Free vaccines and testing

Free testing and vaccines for COVID-19 are available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each Tuesday thru Oct. 26 at the Malheur County fairgrounds. 

MALHEUR COUNTY — According to a news release on Wednesday from the Malheur County Health Department, another two residents who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 have died. This includes a man in his 40s, who died at home, and another in his 80s, who died in the hospital.

There is no additional information at this time, including whether the men died of COVID or of other causes.

The deaths bring the total number to 72 for the county.

Since both vaccinated and unvaccinated people can catch and spread the virus; the Centers for Disease Control urges all people to wear masks indoors and outdoors if 6 feet of distance cannot be kept between yourself and others.

Additionally, the health department is reminding people that flu season is underway. As such, individuals who feel any symptoms of being sick are urged to stay home and away from other people.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, there were 200 COVID cases for the week of Sept. 26, with a positivity rate of 15.6%. The Health Department has previously stated that positivity rate should ideally be closer to 5%.

So far, for the week of Oct. 3, there have been four people admitted to the hospital and one discharged, according to data from the Oregon Health Authority. This is down from the week of Sept. 26, which saw seven admissions and 11 discharges.

According to the Oregon Health Authority’s epidemic trends and projections report on Sept. 30, hospital occupancy in the state decreased by 128 patients (or 14%) from Sept. 21-30. If numbers continue to slide until Oct. 19, about 56 people per day would need hospitalized. However, if it cases persists at the recent level, there would be 94 people per day needing to be hospitalized by then.

The majority of those who have been sick in Malheur County have experienced symptoms, with cough, headache and muscle aches reported as the top symptoms.

To track COVID in the state, Oregon counties have been broken up into 9 regions, with Malheur County being in Region 9.

According to data from the health authority,there have been 611 vaccine breakthrough cases, including eight deaths, which have been identified through May 3. Region 9 has experienced 17 breakthrough cases, but OHA does not provide data about which counties the deaths occurred in.

Counseling and crisis support services can be accessed through Lifeways, by phoning (541) 889-9167.

People are encouraged to be respectful for those who are grieving from losing a loved one or friend.

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