Significant rise in Malheur COVID-19 cases

The Malheur County Health Department has seen a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases recently. The highly transmissible delta variant is fueling an increase in COVID-19 cases nationally, including in Idaho and Oregon. “Cases are increasing and this is certainly due to the increasing percentage of the delta variant in Oregon. This has been seen in communities across the world,” Tim Heider, a spokesman for the Oregon Health Authority, said last Friday. “If you are fully vaccinated, you are well protected from COVID, including the delta variant. If you are not vaccinated, make a plan to do so, and take precautions like wearing a mask indoors and in outdoor crowded places until you are vaccinated.”

Because Malheur County has such a low rate of protection from the vaccine, we expect to see a greater surge than neighboring counties do with better vaccination rates. That surge will result in more outbreaks, more people with severe disease, and more people quarantined. Nearly all severe cases and deaths from COVID-19 have been in the unvaccinated population. While we are seeing some breakthrough cases in vaccinated people, it is more rare and people are significantly less sick. The vaccine is very effective, safe, and is the only way we will prevent more deaths and the many hardships individuals, families, and businesses experience with positive cases.

The chart below (updated weekly on the COVID-19 Cases page here) shows the increase over the past month and excludes the 25 cases reported yesterday, August 2nd, indicating we expect a steeper rise on the next report.

Weekly Monitoring Periods – OHA Report

DatesCasesRate/100kPositivity
07/04-07/171546.77.6%
07/11-07/242887.27.9%
07/18-07/3153165.19.2%

Find more about the current COVID-19 situation on the Eastern Oregon Region 9 COVID-19 Dashboard below.

Region 9 COVID-19 Dashboard

We advise the public to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. These measures include:

  • Get tested for COVID-19 with any symptoms or potential exposure to a person positive for COVID-19.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hand, when coughing or sneezing and discard tissue immediately in a waste container.
  • Wear a face covering in indoor, public settings or in private settings with people who are at high-risk for severe disease.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. This will help prevent the spread of germs.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill or who are quarantined due to contact with an infectious person.
  • If you are ill or a contact of a person with COVID-19, stay home and avoid exposing others to your illness. Do contact your doctor if you have any concerns.
  • Get vaccinated!

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