Les Schwab Amphitheater to offer free, on-site COVID tests for concertgoers

Beginning with Friday’s Lake Street Dive show, concertgoers at the Les Schwab Amphitheater will have access to free on-site COVID-19 testing.

The amphitheater, which requires all concert attendees 12 and over to show proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the show they’re attending, is partnering with Curative, an essential health services provider, to supply PCR and rapid antigen tests.

Curative will have a mobile clinic located in the westside parking lot of the Old Mill District, adjacent to the Les Schwab Amphitheater, on every concert day from noon to 7 p.m.

“This is just the next step in putting on shows safely and responsibly right now,” said Beau Eastes, Marketing Director for the Les Schwab Amphitheater.

Concertgoers that need proof of a negative COVID-19 test can sign up in advance for onsite testing at the Les Schwab Amphitheater by going to the following links:

Walk-up appointments are also accepted.

The Les Schwab Amphitheater has been following public health updates closely, communicating with public officials including the Bend City Council, and using several COVID-19 safety techniques since the start of the 2021 concert season.

All vendors and staff at the Les Schwab Amphitheater are fully vaccinated, and the venue has placed extra sanitation stations around the venue, offers free masks at the concierge tent, and is now cashless at all points of sale.

Several shows remain at the venue through mid-October.

September 17 – Lake Street Dive

September 18 – NEEDTOBREATHE

September 19 – Pink Martini

September 21: Foreigner

September 26 – Lord Huron

September 30: Luke Bryan

October 1 – Luke Bryan

October 3 – My Morning Jacket

October 7 – 311/Iration

October 15 – Flogging Molly/Violent Femmes

October 16: Jimmy Eat World/Taking Back Sunday

Oregon’s 2nd-largest high school shuts due to COVID spread

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Officials say Oregon’s second-largest high school is halting in-person classes because of COVID-19 spread that is requiring large numbers of students to quarantine at home.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Reynolds High School officials said Wednesday night they will not have class for the rest of this week and will revert to distance learning from Sept. 20-24.

Classes at the Troutdale campus are expected to resume Sept. 27.

The closure is by far the biggest in Oregon and comes only weeks after districts began welcoming students back for the school year amid the pandemic.

The school enrolled over 2,600 students in the last school year and serves one of the most diverse communities in the state.

OHA reports 11 new COVID deaths; 81.3% of Sept. cases are unvaccinated

There are 11 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 3,547, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 12:01 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority reported 2,242 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 307,768.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (22), Benton (34), Clackamas (84), Clatsop (47), Columbia (33), Coos (48), Crook (26), Curry (13), Deschutes (169), Douglas (81), Grant (1), Harney (14), Hood River (13), Jackson (149), Jefferson (10), Josephine (70), Klamath (68), Lake (6), Lane (184), Lincoln (20), Linn (167), Malheur (42), Marion (205), Morrow (8), Multnomah (249), Polk (42), Sherman (2), Tillamook (11), Umatilla (63), Union (31), Wallowa (4), Wasco (19), Washington (243) and Yamhill (64).

Oregon Healthcare Workforce COVID-19 vaccine uptake: September update

The September update to the Oregon Healthcare Workforce COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake Dashboard adds new data for all visualizations up to Sept. 5, 2021. It now includes three new license types: Psychologist at 93% vaccinated, Licensed Social Worker at 88% vaccinated and Licensed Dietitian at 80% vaccinated.

All trend weeks have been updated with the most current information, which may have been previously missing due to the lag in data reporting.

There has been an increase in overall vaccination rates for health care workers since the vaccine mandate was announced in early August.

Weekly Breakthrough Case Report

OHA’s most recent update on COVID-19 breakthrough cases, released today, found that 81.3% of the 14,046 reported COVID-19 cases between Sept. 1 through Sept. 15 occurred in people who were unvaccinated.

There were 2,632 breakthrough cases, accounting for 18.7% of all cases.

The average age of the breakthrough cases during that period was 48. Ninety breakthrough cases involved residents of care facilities, senior living communities or other congregate care settings. There were 68 breakthrough cases in people aged 12 to 17.

