COVID-19 Situation Update

COVID-19 cases are increasing in Malheur County. Last week we saw an uptrend in cases of 23% from the week before and 66% of cases could not be traced to a known source, meaning we have significant community spread among people who have not been identified as positive. As of today, there are 768 cases, with only 409 of those considered recovered. To date, 18.3% of all COVID-19 tests reported have been positive, far over the 5% goal. Two people have died this week, one male in his 80s at home and one male in his 40s at a Boise area hospital, bringing the death total associated with COVID-19 to 14. Our thoughts are with those who have lost a loved one and those who are caring for someone who is sick. We have many people under quarantine at this time because of close contact with a known case and appreciate the sacrifices they make to stay home and prevent the spread of this virus to more people.

Check out this five-video series on Quarantine 101. MCHD Nursing Supervisor, Rebecca Stricker is interviewed by the Malheur Enterprise. The videos are also available with Spanish subtitles here.   

We are hiring! Visit the Malheur County employment website for links to applications for an Office Assistant and a Registered Nurse.

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Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Weekly Update

  • Full report available at
  • Highlights
    • Reported signs and symptoms for all confirmed cases statewide
      • Cough 51.1%
      • Headache 47.4%
      • Muscle aches 44.3%
      • Loss of smell 35.2%
    • Malheur County Outbreaks (reporting cases of Malheur County Residents only)
      • Brookdale Assisted Living: 37 cases, 5 deaths
      • Dorian Place Assisted Living: 17 cases, 2 deaths
      • Snake River Correctional Institution: 132 cases
      • The Kraft Heinz Company: 11 cases
      • Walmart: 7 cases
      • Oregon Child Development: 6 cases
    • Cases by ZIP code (rate is cases per 10,000)
      • 97913: Nyssa: 94 cases, rate 170.1
      • 97914: Ontario: 428 cases, rate 222.9
      • 97918: Vale: 40 cases, rate 88.2

Drive Up Test Sites

The Malheur County COVID-19 Taskforce is offering COVID-19 testing to individuals who live or work in Malheur County, have symptoms, or are part of groups disproportionately affected by COVID-19, including people with close contact with a case, people of color, people with a disability, people who speak English as a second language, and first responders.

The next drive up testing sites are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Nyssa: Wednesday, August 12th
    • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 1309 Park Ave, Nyssa
  • Vale: Wednesday, August 19th
    • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 135 Yakima St S, Vale

School Health and Safety Metrics

Governor Brown and leaders from OHA and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) announced new guidance about schools and how they might operate this fall. There is no simple, statewide answer for every school in Oregon. It is important to get students back to class, but how we do that depends on a number of important factors. The community metrics for reopening. Oregon public health officials have developed evidence-based metrics to help school boards and school districts make decisions about how they can safely reopen schools. Visit ODE’s Ready Schools, Safe Learners web page for more information. At this time, no K-12 school in Malheur County qualifies to open for in person instruction. We expect new guidance to be released next Tuesday, August 11th.

Masks and Face Coverings

In Oregon, face coverings are required statewide, for all people who are five (5) and over in indoor spaces open to the public, and outdoors when at least six (6) feet of distance cannot be maintained between others outside of an individual’s household. Face coverings are also now required when exercising indoors, plus outdoors when a physical distance of at least six (6) feet of distance cannot be maintained. OHA has published a new webpage on face coverings and masks.

Some people are unable to wear face coverings for medical reasons. When a person with a disability is unable to wear a face mask for medical reasons, they should be offered a reasonable accommodation.  Medical exemptions, though, are not permitted. Reasonable accommodation examples may include, a grocery store may offer personal shopping for someone who cannot wear a face mask, or a medical appointment may be conducted over the telephone.

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