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Crook County: Recent COVID-19 case rise includes 4 St. Charles Prineville caregivers

St. Charles Prineville
St. Charles Health System
St. Charles Prineville

Case count at 43, nearly doubled in two weeks

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Crook County has maintained a low case count of COVID-19 up to this point. In the past two weeks, however, there has been a near-doubling in the number of active cases, including four caregivers at St. Charles Prineville, officials said Saturday.

The Oregon Health Authority on Saturday reported one new COVID-19 case in Crook County, for a total of 41. That compares to 22 cases two weeks ago and 31 a week ago.

Here's a news release issued Saturday by county Public Information Officer Vicky Ryan:

This is a concern because an increase in cases means that the community is still very vulnerable and may be getting a little too relaxed with wearing face coverings and the level of contact in social and work environments. 

The Crook County Health Department, through its investigative process, has determined that the increase in cases is largely due to a combination of social interactions and workplace exposures.

Crook County citizens have done their part to keep the numbers low up to this point, and it is very important to remember that the virus is still here and there continues to be a need to be diligent. 

Please continue to wash your hands, wear face coverings and keep 6 feet away from people who are not a part of your immediate household.

Despite fear and anxiety, this community has stayed united and together. Now more than ever, there is a need to continue the safety precautions and treat every interaction as if someone in any group may have the virus. 

As there continues to be more visitors and tourists coming into Central Oregon from other areas where cases are much higher, there needs to be an increased level of mindfulness as to the practices and behaviors of the local community in order to reduce virus spread.   

There has been an increase in the number of cases reported in Crook County workplace environments. Whether this is from someone commuting from another county to work here or if it is brought into the workplace through community spread, we must continue to practice safety in all areas of our life.

One of the local businesses that has reported active cases is St. Charles Prineville, where four caregivers have tested positive.

“At this time, we believe there is minimal risk to our patients due to policies and procedures already in place, including door screening, Plexiglas dividers and use of masks and other kinds of personal protective equipment,” said Iman Simmons, St. Charles chief operating officer and one of two incident commanders of the health system’s COVID-19 response. “Our hospital is a safe place, and we don’t want anyone to delay their care.”

These next few months will be difficult, and it will take a lot of work to continue to follow the guidance for keeping ourselves and our community safe.  It is understood that everyone is ready to get back to daily lives, but this may not happen for quite some time as cases continue to increase in Crook County and across the state.

To keep yourself, your loved ones and your workplace safe, it is important to limit close contact with people who are not from your immediate household.  

Our Reality:

The virus will be here until there is immunity, which is many months off and requires a vaccine. 

  • The primary tools are physical distancing, hygiene, and use of face coverings
  • Every restriction lifted increases the chance of transmission and may increase cases

Actions needed to keep up to protect our community and health care system:

  • If you are sick, stay home – do not go to work. If you become ill during your workday remove yourself from contact with clients and co-workers and report to your supervisor, then go home.
  • Vulnerable populations must still stay home – 25.9% of Crook County’s population is 65 and older and are considered to be at high risk
  • Limit visitations to nursing homes 
  • Limit social gatherings to no more than 10
  • Limit travel
  • Practice regular hygiene, cleaning, and sanitation
  • Stay home when sick
  • Telework when possible
  • Wear face coverings when in public, indoors and outdoors when 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained

For more information or general questions, the Crook County Health Department will be there to refer you to the right place to get answers - Office:  541-447-5165

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  1. “This is a concern because an increase in cases means”

    It means:

    1) That whatever precautions the hospital and staff are currently using are not effective !
    2) That Kate Brown’s re-opening phases are confusing and are not effective !!
    3) That the vast majority of outsiders in Prineville are coming to poach F-Book/Apple data center construction jobs- from Portland-Wa-Id Bend and Redmond.
    4) That the uptick in the virus occurred in line with the BLM protests allowed to take place.

    Clearly- outsiders are bringing the virus in with them- and Prineville residents should be furious- or do what everyone else is doing- get out there and take your chances. 99% survival rate- “mild illness”- More people die in CO auto accidents- all proven to be factual.

  2. Everywhere in Crook County EXCEPT the bars! They don’t seem to be living in the reality of today’s crisis! Life is as normal in these environments. If not for the money the video poker and Keno generate for the state coffers, I wonder if the state would look at them differently? OLCC is ‘asleep at the wheel’ where these places are concerned, especially the ‘benevolent’ facilities.

    1. But the bars you complain about are not being identified through contact tracing as the source of these infections !

      At the federal level it was noted today that “individual people are not creating the surge- “events” are ! So who gave permission to hold the BLM rallies in Bend and Prineville ? Who approved the large number of F-Book employees that travel in from Bend- Redmond- Portland- Idaho to work at Tom McCall drive ?

      The virus is being imported from outside Crook County and local citizens should demand it stop !

  3. On top of the corona wuhan virus increase in CO- we get this story out of Portland this morning-

    “Portland records deadliest month in 30 years”
    “July saw the highest number of deadly shootings or stabbings in a single month since the 1980s”

    But wait a minute- we were told that the large scale events in Portland were summer block party events- this from the same people here that are telling us that all these virus deaths in Oregon are from the covid-corona-wuhan joe bat virus- and solely because of the virus… we all know that neither of these things are true- so how is the media going to regain the trust of the citizens when they insist on peddling CNN talking points like a soap box Carni-Barker ???

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