms,” she added.
An official with Mt. Bachelor Memory Care in Bend confirmed Friday the deaths of two hospice care residents who tested positive for the virus and who had underlying health conditions.
Of late, 11 more staff and 13 more residents have tested positive for COVID-19, said Mallory DaCosta, regional vice president for Frontier Management. The initial outbreak, reported earlier this month, found more than 30 staff and residents had tested positive for the virus.
“Based on our internal tracing, we have confirmed that these cases are associated with the initial outbreak that we reported earlier and not a new outbreak,” DaCosta said.
“It is expected that these numbers will continue to fluctuate as we frequently test,” she wrote, “and it is important to note that recoveries will not be reported until 60 days has passed.
“We have been prepared for this and are following protocols from the CDC, state and local health agencies. We have activated all proper quarantine procedures for staff members and residents. And we continue to aggressively implement disinfection, mask use, self-distancing and hygiene,” DaCosta said.
Crook County has now had 30 cases, one death and 1,408 negative test results. Deschutes County has had 419 cases, three deaths and 15,048 negative test results. Jefferson County has had 244 cases, no deaths and 2,735 negative test results.
For the second straight day, St. Charles Health System reported 16 COVID-19 patients on Friday, the highest count since the pandemic began. Three patients were in the ICU and on ventilators, officials said.
A hospital official said Friday they feel confident they still have enough space, should the numbers spike.
“The virus that causes COVID-19 disease can affect people in very serious ways, and much of this is in our hands at this point in time,” said Dr. Jeffrey Absalon, chief physician executive for St. Charles Health System.
“Although we have been in this pandemic for a number of months now, and it can become tiring to adhere to these restrictions, (but) it really does make a difference.”
Oregon’s 274th COVID-19 death is a 61-year-old woman in Multnomah County who died July 18 in her residence. The death certificate listed COVID-19 disease, or SARS-CoV-2, as a cause of death, or as a significant condition that contributed to her death. No confirmatory testing for COVID-19 was performed, but this aligns with the CSTE probable case definition for a presumptive case, which OHA follows.
Oregon’s 275th COVID-19 death is a 68-year-old woman in Clackamas County who tested positive June 5 and died July 16, at Providence Portland Medical Center. She had underlying conditions.
Oregon’s 276th COVID-19 death is a 92-year-old man in Deschutes County who tested positive July 12 and died July 18. His place of death is being confirmed. He had underlying conditions.
Oregon’s 277th COVID-19 death is a 96-year-old man in Deschutes County who tested positive July 12 and died July 23, in his residence. He had underlying conditions.
Oregon’s 278th COVID-19 death is a 90-year-old woman in Malheur County who tested positive July 9 and died July 23, in her residence. She had underlying conditions.
Oregon’s 279th COVID-19 death is a 74-year-old man in Marion County who tested positive July 3 and died July 22, at Salem Hospital. He had underlying conditions.
Oregon’s 280th COVID-19 death is a 62-year-old woman in Multnomah County who tested positive July 18 and died July 18. More information is being confirmed.
Oregon’s 281st COVID-19 death is an 87-year-old woman in Umatilla County who tested positive July 10 and died July 22. She had underlying conditions. Her place of death is being confirmed.
Oregon’s 282nd COVID-19 death is a 69-year-old man in Umatilla County who tested positive July 8 and died July 21, in his residence. He had underlying conditions.
Outbreak reported at Norris Blueberry Farm
An outbreak of 22 cases of COVID-19 has been reported at Norris Blueberry Farm in Douglas County. The case count includes all persons linked to the outbreak, which may include household members and other close contacts to an employee.
The investigation started June 25, but the initial case count was below the threshold for public disclosure.
Stay informed about COVID-19:
Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Office of Emergency Management lead the state response.
United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.