Fifth COVID-19 related death reported in Baker County

PRESS RELEASE

Baker County regrets to report that the Oregon Health Authority has given notice of the fifth COVID-19 related death of a Baker County resident. Our hearts go out to the family and friends who have lost a loved one.

The Oregon Health Authority reported, “Oregon’s 1,390th COVID-19 death is an 85-year-old man in Baker County who tested positive on Dec.19 and died on Dec. 21 at St. Alphonsus Medical Center. Presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed.”

Baker County Health Department Director Nancy Staten, says, “We really feel for the family and friends of this person, and we’re grieving too. This really brings home the fact that we’re not out of the woods yet.”

To protect the privacy and well-being of the family, and to maintain compliance with health information privacy regulations, no further information about the individual will be released by the County. We encourage everyone to be respectful as a family in our community grieves.

Baker County in ‘extreme risk’ category, fourth COVID-19 related death reported

PRESS RELEASE

18 new COVID cases were reported in Baker County yesterday, the highest single day report yet. As COVID cases continue to rise, take precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones.

On Wednesday, December 3, Baker County was placed in the ‘extreme risk’ category by the State of Oregon. Under the ‘extreme risk’ category, certain activities continue to be restricted similar to the recent “freeze” restrictions, including indoor dining and attending gyms. The full guidance for counties by risk category can be viewed here. Governor Brown’s COVID-19 webpage reports, “The Oregon Health Authority will examine and publish county data weekly. County risk levels will be reassigned every two weeks. The first week’s data will provide a “warning week” to prepare counties for potential risk level changes. The next assignment of risk levels will take effect Dec. 18.”

Additionally, Baker County regrets to report that this week, the Oregon Health Authority confirmed a fourth COVID-19 related death of a Baker County resident. Our hearts go out to the family and friends who have lost a loved one. The Oregon Health Authority reported on December 1, “Oregon’s 913th COVID-19 death is a 95-year-old man in Baker County who tested positive on Nov. 26 and died Nov. 26. His place of death is being confirmed. He had underlying conditions.”

Nancy Staten, Baker County Health Department Director, says, “The Health Department is working all the time to prevent COVID-19 from spreading in our community, and it’s so difficult to learn of a death related to this virus. I’m very sorry for this gentleman’s family and friends, and for our whole community’s loss.”

To protect the privacy and well-being of the family, and to maintain compliance with health information privacy regulations, no further information about the individual will be released by the County. We encourage everyone to be respectful as a family in our community grieves.

Baker County Cases and Hospitalizations Climb

PRESS RELEASE

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.