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Deschutes County reports its first COVID-19 death, at St. Charles Bend

St. Charles Bend
KTVZ file

63-year-old man was admitted with symptoms on Monday

(Update: Adding St. Charles statement)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Deschutes County health officials have reported the first death of a county resident due to COVID-19, a 63-year-old man who died Tuesday at St. Charles Bend, one day after being admitted with symptoms.

The man "had underlying medical conditions and was admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 symptoms yesterday (Monday)," county health officials said in an announcement.

His case was identified through local contact tracing, they added.

“Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of our community member that passed away today,” said Deschutes County Health Services Director Dr. George Conway.  “Our hearts are heavy with this news, and we want to assure the community that Health Services is committed to containing the transmission of this virus in Central Oregon.”

Iman Simmons, St. Charles’ chief operating officer and one of two incident commanders for the health system’s COVID-19 response, issued a statement saying, “The first death of a Deschutes County resident is another sad milestone in this pandemic.”

“As we continue to see the number of COVID-19 cases grow exponentially in our community, it’s important to remember that our best defense is to frequently wash or sanitize our hands, and to follow the governor’s orders. Those include wearing a mask when indoors—and outside, too, if you can’t maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from others—and limiting gatherings to 10 or fewer people,” Simmons added.

Tuesday's Deschutes County death was not reflected in the day’s Oregon Health Authority update, which indicated seven more Oregonians had died of COVID-19, the highest toll since late April. County officials said it will be reported in Wednesday's data.

The man was the second Central Oregon resident to die from COVID-19 -- and the second in less than a week, after the death of a 63-year-old Crook County woman last week.

It also was the second COVID-19 death at St. Charles Bend since the pandemic began earlier this year. A Newberg woman died in mid-April at the hospital, but COVID-19 deaths and positive cases are counted by their place of residence by the Oregon Health Authority.

Deschutes County Health Services said it wants to remind residents to take these steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wear a mask when out in public or around people you don’t live with;
  • Maintain six feet of physical distance from people you don’t live with;
  • Wash your hands frequently;
  • Stay home if you feel ill; and
  • Contact your doctor to be tested if you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19 

If you are experiencing symptoms and need guidance on when to seek medical care, please call the COVID-19 hotline at 541-699-5109.

As of Tuesday, the Oregon Health Authority reports 276 cases of COVID-19 in Deschutes County. Of those, 198 are considered recovered. For local data and updates on COVID-19, visit the website at

Bend / Central Oregon / News

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.



    1. St Charles in CO reports two (2) deaths in five months- both with serious “underlying conditions- more than enough available beds- and the state as a whole (according to the OHA) has been beneath the 1.5 threshold for “covid-like-illness for months- So where’s the crisis ? Where’s the catastrophic pandemic ?? Where exactly is the justification for destroying the states economy- denying law abiding citizens their civil rights- the complete disruption to everything our constitution says about personal freedoms and the American way.

      What we continue to see is the outlandish actions by unhinged and angry Demokkkrats who still refuse to accept the 2016 Presidential election results… these Demokkkrats have now successfully turned the historical clock back to pre- Civil War times- when Southerners by the millions felt that big government was no longer working “for” the people… this nation is now once again headed down that path- only this time it isn’t based on a North-South borderline… this is now a national assault by the Demokkkrat party on “all” Americans !

      Oregonians can stop the madness by first removing the Failed Demokkkrat governor Kate Brown from office- failure to do so only condones and enables these violations to our civil liberties- Throw that ragged horses bum outta office now !

      1. Here we go, turning everything political again. If this is all the fault of democrats, how do you explain similar measures in Texas, Arizona, Kentucky, and so on?

        The reason we are not seeing more death is because of the precautions being taken. Oregon has been one of the most successful states in keeping our numbers down. I’m not a Brown fan myself, but we are handling this better than most states.

        1. “The reason we are not seeing more death is because of the precautions being taken.”

          Can you provide a single source of data to back up that statement ? Because I can provide factual evidence that clearly states otherwise… that the actions taken by failed Governor Kate Brown had absolutely no impact on the Wuhan China virus- I also have secondary evidence suggesting that the change in terminology from ILI to CLI was/is meant to confuse the masses as to how much a non-event this China pandemic is.

