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First COVID-19 Death; Outbreak at Local Nursing Home 

Deschutes County reports first COVID-related death, 20 case outbreak at Mt. Bachelor Memory Care Center

A 63-year-old man died Tuesday of COVID-related causes, Deschutes County reports. His case was identified through local tracing, and he was admitted to St. Charles Bend after experiencing COVID-related symptoms. While he did suffer from underlying medical conditions, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act forbids staff members from sharing more in-depth and personal details of his passing.

In a press release issued Tuesday, Deschutes County Health Services Director Dr. George Conway commented, “Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of our community member that passed away today. Our hearts are heavy with this news and we want to assure the community that Health Services is committed to containing the transmission of this virus in Central Oregon.”

click to enlarge Deschutes County COVID-19 updates include the county's first fatality and six currently hospitalized patients. - PIXABAY
  • Pixabay
  • Deschutes County COVID-19 updates include the county's first fatality and six currently hospitalized patients.

On Wednesday, Deschutes County Health Services announced that it was investigating a significant COVID-19 outbreak at Mt. Bachelor Memory Care in Bend. So far, the outbreak has led to more than 20 confirmed cases. The first resident to receive a test was confirmed positive on Saturday. DCHS staff members responded quickly, testing all Memory Care staff and residents and beginning the contact tracing process.

Some test results are still outstanding.

"We are very concerned by this outbreak, and its effects on these highly vulnerable residents, their families and the staff at this facility," Conway said. "We have been working closely with local long-term care facilities to prevent further infections and to protect our communities' most vulnerable individuals."

A lack of community adherence to existing guidelines led to a recent statewide crackdown.

Earlier this month, Gov. Kate Brown issued a new set of government guidelines geared towards slowing the spread of the deadly virus. As of Wednesday, Oregon residents must wear face coverings outside if they cannot safely practice social distancing, and gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. The new guidelines were issued in response to a sharp spike in positive cases.

click to enlarge Gov. Kate Brown implemented a new set of guidelines geared towards further slowing the spread, effective July 15. - UNSPLASH
  • Unsplash
  • Gov. Kate Brown implemented a new set of guidelines geared towards further slowing the spread, effective July 15.

As of 8:30am on Wednesday, there are six COVID-19 patients at St. Charles Bend; three of the patients are in the Intensive Care Unit and all three are on ventilators.

As of Tuesday, the Oregon Health Authority reported 380 new and presumptive cases, bringing the state total to 12,805. The OHA also reported seven new COVID-related deaths, bringing the state total to 244.

The press release from DCHS on Tuesday urged Deschutes County residents to continue to maintain 6 feet distance from others, to wash their hands frequently and to wear a face covering in public. If people do experience symptoms, stay home and contact a medical profession, DCHS wrote.

For questions about COVID-19, call the hotline for St. Charles Health System at 541-699-5109.

About The Author

Cayla Clark

Cayla graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting, soon after realizing that playwriting is not a viable career option. Fortunately, this led her to journalism, and she is thrilled to be part of such a unique and fun-loving team. Upcoming local events? Send them her way!
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