▶️ Mosaic Medical sees plenty of early interest in vaccines for 12+

Cooper Perkins was among the first eligible pre-teens in Deschutes County Thursday to receive the first round of the Pfizer COVID vaccine.

“It was a like a very small flu shot,” the 12-year-old said. “It barely hurt and it ensures my health.”

Cooper’s father says he jumped at the opportunity to get his son immunized.

“My decision was based on science,” said Travis Perkins. “As soon as 16 days after the second vaccine, the CDC just announced that they are going to fully release people from wearing masks and we can go back to living a normal lifestyle.”

The Perkins weren’t the only families eager to get the shot Thursday.

“I arrived at 7:45, not anticipating a lot of patients at this point because it wasn’t well advertised,” said Tamarra Harris, Mosaic Pediatrics Clinic Manager. “We had waiting room only, standing room only,”

By 3:15, about 70 young people received their first doses of the vaccine.

“They want their kids to be able to hang out with their friends this summer,” Harris said. “They want their kids to be able to do sports; to be able to do all the things they’ve wanted to do for last year plus.”

Walk-in vaccines will be available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Mosaic Medical on Courtney Drive.

The nonprofit community health center is also hosting a vaccination clinic on Saturday at Riverbend Park from 9 am to 12 for anyone ages 12 and up.

No appointments are necessary.

Click here for more info.

▶️ COVID fatigue prevalent among medics, nurses but strict precautions to remain

As vaccination rates increase and health restrictions ease, Central Oregonians are looking forward to getting back to a semblance of normal life.

But front-line medical workers—nurses and medics—are resigned to wearing protective equipment and taking special precautions for as long as there’s a risk of infection.

Paramedics, nurses and health care workers have been taking extra precautions since the COVID pandemic began 15 months ago.

“We are getting tired of all the extra PPE we have to put on. It does increase our response times and the time it takes for us to get ready for every call,” said Ben Brugeman, a Firefighter/Paramedic with the Bend Fire Department.

Bend firefighter-paramedics wear N95 masks on every call for every patient.

If dispatch informs them a patient might have COVID symptoms or some respiratory illness, they put on additional PPE including gowns, goggles and face shields to protect their eyes.

“Nobody wants to take get sick from it or take it home to their family members,” Brugeman said.

A recent American Nursing Association survey of 22,000 nurses found that more than half of them feel exhausted, 43% are overwhelmed and more than a quarter feel a desire to quit the profession.

“Yes, I am getting tired of it. I’ve also kind of relinquished that this is probably the new norm,” said Neysa Larson, a registered nurse who works at St. Charles.

Even with 80% of the Bend firefighters fully immunized, the department, hospitals and health care clinics continue to treat COVID as a serious illness.

“It will probably at least another year would be my guess before we are able to reduce our PPE requirements,” Brugeman added.

▶️ Unseen History Pt. 2: Bend man’s father leaves Europe with relics of Axis powers

We continue our exclusive interview tonight with a Bend family who’s donating their father’s collection of World War II artifacts to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

As a battlefield intelligence sergeant with the U.S. 5th Army, Alex Sabbadini helped the Allies win the war in Italy.

One of his squad’s missions – capture Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

Tonight, Central Oregon Daily’s Brooke Snavely shows us how that assignment ended and what Sabbadini found when he sat at Mussolini’s desk.

Previous Coverage:

▶️ Unseen History Pt. 1: Bend man’s unique WWII documents heading to museum in D.C.

▶️ Unseen History Pt. 1: Bend man’s unique WWII documents heading to museum in D.C.

He’s a Bend man with a link to the past – a unique family connection to the critical final days of World War II.

Roger Sabbadini has documents and photographs handed down by his father Alex that have never been made public.

They’re communications between Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini, attack strategies, pictures of the two leaders together.

How Roger got those documents is a fascinating and largely untold piece of military history.

Soon, the documents – never seen publicly before this story – will be part of the collection at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

In part one of a two-part series, Central Oregon Daily’s Brooke Snavely has more on the remarkable story of Alex Sabbadini, a Jewish-Italian Army soldier who ended up in the U.S. Army – tracking Axis leaders in their final days.

▶️ MountainStar Family Relief Nursery leader leaves legacy of hope for victims

MountainStar Family Relief Nursery is celebrating 20 years of keeping young children safe, strengthening families, and helping parents be successful.

The Bend-based nonprofit has served 5,000 babies and toddlers and provided personal contact and support to 20,000 parents with the goal of preventing child abuse.

But this year it’s also observing the departure of the only executive director the organization has ever known.

Central Oregon Daily’s Brooke Snavely talked with Tim Rusk about the important work happening at the agency.

▶️ The Great Outdoors: Spring skiing at Mt. Bachelor

The dead of winter – that’s when we get out big Cascade snowfall that packs the powder for the months to come.

And as we near summer, and that snowpack softens, we end up with some really good spring skiing.

In this week’s edition of The Great Outdoors, Central Oregon Daily’s Brooke Snavely looks into the lesser-known season for local mountain sports.


▶️ High school COVID vaccination clinics begin as anti-vax protesters gather outside

The first COVID vaccination clinic for students in local high schools was met with protests today.

Parents and others concerned about teens getting the shot demonstrated outside Bend Senior High School, shouting at kids as they made their way to classes this morning.

