Linn County death added to state coronavirus total

By Kelly Kenoyer
Lebanon Local

Linn County recorded its 11th death from the coronavirus earlier this week, according to the Oregon Health Authority, but the victim actually died in early June.
The 75-year-old man tested positive on April 7 and died on June 10 in his residence. He had underlying conditions, the OHA reported.
According to the OHA, the delay in recognizing the man’s death as COVID-related is due to the fact that the OHA receives death certificate information from the Office of Vital Statistics.
Epidemiologists review death certificate information for Oregonians who have COVID-19 listed as a main cause of death or a contributing cause of death. When a death is reported to a county, the county may not always have the cause of death, and this death would not be counted as a COVID-19 related death.
During data reconciliation by OHA, additional COVID-19 related deaths may be found and reported. The Linn County death was one of eight that were identified during this review process.
The previous COVID death reported in Linn County was in June.
As of Thursday, Aug. 13, these are the updated COVID-19 case numbers for the state and locally.
Oregon has had 22,029 total coronavirus cases and 378 deaths. Eleven of those deaths were in Linn County, which has had 303 total cases since the beginning of the pandemic. That means 1.7 percent of coronavirus cases in Oregon have resulted in death, while Linn county has a higher death rate at 3.6 percent. At least 13 percent of cases have been asymptomatic in Oregon, according to authorities.
Linn County’s higher death count of 11 may have to do with the circumstances of Linn County’s worst outbreak at the Veterans’ home in Lebanon. That outbreak had 38 cases, and eight of them died. The elderly are at significantly increased risk of death if they contract coronavirus, studies show.
Oregon is on a slight downward trend for new cases per day after hitting a peak at 389 new cases on July 18 and a secondary peak of 386 cases on July 29. There were 247 new cases on August 12.
The state of Oregon currently mandates the use of face coverings like masks in indoor public spaces and outdoor public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible.
About 0.52 percent of the entire state of Oregon has been infected with coronavirus to date.