(Adding video, comments from Bend-La Pine School Board meeting)
Bend-La Pine Schools' earliest possible reopening pushed back to Nov. 9
PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- COVID-19 has claimed six more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 605, along with 321 new cases, the Oregon Health Authority reported Tuesday.
Oregon Health Authority reported 321 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, bringing the state total to 37,780 cases and 713,497 negative test results.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported Tuesday are in the following counties: Benton (10), Clackamas (37), Clatsop (5), Columbia (1), Crook (1), Curry (4), Deschutes (2), Douglas (1), Jackson (13), Jefferson (1), Josephine (3), Klamath (5), Lake (1), Lane (39), Lincoln (5), Linn (20), Malheur (14), Marion (35), Multnomah (45), Polk (3), Tillamook (1), Umatilla (11), Union (2), Wasco (1), Washington (50), and Yamhill (11).
Crook County has had 71 COVID-19 cases, one death and 2,821 negative test results, OHA reported. Deschutes County has had 996 cases, 13 deaths and 34,259 negative test results. Jefferson County has had 590 cases, eight deaths and 5,247 negative test results.
St. Charles Health System reported four COVID-19 patients as of 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, none of whom were in the ICU or on a ventilator.
Deschutes County reported 85 COVID-19 cases last week, or 44 cases per 100,000 residents, the highest count in about two months and pushing back the return of Bend-La Pine schools' return for hybrid classes until at least Nov. 9.
Bend-La Pine Schools have been on the verge of getting underway multiple times during the pandemic, but the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases has caused yet another delay.
The school board met online Tuesday night to discuss their future plans, hearing from Dr. George Conway, director of Deschutes County Health Services.
"Everybody is tired. This has already been a long haul with the pandemic, and I've seen this happen with other pandemics," Conway said. "I think a lot of people are tired of constraints, and nationally we don't have a very amicable decision-making process collectively."
Conway said even when, or if K-3 is opened, they must be extremely careful with grouping of students into "cohorts."
He said once rapid testing is used for students, he feels confident the schools could handle a possible outbreak within just a few days.
Despite the optimism in Central Oregon, some school districts across the state, including Portland, already have announced they will extend distanced learning as long as until February of next year.
Crook County Schools, which brought the higher grades back last week, had seven cases last week, just one shy of what could have led to a return to distance learning, Communications Director Jason Carr reported.
OHA Marks 600 COVID-19 Related Deaths
“Today, we surpassed 600 reported COVID-19 deaths, marking an unhappy milestone for all Oregonians. At OHA we note each COVID-19 related death with great sadness,” said OHA Director Patrick Allen. “Our thoughts go out to the families and loved ones of those we have lost.”
“Each death is a reminder to the rest of us of the severity and danger of COVID-19. Each of us has our own reasons why we take individual COVID-19 prevention steps like wearing a mask, keeping physically distant, and avoiding gatherings, but for most of us, we take these actions to protect our families, friends and neighbors. OHA sends its condolences to every Oregonian who has lost someone to COVID-19.”
Oregon’s 600th COVID-19 death is an 83-year-old man in Yamhill County who tested positive on Sept. 21 and died on Oct. 5 in his residence. Presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed.
Oregon’s 601st COVID-19 death is an 89-year-old man in Multnomah County who tested positive on Sept. 30 and died on Oct. 12 at Adventis Health Portland. He had underlying conditions.
Oregon’s 602nd COVID-19 death is a 75-year-old woman in Marion County who tested positive on Oct. 1 and died on Oct. 9 in her residence. She had underlying conditions.
Oregon’s 603rd COVID-19 death is a 90-year-old man in Clackamas County who tested positive on Oct. 10 and died on Oct. 11. Place of death is being confirmed. He had underlying conditions.
Oregon’s 604th COVID-19 death is a 91-year-old man in Malheur County who tested positive on Sept. 7 and died on Sept. 18 in his residence. He had underlying conditions.
Oregon’s 605th COVID-19 death is an 81-year-old woman in Multnomah County who tested positive on Oct. 1 and died on Oct. 10 at Providence Portland Medical Center. She had underlying conditions.
Stay informed about COVID-19:
Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority leads the state response.
United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.
Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.