To date, there have been 19,549 COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases in Oregon. The average age of all cases is 48. Breakthrough cases have been reported in all 36 counties.

Cases of COVID-19 are far more common in unvaccinated people. The report shows that the rate of COVID-19 in unvaccinated people is currently approximately five times higher than in vaccinated people.

To date, 4.7% of all vaccine breakthrough cases have been hospitalized and 0.9% have died. The average age of the people who died was 81.

Vaccination remains the most effective tool to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The number of vaccine breakthrough cases identified in Oregon remains very small when compared to the more than 2.7 million Oregonians who have completed their COVID-19 vaccination series.

The latest breakthrough report can be found here.

Pediatric Weekly dashboard update

Today, OHA published its newest dashboard report of pediatric COVID-19 case data in Oregon.

This dashboard replaces the previous report and is published weekly on Thursdays with the most recent full week’s data.

Dashboard will change the reporting of neonatal and pediatric intensive care unit beds

The Hospital Capacity tab of the Daily Data Update dashboard starting today will report neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) bed capacity separately. Prior to the change, NICU and PICU bed counts were combined on the dashboard summary. Reporting these bed categories individually better reflects hospital capacity for pediatric patients with COVID-19 who need intensive care.

COVID-19 hospitalizations

St. Charles on Thursday reported it had 89 COVID patients; 17 are in the ICU and 13 are on ventilators.

Of the 89 patients, 76 are not fully vaccinated.

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 1,027, which is 40 fewer than yesterday. There are 286 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is eight fewer than yesterday.

There are 41 available adult ICU beds out of 658 total (6% availability) and 334 available adult non-ICU beds out of 4,308 (8% availability).

The total number of patients in hospital beds may fluctuate between report times. The numbers do not reflect admissions per day, nor the length of hospital stay. Staffing limitations are not captured in this data and may further limit bed capacity.

Note: Please do not visit an emergency department for COVID-19 testing, unless you require emergency care for your symptoms.

Emergency departments in Oregon are under significant strain responding to the current surge in COVID-19. You can find a test here.

If you have a medical condition that doesn’t require emergency care, contact your provider. An urgent care center may also help you get the care you need and will save emergency departments from added strain.

More information about hospital capacity can be found here.

Vaccinations in Oregon

Today, OHA reported that 9,805 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry on Sept. 15. Of this total, 4,243 were administered on Sept. 15: 1,887 were initial doses, 1,756 were second doses and 555 were third doses. The remaining 5,562 were administered on previous days, but were entered into the vaccine registry on Sept. 15.

The seven-day running average is now 7,444 doses per day.

Oregon has now administered 2,899,668 doses of Pfizer Comirnaty, 1,880,143 doses of Moderna and 208,242 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.

As of today, 2,694,868 people have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 2,453,495 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series.

 

Baker City man sentenced to federal prison for stealing COVID relief money

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Baker City man was sentenced to federal prison Thursday for fraudulently converting to his own personal use of federal money intended to help small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The parties stipulated to a two-year prison sentence for Jeremy Clawson, 32.

At their joint recommendation, however, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Marco A. Hernandez reduced the sentence to ten months to account for the time Clawson had already served in Oregon state custody.

Chief Judge Hernandez also ordered Clawson to serve a term of three years’ supervised release following his federal prison term.

“Recent federal relief programs, like those authorized by the CARES Act, were designed to help Americans and American small businesses navigate the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Clawson saw the swift rollout of these programs as an opportunity to enrich himself at the expense of Americans in need. I want to thank the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General for their steadfast partnership and commitment to bringing Mr. Clawson to justice,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug.

“This case shows the American people that their law enforcement and Attorney’s Office are taking CARES act fraud seriously,” said Justin Bourne, Resident Agent in Charge of the Secret Service Portland Resident Office. “This investigation is a prime example of the Secret Service’s investigative mission; to protect the United States financial infrastructure. This case illustrates the strong partnership between the Secret Service, U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General, the Baker City Police Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

According to court documents, Clawson stole economic relief funds distributed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDLs) program, as authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The CARES Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, was designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans and small businesses suffering the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On August 11, 2020, the proceeds of an SBA EIDL totaling $145,200 were deposited into an Umpqua Bank account owned by Clawson and his girlfriend.

