OHA reports 263 new COVID cases; Deschutes Co. total surpasses 600

COVID-19 has claimed one more life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 356, the Oregon Health Authority reported Sunday.

The OHA reported 263 new confirmed and presumptive cases, bringing the state total to 21,272.

The new cases are in the following counties: Clackamas (15), Columbia (2), Deschutes (8), Douglas (1), Hood River (7), Jackson (4), Jefferson (5), Josephine (1), Lane (6), Lincoln (2), Linn (4), Malheur (15), Marion (28), Morrow (3), Multnomah (66), Polk (1), Umatilla (40), Wasco (3), Washington (42), Yamhill (10).

Deschutes County’s eight new cases bring its total to 604. Jefferson County has now reported 360 cases; 47 cases in Crook County.

In Deschutes County, 380 patients have recovered as of Friday, the latest data available.

COVID claims 10th life in Deschutes Co.; 376 new cases reported statewide

A 10th Deschutes County resident has died from COVID complications, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

The 80-year-old man tested positive on July 23rd and died on Friday. Additional details are still being confirmed.

The statewide death toll has now reached 355 with seven total deaths reported Saturday.

The OHA reported 376 new and presumptive cases of COVID, bringing the state’s total to 21,010.

Fifteen new cases were reported in Deschutes County to bring its total to 596; 380 have recovered as of Friday, the latest data available.

The new cases are in the following counties: Benton (5), Clackamas (23), Clatsop (1), Columbia (3), Coos (1), Crook (4), Curry (1), Deschutes (15), Douglas (2), Hood River (3), Jackson (12), Jefferson (9), Josephine (1), Lane (14), Lincoln (2), Linn (6), Malheur (14), Marion (47), Morrow (6), Multnomah (87), Polk (5), Sherman (2), Umatilla (27), Wasco (8), Washington (56), Yamhill (22).

Crook County is now reporting 47 cases; Jefferson County is reporting 355.


▶️ Locals excited for famed Sturgis motorcycle rally despite COVID risks


Sturgis is the world’s largest motorcycle rally.

Once a year, riders from around the country gather in the small South Dakota town for a big celebration.

Redmond resident Donn Hougham, his wife Marni, and their close-knit group of Harley fanatics are traveling over 1300 miles to experience the bucket list-worthy rally.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We live life to the fullest, I’m not scared,” Hougham said.

For its 80th anniversary, as many as 250,000 people are expected to attend Sturgis this year.

And believe it or not, that’s a small number compared to previous anniversary years – more than 730,000 attended in 2015.

Donn says he’s not concerned over the number of people that will likely show up, and that COVID aside, he and his friends are not the types to worry about what they can’t control.

“We pretty much live life. We’re just not afraid, we’re cautious, but we’re not afraid,” Hougham said. “We’re trying to live without all the chaos. We did do the lockdown like everyone else did. We wondered this isn’t much of a life so once riding season came we were riding.”
Donn’s wife Marni says they’ve already missed out on enough since the start of the pandemic.

“All of our runs, all of our rides were canceled, and we ride all summer long. Sturgis is still open, it’s still happening, it’s still going. This is a big deal for us because we haven’t had any of those big runs and fun trips.”

But are they concerned with getting sick and bringing it back to Central Oregon?

Not necessarily.

The group says they’ll be taking the precautions they feel comfortable with.

“The flu virus is out there every year. People have died from that,” Hougham said. “Yes be careful, if you’re worried and you want to wear a mask, then wear a mask. If you’re worried about social distancing too close, then don’t stay next to your buddy. Or if you go shopping, stay away from people. That’s your personal choice and your personal fears. We as a group don’t have those like others do, so we’re going.”

In the end, it’s an experience they’re not willing to miss out on and big crowds are just a part of the deal.

“We live life to the fullest, and so if that means wear a mask, then I guess we’ll wear a mask. But if not, then we just live.”

▶️ Oregon State Parks tacks on extra fee for non-resident campers

Oregon State Parks is adding a new surcharge on campsites for out-of-state visitors.

The increase will add up to 30% to the nightly cost to camp in a state park for nonresidents.

Including lodging tax, the average cost for a full-service RV site is currently $33 per night, and starting August 10, will increase to an average of $42 for nonresidents making new reservations, or arriving without a reservation.

