By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Deschutes County Health Services said they’ve seen a theme in how COVID cases have been caught in the past week: through close contact.
That includes how many of the cases were caught at Mount Bachelor Memory Care, where three people have died following an outbreak at the facility.
“Every facility has to have employees, and you know those employees go home, go to the grocery store,” Morgan Emerson, Deschutes County Health Services preparedness coordinator, said. “And as we see cases rise in our community, of course that increases risk to all of us.”
So far 38 residents and 22 staff members at the memory care facility have tested positive for the virus. According to Emerson, it is still unclear how their first case came about or from who.
“It’s still an ongoing investigation,” Emerson said. “But sometimes we’re not able to identify the source of initial transmission and that’s what we would consider community spread.”
Emerson said many Deschutes County cases reported over the weekend are tied to the facility’s outbreak, but an exact number is unknown.
As of Monday, the county has seen 471 total COVID-19 cases. That’s over 100 more than just a week ago.
“So it’s really important that everyone is taking those precautionary steps,” Emerson said. “Because when we do that we’re helping protect maybe an employee that does work in those facilities that we interact within our day to day life.”
Mount Bachelor Memory Care did not respond to a request for comment.