Despite that, more than 170 students chose to get the shot.

“We are out here because we don’t agree with having vaccine clinics at school where parents are not here to give consent,” said Jonna Girod, a concerned parent. “I know here in Oregon 15 years old is the age to give consent but that’s for an FDA approved drug or biologic and this is still an experimental vaccine.”

Inside Bend High today, a first for Oregon…a free COVID vaccination clinic for high school students age 16 and up…one of the fastest-growing age groups for the virus.

“Students are busy. They have school. They have sports. They have jobs,” said Ellie Millan, a PNP and Mosaic Medical Pediatrics Clinical Medical Director. “They may not have time to get out to the fairgrounds and we know the clinic at the fairgrounds is ending soon so this was opportunity to bring the opportunity to vaccinate here to their own schools.”

The High School COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics project is designed to reduce barriers to vaccine accessibility among youth while building healthier communities.

Physicians with Mosaic Medical administered the vaccines.

‘Might need to look at Plan B’: 700 BLP students quarantined due to COVID concerns

The program started Thursday at Bend High with teens getting their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

The clinics will be at all the local high schools over the next couple of weeks.

Some parents showed up to voice their opposition to the clinics.

“Children 15 or older can make the decision without their parents to get the vaccine. As teenagers, they just don’t know,” said Jennifer Richlick, parent of a Bend High student. “The last 18 months of our lives have been scary, so they are unsure. There’s peer pressure in school. We just don’t feel that this is okay.”

Suzanne Mendez, Director of Pediatrics at St. Charles, says she’s seen the worst cases of COVID in children, ranging in age from infants to 18-year olds.

“We’ve personally had to life flight out at least four kids for the life-threatening complication, it’s a very complicated name, multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, which can be lethal. There’s been about 30 cases statewide which, out of 800,000 kids, is much higher than any risk of any vaccine,” Mendez said.

Each high school will host two clinics before the end of the school year, allowing students who choose to participate to be fully vaccinated before summer.

“Kids are at such a low risk for issues with COVID. For a lot of them, it’s just like having a cold or they don’t even have symptoms,” Girod said. “I don’t think it’s necessary for children to get a vaccine.”

“COPA is in full support of this vaccine clinic,” said Logan Clausen, Central Oregon Pediatrics Chief Medical Officer. “We think it is fantastic to give patients as many opportunities to get a vaccine if they choose. We want to make it easy, accessible, and have the most chances for people to make that choice.”

Protestors say they’ll show up at all the school vaccination clinics.

  • Bend Senior High School: April 29 and May 20
  • La Pine High School: May 6 and May 27
  • Mountain View High School: May 4 and May 25
  • Crook County High School: May 4 and May 25
  • Summit High School: May 6 and May 27
  • Redmond High School: May 7 and May 26
  • Ridgeview High School: May 11 and June 1
  • Sisters High School: May 13 and June 3
  • Madras High School: Completed in April

Students from area private schools, alternative learning options and charter schools will be invited to attend the clinic nearest to their school location.

▶️ The Great Outdoors: No limit trout fishing at Chickahominy Reservoir

Due to drought, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is lifting possession and size limits for trout at one of Central Oregon’s best fishing holes.

On this week’s edition of The Great Outdoors, sponsored by Parr Lumber, Brooke Snavely takes us to Chickahominy Reservoir near Burns where anglers are having a blast catching all the fish they want.

▶️ The Great Outdoors: Busy beavers helping to restore our ecosystems

Water is precious here in arid Central Oregon.

With the ongoing drought shrinking local rivers and lakes, beavers are being re-introduced on the landscape to help restore healthy ecosystems.

On this week’s edition of The Great Outdoors, sponsored by Parr Lumber, Brooke Snavely explores the many benefits the largest rodent in North America brings to us here on the High Desert.

▶️ Foundation prepares care packages as thank you to Bend-La Pine teachers, staff

A small army of volunteers prepared care packages today for more than 2,000 teachers and staff at Bend-La Pine Schools.

The care packages will be delivered to the schools on Tuesday to thank educators for staying focused on students during the pandemic.

Into each care package goes a water bottle filled with candy and coupons, a book of discounts to local businesses, cookies, chips, and energy bars.

All the goodies were donated, and all the people doing the work are volunteers.

“We really hope the educators and staff in Bend-La Pine schools feel that community support for all they’ve done this year,” said Angie Cole, Education Foundation Faculty Chair. “It’s been an amazing effort for a challenging year. We really want them to know how much they are appreciated.”

Every thank you on every note in every care package is handwritten.

“I have three children in the school district, and I think it’s really important to send appreciation to the staff who’ve had a challenging year,” said Anne Westerhoff, volunteer. “In fact, every year I like to do anything I can to show our appreciation for their hard work and dedication.”

The Education Foundation for Bend-La Pine Schools typically funds classroom grants and activity fee scholarships.

This year, the Foundation has focused on expressing appreciation to educators and school staff during a difficult year.

“We’ve been working on this initiative for the past four months. We are very excited to celebrate our teachers, staff, and everyone who’s worked so hard this last COVID year to make sure our community along with our kids have been taken care of,” said Michele Emery, Education Foundation Vice President.

The volunteers involved come from parent-teacher organizations, local businesses and individual community members who heard about the project and wanted to help.