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Oregon reports 6 more COVID-19 deaths as toll tops 600; 321 new cases

(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.

Central Oregon / News / Top Stories

Barney Lerten

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



    1. Let’s see some proof of your degree in journalism, epidemiology, virology, or ANY medical or scientific field to back up your proposition.
      Better yet, explain how you and your science-denying buddies are so much smarter than leading scientists and medical professionals across the globe. One rule though, no links to Youtube or Facebook!

      1. “One rule though, no links to Youtube or Facebook!”………………………………………-OK- so how about the CDC- the World Health Organization- the OHA ??? The CDC has stated clearly- “Open the Schools” ! The WHO is on record- “Shutdowns do more harm than good” ! The OHA data shows Oregon’s fatality curve flattened in April. As for Epstein’s comment… it comes from the CDC- which clarified that only 6% of covid deaths are from the virus alone… that makes Oregon’s current count- of death “by” corona virus to be about 36 people !………………………….-The only one denying the science here is Governor Brown- and she has an agenda- to keep her little mushrooms growing !

        1. This persons interpretation of the CDC data is completely incorrect. Spreading rumors like this and shaming people who are following guidelines is reprehensible. Please see the links below. Educate yourself and don’t listen to forum bullies who believe they know it all. The 6% is the percent of people who died with only covid-19 listed as a cause of death. That doesn’t mean the other 94% of deaths were not caused by covid-19. It just means that they had other conditions listed as well. Some of those conditions were pre-existing (such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease… how many Americans are in this category?! ), some were caused by covid-19 (such as kidney failure or sepsis). Yes, elderly people die at a much higher rate but they are just as important as young people and deserve for us to be taking this seriously and doing our best to keep everyone safe. I am not advocating for lockdowns or school closures. Simply following the basic recommendations of epidemiologists (wear a mask, social distance, wash hands..) shouldn’t be too difficult for us. Also, stop spreading dangerous misinformation. Don’t we care about our fellow citizens? How hard is it to put on a mask and stand 6′ away from people at the grocery store? Why all the fuss about it?

  1. We are dodging the bullet here in Deschutes County–barely. Widespread mask wearing here has worked to avert the catastrophic surge in cases that we are now seeing in places like Bismarck, Oklahoma City, and Green Bay. Since the first case was reported on Jan. 20 it is now the third leading cause of death in the U.S., and this may represent an undercount due to the chronic deficiency of testing. The ever accurate Univ. of Washington Institute for Health Metrics predicts 300,000 deaths by Dec. 1–a number that could be reduced by 66,000 if 95% of us simply wore masks. The Trump Administration’s wholesale abandonment of even the most basic mitigation measures could spike the American death toll to well above 2 million.

  2. Serious question . . . Why are people still dying from COVID??? We have multiple well proven ways to prevent the deaths and we have multiple well proven ways to treat the virus. The truth is, these people are either dying from pre-existing problems or they are cases of medical malpractice. BTW, it’s still far from over . . . and the harm being done far out ways the current solutions.

    1. Good points. The two best therapeutic drugs in current use appear to be Remdesivir (anti-viral) and dexamethasone (anti-inflammatory). However, we still do not have 100% efficacy. Dexamethasone, for example, reduces mortality from 20 to 30%. Therefore, until we have a vaccine or a cure, I think we still need to adopt universal societal precautions–both to reduce untimely deaths and to avoid deluging our medical infrastructure.

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