Another week, another peak; social gatherings to blame for local COVID spike

By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

COVID cases continue to skyrocket in Central Oregon with Deschutes County reporting nearly 50 cases in the last two days alone.

And County Commissioners are puzzled about how to stop the spread.

“How do we know this isn’t just going to keep going on no matter what we shut down,” Commissioner Phil Henderson said Monday.

Deschutes County cases have been steadily climbing each week since mid-October, reaching their highest level since the pandemic began.

Overall, the county has reported 1,484 cases.

Local health officials say it’s going to take more of a personal effort, limiting travel and social gatherings.

Jill Johnson, Deschutes County Public Health communicable disease supervisor, says it’s important to remember that just because you’re with close friends or family, doesn’t mean you can’t get sick.

“Everyone has their own experiences that they’re bringing to those social gatherings,” Johnson said. “That’s why the prevention measures remain so important.”

Vicky Ryan, Crook County Health Department emergency preparedness coordinator, says all of their cases are tied to personal behavior, not outbreaks.

“We’re starting to see a lot of the relaxed behaviors in the personal environments of our community members,” Ryan said.

Crook County has reported 141 total cases since the pandemic started.

While County Commissioners did not come up with a solution at Monday’s meeting, they say it will be discussed further.

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