After seeming to be immune from the worst parts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Curry County was pushed back into reality Tuesday.
Cases in the county have been surging in recent weeks, to the point the county moved into the Extreme Risk category last week. But even with rising cases, hospitalizations and deaths remained low. Until Tuesday, when the Oregon Health Authority reported a third death in Curry County.
The third person to die with COVID-19 is a 50-year-old man who tested positive Dec. 11 and died Dec. 21 at Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center in Bandon. He had underlying conditions. The death was the third in Curry County since the beginning of the pandemic and was one of 35 reported in Oregon on Tuesday.
Across the state, there have been just more than 105,000 COVID cases with 1,282 deaths related to the virus.
Sherrie Ward, the Curry County public health administrator, announced Tuesday morning the county had 34 new cases in the last week. Ward reported 32 cases were in south Curry County residents, two were in residents in the central part of the county and several were linked to Sea View Assisted Living Center and household contacts previously linked to Pelican Bay State Prison.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Curry County has had 254 cases with 104 cases considered active.
Ward said with COVID-19 cases on the rise, it is important to follow state and local guidelines. She urged residents to wear masks, remain at least six feet away from people outside your immediate home and, most importantly, stay home as much as you can.
Vaccinations in Oregon have begun, but health authorities urge residents to be vigilant until the vaccines can be widely used.