Baker County Cases and Hospitalizations Climb


Baker County COVID-19 cases are climbing rapidly, and hospitalizations for COVID-19 are on the rise too. Baker County’s first COVID-19 case was reported on May 6, 2020, and the 100th case on October 1, 2020, a period of almost five months. The next 100 cases in Baker County occurred in just under six weeks.

Patients who require hospitalization for COVID-19 are normally sent from Baker County to Idaho for care. Baker County Health Department Director Nancy Staten reported that throughout the COVID-19 event in Baker County, approximately 10 patients have been hospitalized, although the exact number is hard to track because of differences between Oregon and Idaho reporting systems. That number is climbing, and more patients have been hospitalized in recent weeks than have been throughout the rest of the pandemic. Hospital capacity is decreasing throughout the region, and Idaho hospitals are predicting a crisis in December if the current trend continues.

Nancy Staten says, “Our staff is continually talking to those who have been affected by COVID-19 or who have been identified as a close contact of someone who is affected. We’re really concerned about the trend we see, and I ask the community to take notice. The things each of us do determine whether the virus infects others or not- we know nobody means to share it with others, but taking these precautions can make all the difference even before you know you have it.”

The actions we all take now will affect how COVID-19 spreads in our community. Please stay home when you’re sick, wash your hands, watch your distance from others, and wear a face covering.