MALHEUR COUNTY — The Malheur County Health Department, on Oct. 20, reported that there were two more local deaths in which COVID-19 was a contributing factor, bringing the total to 77 for the county.

According to the information, the people were a woman in her 70s and a man in his 50s, both of whom died while in the hospital.

Angie Sillonis, spokeswoman for the health department, said that numbers are slowing down at the weekly free vaccination and testing sites on Tuesdays and Thursdays through the month of October at the Malhuer County fairgrounds.

“It’s fewer, but people are still coming,” she said.

At the Oct. 19 clinic, she said there were 128 tests administered and 20 vaccines.

After October, other public drive-thru vaccine clinics are being planned, and the Health Department will be extending its clinic hours, with details pending, according to Sillonis.

Individuals needing a test are urged to use the drive-up testing clinics or visit their local provider’s clinic or doctor’s office.

For a schedule of drive-up testing events, visit the Events Calendar tab at https://malheurhealth.org/.

Free drive-up testing and vaccination events at the fairgrounds are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, with all three vaccines available, and using the BinaxNow rapid tests; and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, featuring all three vaccines and PCR tests, which take longer for results to arrive. The fairgrounds are at 795 NW 9th St., in Ontario.

Health authorities urge residents to continue taking precautions to stop the spread of COVID, including wearing a mask indoors or outdoors if you can’t stay at least 6 feet away from people who aren’t in your household, wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds and stay home if you feel ill. COVID symptoms are flu-like and usually appear within 14 days.

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