Lincoln County Covid positive cases are increasing instead of decreasing. According to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) the week of 11/8-11/21 we were at a moderate level for cases, the following week we moved into high and at the end of this week ending 12/5 we are going to be at extreme risk. The state looks at many metrics, but a key measure is the case rate per 100,000 population. For the first half of November, we were at 44 cases per 100,000. Lincoln County is now at a total of 720 positive cases.
For the second half of the month, it jumped to 161 cases per 100,000. For the last two weeks, the end of November and first week of December, the county grew to 281 cases per 100,000. A rate higher than 200 and Rebecca Austen Health and Human Services Director,said "At this rate the county is headed into the extreme risk category. Bouncing in the wrong direction".
Currently, 26 of the 36 counties in the state are in the extreme risk category, which further tightens restrictions on dining, retail establishments, religious gatherings and closes gyms, museums and theaters. Rebecca Austen, said we are in a surge mode and staff is monitoring ten new outbreaks in the past ten days. Contact tracers are in touch with 154 people, and an additional 20 are being followed by the Siletz Tribal Health Clinic. Commissioner Jacobson said she is very worried when looking at the last week's numbers.
Austen said people need to cut back on who people are having contact with. However it was pointed out that Lincoln County is doing well on hospitalizations. Lincoln County has had 33 hospitalizations, but none at this time and 16 total deaths. Austen said they are working on setting up two new mass testing events tentatively set for December 23 and the 30th are planned for later this month, with dates, locations and other details to follow. HHS is aiming to be able to offer testing on a weekly basis through the winter.
Austen said "we are seeing more outbreaks, with 10 over the last ten days. We have a lot of community transmission and are starting to see the results from Thanksgiving and after." Commissioner Hall expressed concern about large community gatherings during Thanksgiving at local STR's. Hall questioned if maybe the county should work with the cities again in closing some of these down. County Council Wayne Belmont suggested to wait and see if the restrictions going into an extreme level would cause a decline, and wait and see if after the 14th if the numbers change.