          So to begin with- a simple question- how does the 2018-2019 regular flu season compare to this 2019-2020 season ? And please remember- in 2018 nobody masked up- nobody social distanced- nobody shut down their businesses- closed schools- evacuated parks and public gathering points… Both covid and the flu are airborne diseases passed on by human body fluids… the Governor’s panicky actions should clearly affect both covid numbers as well as the seasonal flu- the science demands such… so go ahead- look at the OHA data and the Oregon flu bites data… but be forewarned- the Flu Bites data has stopped being updated since May- I wonder why !

          1. “…I can provide factual evidence that clearly states otherwise…”
            Yet you don’t.
            “I also have secondary evidence suggesting that the change in terminology from ILI to CLI was/is meant to confuse the masses…”
            Again, no reputable source cited.
            I’m betting a Facebook post or Youtube link is your “evidence”?

  1. July 14 hospital report for the state of Oregon
    Covid non-ICU beds used: 102
    Covid ICU beds used: 48
    total 150

    non-ICU beds available: 683
    ICU beds available: 168
    total 851

      1. Yet fewer death. And there’s this.
        “The report showed that Orlando Health had a 98 percent positivity rate. However, when FOX 35 News contacted the hospital, they confirmed errors in the report. Orlando Health’s positivity rate is only 9.4 percent, not 98 percent as in the report.”
        And just think. You antifa and BLM supporters have killed more people in the CHAZ then Deschutes county. Good job.

    1. Now give us the number of doctors, nurses, and supporting clinicians and other frontline e workers we have to cover all shifts if those beds fill up.

          1. Under failed Governor Kate Brown’s outlandish executive orders to destroy the state economy- your “strong medical system” is now in tatters ! Nurses facing lay offs- a complete shut-down of preventive surgeries are leaving hundreds of thousands of Oregonians exposed to life threatening infections and disease- have you accounted for any of that- probably not- your failure to grasp the big picture explains many of your moronic posts here.

    1. It would be nice to know what those underlying conditions are: diabetes, drug and alcohol addiction, ms, cancer etc. For all we know he died WITH the virus not FROM the virus. Hospitals make much more reimbursement money if the person is reported as a covid death.

          1. If we hear from the family, it’s possible. But authorities do NOT identify the people in such cases, and I don’t think that’s how it happens anywhere in the state/country. Federal patient privacy law is pretty firm.

          2. Why do you need to know? So you can again claim “it’s just a bs death?” Maybe z21 is doing actual journalism by being ethical in what they report.

        1. Of course the hospitals should be getting more teimbursement for bat flu patients, just look at all the extra equipment, time, and risk to staff that their treatment requires… not to mention none of “diabetes, drug and alcohol addiction, ms, cancer etc” are contagious or kill in days like bat flu

      1. The man was 63 years old. Medicare doesn’t start til 65. Medicare pays extra for Covid care for Medicare patients. And why do you cretins need to know what underlying conditions he had? Does it feed your morbid curiosity? We have reached the point where friends and neighbors In our community are getting seriously sick from this virus and some of you are being downright disgusting about it.

        1. Why do you always make comments that can also be applied to the flu? If you want to actually convince people you need the be better than that. Neighbors get seriously sick from the flu too. Also, NO ONE is checking at whether “covid deaths” are being labeled correctly… Not the government, not the media, no one. It is up to the sole discretion of the hospital to label someone as a covid death and they have a financial incentive for labeling covid deaths. No transparency whatsoever, especially when it is being used as an excuse for lockdowns.

            1. All your links Barney proved my point. They all said there is financial incentive/avenue for them to list covid in the records and they all said “there is no public reports”. You know why there is public reports on it? Because no one is looking into it and they can’t because it is all hidden under HIPAA, so there is absolutely no accountability on the hospitals putting covid on the records. And there should be accountability on it, especially when it is being used as a means for lockdowns.

          1. If covid deaths were being abused as an “excuse for lockdowns”, don’t you think we would have seen more than ONE covid death by now in Deschutes?