Shortly after receiving the deposit, Clawson began making multiple large cash withdrawals at the drive-through window of an Umpqua Bank in Baker City. On August 17, 2020, Clawson withdrew $49,905 in the form of a cashier’s check to purchase a 2016 Dodge Challenger.

SBA loan documents showed that the EIDL had been extended to the Halperin Manufacturing Company of San Diego, California.

Though there is no record of any such company, the loan application listed an actual San Diego resident as the company’s owner and claimed it employed 350 people.

Investigators contacted the purported owner, but that person denied owning or being affiliated with any such company and confirmed that the company’s supposed address in San Diego was the individual’s personal residence.

In early September 2020, investigators learned that Clawson had been arrested in late August by the Baker City Police Department for driving under the influence, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, and attempting to elude the police.

Clawson was driving the 2016 Dodge Challenger at the time of his arrest. Clawson later told authorities that he had received a large inheritance from his father, including $30,000 in cash he had on his person during a subsequent arrest.

On September 11, 2020, federal investigators interviewed Clawson at the Baker County Jail, where he was detained on the state charges.

Clawson claimed to have received the $145,200 from a woman with whom he had an online dating relationship. He further claimed that he didn’t know what to do with the money and, after he stopped communicating with the woman, began spending the money himself. Clawson admitted to using the SBA money to purchase the Dodge Challenger and several other vehicles.

On December 21, 2020, Clawson was charged by criminal complaint with theft of government property.

Later, on February 2, 2021, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a single-count indictment charging Clawson with theft of public money. On June 8, 2021, he pleaded guilty.

During sentencing, Chief Judge Hernandez ordered Clawson to pay $125,200 in restitution to the SBA.

Clawson has been in custody since his arrest in August 2020.

Outbreaks strand some students at home with minimal learning

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — As coronavirus outbreaks driven by the delta variant lead school districts around the U.S. to abruptly shut down or send large numbers of children into quarantine, some students are getting minimal schooling at home.

Despite billions of dollars in federal money at their disposal to prepare for new outbreaks and develop contingency plans, some governors, education departments and local school boards have been caught flat-footed.

Also, some school systems have been handcuffed by state laws or policies aimed at keeping students in classrooms and strongly discouraging or restricting a return to remote learning.

CASA annual fundraiser goes virtual; auction bidding happening now

Due to the ever-changing environment of COVID-19 in our community, Casablanca, the signature fundraising event for CASA of Central Oregon scheduled on Friday, September 17th will be held virtually rather than in person.

We invite you to participate in this free fundraiser to benefit children in foster care.

You can tune into the online auction and virtual event from the comfort of your own home with your computer, tablet, or phone.

Our online auction opened bidding on Sunday, September 12.

Registration for our virtual event is free.

With the health crisis still affecting our community, we need your help more than ever.

As more children are entering foster care and with the postponement of our in-person fundraiser your support is vital to help us recruit and train additional volunteers to advocate for children in foster care.

OHA reports 46 new COVID deaths, 2,069 cases statewide; weekly numbers decline

There are 46 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 3,536, the Oregon Health Authority reported Wednesday.

The OHA reported 2,069 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 305,560.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (37), Benton (19), Clackamas (80), Clatsop (21), Columbia (17), Coos (56), Crook (18), Curry (7), Deschutes (184), Douglas (126), Grant (9), Harney (24), Hood River (16), Jackson (146), Jefferson (23), Josephine (56), Klamath (40), Lake (15), Lane (157), Lincoln (34), Linn (109), Malheur (73), Marion (204), Morrow (8), Multnomah (164), Polk (69), Sherman (2), Tillamook (25), Umatilla (59), Union (40) Wallowa (3), Wasco (18), Washington (150), Wheeler (3) and Yamhill (57).

Currently, 1 in 35 Deschutes County residents has COVID-19.

Note: More information about the cases and deaths will be provided in an updated news release.

