126 homeless people died in Multnomah County in 2020

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Last year, 126 people died while experiencing homelessness in Multnomah County.

However, officials said Wednesday none of the deaths were attributed to COVID-19.

Jennifer Vines, the county’s health officer, said possible explanations for the lack of coronavirus-related deaths are because of proactive responses during the pandemic, an increasingly young homeless population — as younger adults are less likely to be hospitalized due to the illness — and because there were no known COVID-19 outbreaks for people living outside in 2020 and few outbreaks in shelters.

Methamphetamines were a factor in nearly half of the homeless deaths.

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