      2. “For all we know he died WITH the virus not FROM the virus.”

        Spot on- the hoax exposed !

        Florida yesterday was reporting 90% positive tests for covid- which at the time was considered a new world record- but a couple of crack reporters from FOX called BS- the numbers were re-examined… after the exposure- the positive cases plummeted to well below 9% !

        This is a money grab- the data we are now seeing here in Oregon is flawed- Z21 uses HIPPa privacy nonsense as an excuse to dupe the gullible- but one only has to go to the OHA dashboard and see that the covid ED rates remain at well below he 1.5 threshold- and has been that way since April- I thought Kate was gonna open the state once the numbers “flattened”… that was a big fat lie- and the state had to change the terminology to try and manipulate the visuals.

        This is a hoax and Oregonians need to do what the rest of the planet is doing- take it to the streets in mass protests against a Government run amok !

        Oregon continues to suffer under the heavy handed “one-person rule” of Kate Brown- where are all our retired military vets- is that what you fought for – a state-wide dictatorship- get off yer duffs- get organized- and lets take our civil liberties back !

        1. Hoax exposed? Give me a break. You don’t know that he didn’t die from the virus. All we know is he had an underlying medical condition.

          78% of Americans over age 55 have one or more chronic underlying conditions.

          Are you going to write off every one of those deaths as being due to the underlying condition? Get real man. One of my relatives died from this already. Several people I know in Arizona have gotten it, and it isn’t pretty. You are fortunate to live in a state where the majority of the population is taking the proper precautions to protect YOU.

    1. I certainly hope this is sarcasm? You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. There is no middle ground here. Read the stats…listen to the scientific and medical experts…their only interest is in keeping Americans alive and helping us return to some form of ‘normalcy’ (whatever that will look like). They have no ‘political’ agenda. American lives and jobs depend on everyone doing their part to gain control over this situation. Please consider your decisions wisely. MY life and the lives of your own family, friends and community depend on your making the right choice. God speed my friend!

        1. If “they” were inflating the covid death count due to this conspiracy theory, then don’t you think we’d have more than ONE death in Deschutes county by now?

    1. “just what was the underlying medical condition?”

      Clearly it was a “Z21 brain infarction”- one that deadens the senses- silences the vocal chords- and blinds the eyes to common sense.

      I predict we will be learning more about this fatal condition as I expose the sickness for what it is- man made !

  2. The story doesn’t mention testing Barney. It just mentioned that he was admitted with symptoms. Was this person tested or are they just presuming he had Covid-19? Because a presumption isn’t good enough. they have added way too many presumptive cases to the verified cases. Thereby manipulating the numbers. Subtract all the possible false presumptions. What is the verified number of cases in Oregon? Do you Know. I don’t think they are being honest. This is an election year and I, along with a multitude of others, believe that they are weaponizing this pandemic.

    1. I know, you’ve made yourself clear in multiple postings. Of course the person was tested. Just last week, the Crook County death was at first presumptive, then confirmed by test results. No way us presenting, accurately, Oregon Health Authority and other public health officials’ info is going to change some minds or convince you of anything. We just have to stick to authorized, reputable sources as best we can.

      1. Sorry, but I do not find Kate Brown’s Health Authority to be reputable. Nor do I find Kate Brown trust worthy. She wight as well be Gavin Newsom or Andrew Cuomo. They, and the rest of you Democrats are evil people. Socialism is communism. Ask Fidel Castro who pretended to be a socialist before his true colors were shown to the people of Cuba. And you support them.

          1. Texas ? Florida ?? Idaho ???

            Yep… been there a lot this year- hearing the same questions by the average guy on the street… “just where is this China virus anyway” ?

            As for which state one belongs in- last I checked- the states with the highest number of covid deaths are all Democrat strongholds… NY- New Jersey- Mass- illinois- California !

            Maybe you care to join them ???

  3. This man most likely did NOT die from Covid-19. But I’ve recently discovered multiple articles that say that hospitals are rewarded with extra money for reporting a death as Covid-19 even if it wasn’t. Follow the money.

