Numbers reveal at least 12 St. Charles COVID patients were not Central Oregonians

Since the pandemic began, St. Charles has treated at least 61 patients, hospitalized with COVID-19.

A look at county health department tracking shows 34 COVID-19 patients in Deschutes County had to be hospitalized, 12 in Jefferson County and 1 and Crook County, leaving more than a dozen unaccounted for.

Part of this may stem from the lack of extensive medical resources east of the Cascades.

St. Charles in Bend is the only Level II trauma center east of the Cascades in Oregon.

From the St. Charles website:

“St. Charles Bend is designated as a Level II Trauma Center by the Oregon Public Health Division and is the only Level II Trauma Center east of the Cascades. St. Charles Redmond is a certified Level III Trauma Center, and St. Charles Prineville and St. Charles Madras are Level IV Trauma Centers. We have one of the most extensive coverage areas in the continental United States spanning from the Columbia River Gorge, east to Idaho and down into parts of Northern California. Our hospitals are affiliated with AirLink for emergency transports.”

However, a doctor with Deschutes County health acknowledged to county commissioners this week, at least one patient came from out of the state.

“There was an out-of-state patient who actually had a positive test for COVID-19 before they left to come to Central Oregon, at which time they weren’t feeling that badly, apparently. But, ended up getting sick enough, after they got here, to be hospitalized,” said Dr. Richard Fawcett.

Cases are reported by the county where the patient lives, not where they get sick.

Fawcett explained to commissioners they only reason Deschutes County Health learned of this particular case is because the patient had to be hospitalized.

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