COVID-19 weekly cases, hospitalizations and deaths decline amid ongoing surge

The Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 Weekly Report, released today, shows decreases in daily cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

OHA reported 12,997 new cases of COVID-19 during the week of Monday, Sept. 6 through Sunday, Sept. 12. That represents an 11% decrease from the previous week. Since the summer surge began in early July, 79% of cases have been sporadic, without known sources.

There were 592 new COVID-19 hospitalizations, down from 1,028 last week. That marks the first drop in nine consecutive weeks of increases.

While the number of new hospitalizations has decreased, this hospitalization number does not account for people who remain hospitalized from previous weeks.

Over the past week, there was a slight decrease in the number of hospitalized COVID-19 positive patients as reported through Oregon’s Hospital Capacity Web System (HOSCAP), but the number of hospitalized patients is still high.

There were 120 reported COVID-19 related deaths, down from 171 reported the previous week. It was the first decrease in the weekly death toll after six weeks of increases.

There were 149,123 tests for COVID-19 for the week of Sept. 5 through Sept. 11.  The percentage of positive tests increased to 12%.

Today’s COVID-19 Weekly Outbreak Report shows 182 active COVID-19 outbreaks in senior living communities and congregate living settings, with three or more confirmed cases and one or more COVID-19 related deaths.

COVID-19 hospitalizations

St. Charles on Wednesday reported 88 COVID patients; 15 are in the ICU and 13 are on ventilators.

According to the hospital, 76 of the 88 patients aren’t fully vaccinated.

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 1,067, which is 15 fewer than yesterday. There are 294 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is six more than yesterday.

There are 50 available adult ICU beds out of 653 total (8% availability) and 325 available adult non-ICU beds out of 4,312 (8% availability).

The total number of patients in hospital beds may fluctuate between report times. The numbers do not reflect admissions per day, nor the length of hospital stay. Staffing limitations are not captured in this data and may further limit bed capacity.

Note: Please do not visit an emergency department for COVID-19 testing, unless you require emergency care for your symptoms.

Emergency departments in Oregon are under significant strain responding to the current surge in COVID-19. You can find a test here.

If you have a medical condition that doesn’t require emergency care, contact your provider. An urgent care center may also help you get the care you need and will save emergency departments from added strain.

More information about hospital capacity can be found here.

Vaccinations in Oregon

Today, OHA reported that 10,414 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry on Sept. 14. Of this total, 4,123 were administered on Sept. 14: 1,921 were initial doses, 1,762 were second doses and 413 were third doses. The remaining 6,291 were administered on previous days, but were entered into the vaccine registry on Sept. 14.

The seven-day running average is now 7,398 doses per day.

Oregon has now administered 2,892,965 doses of Pfizer Comirnaty, 1,877,852, doses of Moderna and 207,465 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.

As of today, 2,690,410 people have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 2,448,407 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series.

Cases and COVID-19 deaths

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (37), Benton (19), Clackamas (80), Clatsop (21), Columbia (17), Coos (56), Crook (18), Curry (7), Deschutes (184), Douglas (126), Grant (9), Harney (24), Hood River (16), Jackson (146), Jefferson (23), Josephine (56), Klamath (40), Lake (15), Lane (157), Lincoln (34), Linn (109), Malheur (73), Marion (204), Morrow (8), Multnomah (164), Polk (69), Sherman (2), Tillamook (25), Umatilla (59), Union (40) Wallowa (3), Wasco (18), Washington (150), Wheeler (3) and Yamhill (57).

 

▶️ Health officials recommend flu shots in addition to COVID vaccine, booster

Thinking about getting your COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot?

Health officials say you might as well get your flu shot while you’re there.

“I’m encouraging all of my patients to access the flu vaccine as soon as they can,” said Chief Health Officer for Mosaic Medical, Jessica Leblanc.

Leblanc says the flu shot is safe to combine with the COVID-19 vaccine.

“There’s no problem at all in getting those together,” said Leblanc.

In fact, getting both vaccines is even better for the upcoming cold and flu season.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there were far fewer flu cases, hospitalizations, and deaths last year than in normal flu seasons.

The suspected causes of the dip is COVID precautions such as wearing masks and a record number of influenza vaccine doses.

