COVID-19 cases have increased slightly across Curry County over the past two weeks, according to state and local data.
Between Feb. 9 and 15, the county public health department was notified about 16 new COVID-19 cases confirmed by the county’s contracted health officer.
Four cases were connected to south county residents, and 12 were in central Curry County. A majority of the cases were connected to previously reported cases, according to Public Health Administrator Sherrié Ward.
“(Curry County Public Health) is reaching out to all reported positive cases to make sure they are insolating and monitoring for symptoms,” Ward wrote in a press release. “CCPH is currently investigating the cases through contact tracing to identify any possible contacts and exposures relevant to the cases and will reach out to anyone suspected of exposure to COVID-19.”
Since the start of the pandemic, the county has seen 373 cases of the virus, and six virus-related deaths, according to Ward.
Curry County remains in the lowest-risk category of the state’s virus restrictions, but that could change if current virus trends continue.
On Tuesday, the Oregon Health Authority reported the county had 36 cases of the virus between Jan. 31 and Feb. 13, the most recent two-week lookback period used to determine county risk levels. It also reported a test positivity rate of 6.2%.
Both of those metrics fall into the “moderate spread” category, which is higher than the county’s current status.
Fortunately, the state won’t publish new risk levels until Feb. 23, so Tuesday’s data is just a warning about new restrictions the county could face if those numbers hold through next week. An increase to the moderate level would place a few more caps on capacity for restaurants and some other indoor businesses.
Furthermore, officials in the Central Curry School District are still tracking the impacts of virus cases in the district. Last week, those cases required some groups of students to quarantine and to return online learning.
“We are still monitoring positive COVID cases that impacted our schools last week,” CCSD Superintendent Tim Wilson wrote on the district’s website this week. “Some high school students will be returning to school from quarantine while third grade will remain in (distance learning) through parts of this week. Riley Creek office staff has contacted impacted families. We will continue to share new information as it becomes necessary with new cases.”
The Curry Health Network is continuing to lead the county’s vaccination effort. Individuals 75 years and older are now eligible for the vaccine, and anyone over 65 may get on the hospitals’ wait list, which is used to contact those interested in getting the vaccine and make appointments.
The health network’s waitlist, and additional information about the vaccine, can be accessed online at www.curryhealthnetwork.com/education.