The average tent rate is currently $19 per night and will increase to $23 for non-residents.

The move is to encourage local recreation and provide funding to operate the Oregon State Park system, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) said.

The surcharge will remain in effect the rest of 2020. A decision about rates for 2021 will be made this autumn.

“We love serving all people, no matter where they live,” says Lisa Sumption, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Director. “Even so, this temporary change is needed to remind people to stay as close to home as possible while enjoying the outdoors, and to provide much-needed support for the Oregon state park system, which faces a projected $22 million shortfall between now and June 2021.”

In addition to encouraging recreation close to home, the surcharge could generate up to $500,000 through the end of the year to hire staff and pay for cleaning supplies and other park operations.

▶️ Bend councilor, bar owner at odds; businesses struggle with mask requirements


Bend City Councilor Bill Moseley said he was checking up on the Astro Lounge in Downtown Bend.

But the Astro Lounge’s owner said Moseley came into the bar “without a mask and screamed” at an employee.

“I’m not the sort of person who screams ever,” Moseley said.

Moseley said he did take off his mask when visiting the bar so the bartender could hear him.

“I went over and talked to them and I expressed concern and my hopes that they’ll conform to overall requirements,” Moseley said.

Owner Josh Maquet said the bar has been written up by both the OLCC and OSHA for violating social distancing and mask requirements.

In a letter to the editor of The Source Weekly, Maquet described the difficulty of owning a bar during the pandemic.

“My sales are way down,” Maquet said. Trying to get customers to social distance is a “constant battle at all times.”

Maquet didn’t want to comment further for this story, but he did say he is considering shutting down the Astro Lounge bar for a while in part because of how difficult it is to enforce social distancing and mask requirements.

After the incident at the bar, Moseley and Maquet agreed to meet with several other business owners to discuss difficulties the owners are facing.

“We actually learned quite a bit and we are empathetic to how difficult it can be to operate a business safely,” Moseley said.

Moseley has taken some of those concerns mentioned back to Bend City Council.


Last-ditch virus aid talks collapse; no help for jobless now

WASHINGTON (AP) — A last-ditch effort by Democrats to revive Capitol Hill talks on vital COVID-19 rescue money collapsed in disappointment Friday, making it increasingly likely that Washington gridlock will mean more hardship for millions of people who are losing enhanced jobless benefits and further damage for an economy pummeled by the still-raging coronavirus.

“It was a disappointing meeting,” declared top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer, saying the White House had rejected an offer by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to curb Democratic demands by about $1 trillion.

He urged the White House to “negotiate with Democrats and meet us in the middle. Don’t say it’s your way or no way.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “Unfortunately we did not make any progress today.”

Republicans said Pelosi was relying on budget maneuvers to curb costs and contended she has overplayed her hand.

Often an impasse in Washington is of little consequence for the public — not so this time.

It means longer and perhaps permanent expiration of a $600 per-week bonus pandemic jobless benefit that’s kept millions of people from falling into poverty.

It denies more than $100 billion to help schools reopen this fall.

It blocks additional funding for virus testing as cases are surging this summer.

And it denies billions of dollars to state and local governments considering furloughs as their revenue craters.

423 new cases reported statewide but OHA says COVID spread is slowing

The Oregon Health Authority on Friday reported 423 new and presumed cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 20,336.

Nine reported new deaths bring the state’s death toll to 348.

A 75-year-old man in Jefferson County tested positive on July 10 and died on August 5, at St. Charles in Bend. He had underlying conditions.

Another of the new deaths reported today by the OHA was a Deschutes County resident that was previously reported by county health officials. A paperwork glitch kept it from being reported by the state until today.

Nine total Deschutes County residents have died from COVID complications.

Jefferson County has reported four deaths.

The new cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (1), Benton (3), Clackamas (16), Clatsop (1), Columbia (2), Deschutes (18), Douglas (3), Grant (1), Hood River (3), Jackson (12), Jefferson (5), Josephine (3), Klamath (1), Lane (13), Lincoln (1), Linn (6), Malheur (21), Marion (47), Morrow (21), Multnomah (110), Polk (7), Umatilla (53), Union (2), Wasco (3), Washington (53), and Yamhill (17).