    1. KTVZ doesn’t do articles, they copy and paste from CNN. They really are not a news station other than Bob Shaw doing local weather. Hard to get that from CNN in Atlanta. Barney is just to do what he is instructed to do. Very liberal, but he can’t make any decisions.

      1. From that article, which is nearly 3 months old: “There have been no public reports that hospitals are exaggerating COVID-19 numbers to receive higher Medicare payments.

        Jensen didn’t explicitly make that claim. He simply suggested there is an “avenue” to do so now that “plausible” COVID-19, not just laboratory-confirmed, cases can be greenlighted for Medicare payment and eligible for the 20% add-on allowed under the relief act.”
        If you want to hate government, medicine, media etc. – you can always find “good reason.” But they’re not. Ask any hospital or clinic if they are making big bucks off this pandemic. But will you believe their answer? Who DO you trust?

        1. “3 months old” ??? OK- how about three weeks ago…

          “The claim that hospitals get paid more if patients are listed as COVID-19 and on ventilators is TRUE.”

          “Hospitals and doctors do get paid more for Medicare patients diagnosed with COVID-19 or if it’s considered presumed they have COVID-19 absent a laboratory-confirmed test, and three times more if the patients are placed on a ventilator to cover the cost of care and loss of business resulting from a shift in focus to treat COVID-19 cases.

          This higher allocation of funds has been made possible under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act through a Medicare 20% add-on to its regular payment for COVID-19 patients, as verified by USA TODAY through the American Hospital Association Special Bulletin on the topic.”

          Soooo- “who do you trust” ? I personally trust my own internet search skills- it took me less than 2 minutes to find that little diddy.

  4. Yes Republican Health Authority is much more reputable. Just ask the folks in FL and TX and every other state where its citizenry have been sacrificed for the “economy” and Trump’s re-election. Then from DC you get the real gems of medical wisdom – The virus is a hoax and 138K Americans have died just to make Trump look bad. The virus will miraculously just disappear. And the best medical advice of all – Inject disinfectant. From what I’ve seen, following advice from Republican science deniers just might kill you. But hey, Republican reality built on lies and denials is a happier place without deadly viruses, bounties on our military, foreign interference in our elections, racism, etc. Republican leaders repeatedly misinform, and it seems 1 in 3 Americans are gullible enough to believe. So sad!

  5. This is sad. Sad that anyone gets Covid-19. Sad they die from it. But it wasn’t unexpected. Go to Colorado St. and look at all the people by the rapids? 2 weeks ago… July 4th. How many tourist were out and about in Deschutes County. How many of them were interviewed with ktvz21 here they said they weren’t a danger of the spread. Their tourism dollars were worth more.
    A barber shop told me that on certain days, most of their clients were from Portland area and Salem. Why is that? Kate Brown decided to open some counties but not all. So…. people who live in the closed counties travel to the counties that are open bringing with them their viruses, germs, traffic… etc.
    Wasn’t there a urge to inform people to stay local? I think if they had listened… Deschutes County would not have had as many new cases as they do.
    So now…. we all will probably have to endure another shutdown. God help us all…

    1. “endure another shut-down”

      Failed Governor Kate Brown has engaged a policy of “one man rule” for the state- the feds have nothing to do with her executive orders- if you are disgruntled in the way she has krapped all over your civil liberties- your ability to work- your need for social contact- then sign the petition to remove her !

      Her hysterical response to this virus is how the whole “hoax” story got started ! There has been no mass outbreak- there are no large scale numbers of thousands of Oregonians dying- the rate of exposure here has yet to merit an “epidemic” title… so what the hell are you all doing- wake up- take back our state- this virus is no more dangerous than the seasonal flu and the data don’t lie- Kate Brown and Z21 do !

  6. The mental gymnastics some commenters go through to convince themselves that reality isn’t real is quite astounding, and has left their brains in knots. I had to cancel my trip to Europe(must be hoax). I can’t travel to Canada (must be hoax). From reading the comments it is clear they must have failed high school biology, since they still can’t comprehend why we don’t compare this to the seasonal flu. It would be funny if it were not deadly serious. The snowflakes need to put on a mask so we can get this pandemic behind us. America’s response has made us the laughing stock of the developed world.

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