COVID-19

Health authorities continue to stress that slowing the pandemic means everyone should be washing their hands frequently, practicing social distancing and wearing face coverings when out in public.

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Curry County reported its eighth COVID-19 related death last week.

According to the Curry County Public Health, the individual was a 71-year-old male with underlying conditions.

This week is the second in a row the county has reported a new virus-related death.

“Our hearts and thoughts go out to the families whom have lost a loved one during this time,” wrote Sherrié Ward, the county’s public health administrator.

This week, the county’s two-week case rate ticked up slightly, while its two-week test positivity rate decreased by several points.

Between Feb. 28 and March 13, Curry County reported 53 new cases of the virus, and 6.2% of tests came back positive.

The county remains in the high-risk category of virus restrictions through at least next week. The state will announce new restriction levels Tuesday, which will take effect Friday.

An increase in two-week cases to 60, or an increase in test positivity to 10%, would push Curry County back into the extreme-risk zone, with indoor dining and some indoor recreation facilities shuttered. Conversely, a decrease in cases to below 45 for the period, with a test positivity below 8%, would open the county back up at the moderate-risk level.

Of the county’s 30 cases reported last week, 22 came from south county, seven came from central county and one came from north county, according to Ward.

By Tuesday, Curry County ranked 23 of 36 in the number of people vaccinated per 10,000 residents. About 4,300 in the county had received a dose of the vaccine by then, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

Of those, about 1,000 were over 80 years old; 760 between 75 and 79; 760 between 70 and 74; and 519 between 65 and 69, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

Last week, OHA Director Patrick Allen announced the county would be receiving an additional 500 doses of the vaccine from the state to make up for gaps in dose allocations compared to other counties across the state.

Where are vaccines available?

Curry Health Network is continuing to distribute COVID-19 vaccine doses to county residents in phases 1a and 1b, which includes health workers, educators and those over 65. The hospital network is keeping waitlists for anyone, in any group, interested in receiving a vaccine, online at www.curryhealthnetwork.com/education.

Several pharmacies are administering vaccines separately, with doses received outside of county allocations. Each has its own policies, but is bound by the state’s guidance, meaning those who are currently eligible for vaccines can sign up for appointments.

Bi-Mart pharmacies at some locations are administering vaccines. Appointments can be made online at www.bimart.com/pharmacy/covid-19-vaccine.

Fred Meyer is administering vaccines at some locations. Appointments can be made online at www.fredmeyer.com/rx/covid-eligibility.  

Some Health Mart pharmacies, which have locations in Reedsport and Gold Beach, are administering vaccines. Appointments can be made online at www.healthmartcovidvaccine.com.

CORRECTION: A headline and article on page A1 of the Friday, February 12, 2021 paper incorrectly listed the county’s virus-related death toll at the time. The death reported in that article was the county’s seventh. The Pilot regrets the error.

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