Curry Medical Center

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Curry County’s virus-related death toll has increased to five after two deaths in December were linked to COVID-19, county health officials announced this week.

Both of those deaths were connected to an outbreak at the Sea View Senior Living Community in Brookings. That outbreak has been linked to 28 cases of the virus and two deaths, as of data available Tuesday.

The county’s fourth death was of an 89-year-old man who died Dec. 20 at Curry General Hospital. His death was reported by the Oregon Health Authority Jan. 13.

The county’s fifth death was of a 79-year-old woman who tested positive for the virus Dec. 9 and died in her residence Dec. 18. Her death was reported by OHA Jan. 15.

Both individuals had some kind of underlying conditions, though health officials don’t specify what conditions in addition to COVID-19 may have contributed to someone’s death.

“Please remember, it is important that we all follow the OHA and CDC guidelines and governor’s directives about social distancing, wearing facial coverings in public buildings and protecting yourselves by staying home to slow the spread and save lives,” wrote County Public Health Administrator Sherrié Ward in a press release. “CCPH will continue to keep the public informed with all the information we can in order to keep our citizens safe.”

In total, Curry County has seen 324 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, according to OHA data available Tuesday.

Overall, the county’s cases have been declining in recent weeks. Last week, the county’s case count and positive test rate were low enough to allow it to loosen virus restrictions to the “moderate” level, the lowest level of restrictions in the southwest corner of the state.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of the county’s cases have been reported in the Brookings-Harbor ZIP code, which had seen 243 cases as of Jan. 13. The Gold Beach ZIP code reported 36 the same day, and Port Orford reported between 1 and 9, a number too low to be disclosed by state health authorities.

The county has also been continuing to vaccinate residents against COVID-19. Just over 750 people countywide have received their first dose of the vaccine as of Jan. 18, though the state’s data typically lags a few days

Curry Health Network is currently vaccinating individuals in phase 1A, including health care workers and first responders, and is preparing to vaccinate a segment of phase 1B, including educators, child care workers and preschool workers. After that group, the hospital plans to vaccinate individuals 80 years and older.

Those eligible for the next phases of the vaccination, including educators and those over 80, can contact the hospital at 541-247-3119 or covidvaccine@curryhealth.org to be placed on a list for future scheduling. The hospital highly recommends emailing, as phone lines are busy.

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