Deschutes County added 18 new cases to bring its total to 582; 380 patients have recovered.

Three people at Bend Transitional Care have tested positive for COVID; one is a patient who is considered recovered while the other two are employees who had no to minimal contact with residents, according to Morgan Emerson with Deschutes County Health.

But because they are a care facility, one case triggers an “outbreak response” which means they test every staff member and resident. That is happening now, Emerson said.

Those cases are not part of today’s reported cases, Emerson said.

Crook County remains at 43 cases while Jefferson County’s five new cases bring its total to 346.

St. Charles on Friday reported eight COVID patients; two are in the ICU and on ventilators.

More than 417,000 Oregonians have tested negative for COVID.

New modeling report shows slowing spread of COVID 19 in Oregon

Today OHA released new modeling about the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon.

The model includes three future scenarios: one in which transmission continues at the current rate, one in which transmission decreases by 10% and one in which transmission increases by 10%.

The model projects that:

  • If transmission continues at the current level during the next month, the estimated number of new daily infections will remain steady over the next four weeks at approximately 1,000 per day, and the number of daily new severe cases will increase slightly from 17 to 19.
  • If transmission decreases by 10 percent and continues at that level during the next month, the model projects approximately 300 new infections per day and 9 new severe cases per day by Aug. 27.
  • If transmission increases by 10 percent and continues at that level during the next month, the model projects approximately 2,300 new infections per day and 32 new severe cases per day by Aug. 27.

The results suggest that transmission increased substantially during May, then decreased somewhat in late June and early July.

Despite the apparent leveling of transmission, the virus continues to spread in Oregon and continues to cause loss of life.

OHA urges Oregonians to continue to wear face coverings, practice physical distancing, avoid large gatherings, and wash hands frequently.

US adds 1.8 million jobs in a sign that hiring has weakened

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States added 1.8 million jobs in July, a pullback from the gains of May and June and evidence that the resurgent coronavirus has weakened hiring and the economic rebound.

At any other time, hiring at that level would be seen as a blowout gain. But after employers shed a staggering 22 million jobs in March and April, much larger increases are needed to heal the job market.

The hiring of the past three months has recovered only 42% of the jobs lost to the pandemic-induced recession, according to the Labor Department’s jobs report released Friday.

And now, with much of the nation having paused or reversed plans to restore economic activity, many employers are still reluctant or unable to hire and consumers remain generally hesitant to shop, travel or eat out.

Until the health crisis is solved through a vaccine or an effective treatment, most experts say the economy will struggle to sustain any recovery.

Though the unemployment rate fell last month from 11.1% to 10.2%, that level still exceeds the highest rate during the 2008-2009 Great Recession.

▶️ ‘It gives us a chance to play’: Mt. View FB coach reacts to shifting seasons

It’ll be a high school sports season like no other.

Fall sports are postponed – moved to the spring.

Winter sports won’t start until January and the usual spring sports like softball and golf will move to the beginning of May.

Tonight, we hear from a local coach about the crazy 2020-21 sports calendar.

Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom has the story.


▶️ Crook County Fair begins with the usual fun in unusual times


It looks a little different this year, but the Crook County Fair is ON.

And those who attended on day one say they’re happy it’s happening at all.

With train rides, balloon animals and family-friendly entertainment, this year’s fair in Prineville has all the makings of its usual fair fun, with more hand sanitizer and distance between attractions than previous years.

While some visitors chose not to wear masks, there was social distancing happening.

For businesses that rely on fair season, having at least one event that hasn’t been canceled is better than nothing.

“It feels good to get out and do a little bit of work,” said Peggy with Western Express Railroad. “With our industry, the fair industry, it’s been hard because basically our season has been canceled.”

“Honestly we feel pretty blessed,” said Austin with Mechanical Bull. “It’s been a really slow season and a lot of this is a big part of our income.”

And for those who showed up, finally having something to do is priceless.

“We go to the fair every year, it just looks a little different this year,” a Prineville resident said.

“I think it’s such a good idea for them to spread it out throughout town so everybody can kind of spread out and have a little fun this year!” another resident said.

“I’ve never been to the fair before,” said another resident. “So I thought it would be fun!”

The fair is taking place in Prineville along 4th street and in Pioneer Park until Saturday.