“It’s really important to take that step to protect yourself, it’s the best tool we have,” said Morgan Emerson of Deschutes County Public Health.

For those wondering if you can contract COVID-19 and this year’s version of the flu at the same time; the answer is yes.

“Both of the viruses impact the respiratory system. so um we’ve had cases where people will test positive for both,” Leblanc said.

Central Oregon Daily News stopped by several pharmacies around the Bend area to ask if they had flu vaccines.

Every one of them said they’re stocked and waiting for walk-ins.

Getting back to normal includes getting a COVID-19 shot, and preventing a trip to already overloaded hospitals.

“And with the increased burden of COVID-19 on our hospital and medical system… keeping our flu cases down is important this year,” Emerson said.

The CDC says it takes about two weeks after vaccination for us to develop antibodies for the flu, and that everyone should be vaccinated against the flu by the end of October.

As COVID-19 vaccine mandates rise, religious exemptions grow

Religious objections were once used only sparingly around the country to get exempted from various required vaccines.

But they are becoming a much more widely used loophole against the COVID-19 shot.

About 3,000 Los Angeles Police Department employees are citing religious objections to try to get out of the required COVID-19 vaccination.

In Washington state, hundreds of state workers are seeking similar exemptions.

And an Arkansas hospital has been swamped with so many such requests from employees that it is apparently calling their bluff.

▶️ Vax-related resignations looming, Crook, Jefferson counties call for help

Crook and Jefferson counties have declared pre-emptive state of emergencies to deal with a “foreseeable lack of adequate resources” in health care, education and public safety because of Oregon’s COVID vaccine mandate.

Teachers, health care workers, and many first responders are required to be vaccinated by October 18th.

Those who fail to show proof of vaccination face termination.

In its declaration, Jefferson County commissioners Kelly Simmelink, Wayne Fording and Mae Huston said the mandate has forced many employees to leave their jobs instead of getting the vaccine.

“The Board of Commissioners requests that the State of Oregon immediately withdraw its vaccine mandates to prevent further exhaustion and departure of providers of core public services,” the declaration reads.

“It basically says, hey we are open to state and federal assistance and I think that is a key step,” Simmelink said. “I am looking around right now, and there are five committed counties that have done this already today or within the last few days and a whole lot more to come. In rural Oregon we have to get to the point where we can have these discussions with the governor so she can see what is happening. I think she means well, but the unintended consequences in a rural community… it’s magnified here, it really is. I am not overselling that in any shape or form.”

Hospitals, school districts and other agencies across the state have warned their communities about mass resignations over the requirement.

“In our jail system alone 40% of our sheriff’s deputies are vaccinated,” Simmelink said. “So, that is not going to cut it come Oct. 18.”

But nobody can say for certain what the impact will be because the deadline is still several weeks away and those agencies aren’t releasing any personnel information.

Jefferson County School District Spokesman Joseph Prechtl said the district was “concerned about the impact the vaccine mandate will have on our workforce that serves our students and families.”

Prechtl said there has been some communication between commissioners and district staff regarding the vaccine mandate.

“We shared that we anticipate it having an impact on our staffing levels,” he said.

But he could not say how many staff members have resigned or planned to resign based on the mandate.

Commissioners acknowledged in the declaration that COVID has exhausted health care employees, first responders, and teachers and filled regional hospitals with patients.

St. Charles on Wednesday reported it had 88 COVID patients; 76 of them aren’t fully vaccinated.

In the ICU, 14 of the 15 patients are not fully vaccinated.

The Oregon Health Authority and federal health officials have stressed that vaccinations are the fastest way to help slow the current surge of COVID cases.

But the Jefferson County declaration says mandating the vaccine for teachers, health care workers and first responders “will have a detrimental impact.”

But Jefferson County believes mandating the vaccine for those groups “will have a detrimental impact” on the delivery of services.

According to the OHA, 61% of the eligible population of Jefferson County is vaccinated.

There have been just over 3,000 COVID cases in Jefferson County and 46 people have died.

“This is going to be devastating to not only people’s public safety, but to our economy and just the reason we live in Oregon in the first place,” Simmelink concluded.

You can read the full declaration below:

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