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Surge In Lincoln County Cases Over The Last Two Days


Lincoln County Public Health is reporting 23 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday November 23, and 7 new cases today (11/24) as of 1:00 PM on Tuesday. This brings the current count to 595 cases. One person was hospitalized and is being discharged today. Due to state website updating procedures, the OHA website may not match our local case reporting and

could show fewer cases.


“Public Health has brought back more investigators and contact tracers to help with the investigations” noted Florence Pourtal, Deputy Director of Public Health. “However, due to the increase in cases, we are urging those who know they are positive to immediately isolate and notify all close contacts. Do not wait for a call from Public Health. If you know you are a close contact of a positive case, please stay home.”


If you have questions or need help to quarantine, please contact our call center and leave a message at 541-265-0621. Or you may email LincolnCoCallCenter@co.lincoln.or.us .

Rebecca Austen, Health Department Director added “When a contact tracer or

investigator contacts you, please answer their questions as best as you can. This is the only way we can identify the source of infection and notify others they have been exposed and need to isolate or quarantine.”


Austen reports that many people they are talking with have not been avoiding

gatherings. She said “All residents should stay home and avoid social

gatherings at this time so we can get this surge under control. This includes

during the Thanksgiving holiday.”


Lincoln County Public Health also reached out to the local hospitals and

schools for their thoughts about the current situation. Dr. Lesley Ogden, CEO of the two Samaritan hospitals in Lincoln county said “Although we have been managing to balance hospital bed availability with demand, this week we admitted the first COVID-19 inpatient since August at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital. This signals that the recent spike in

cases may lead to increased hospitalizations.


Within Lincoln County Samaritan has nine ICU beds and 27 acute care beds

between the two hospitals. At this point in time, the Newport hospital has 18 of

25 beds occupied and Lincoln City has 5 of 16 occupied with surgical and

emergent cases, which can fluctuate up and down by the hour. When paired

with strained staffing resources, the daily juggle is enough without added

COVID-19 inpatients.


We are part of a system and are fortunate to be able to lean on the valley-based hospitals by transferring patients when the need arises for higher levels of care, but their bed availability is also impacted by a of combination of emergent and COVID-19 patients and sometimes they may not able to accept our requests for transfers. Per state guidelines, Samaritan needs

to keep a certain number of beds available across the system at any given time,

so that we would be able to accommodate a surge in COVID-19 cases.


This is a plea to our community to remain safe and not put yourself in risky situations where you could contract this illness. We don’t want the demand for health care to be greater than our supply of beds and staff, a problem we are already seeing in neighboring states. An increasing number of hospitals across the nation are now in crisis mode. We all need to take care of ourselves and each other and do what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our region.”


“Lincoln County School District wishes our community health and safety during the upcoming holiday season” said Susan Van Liew, assistant superintended for the district. “LCSD encourages staff, students and community to practice appropriate COVID safety protocols wherever they are. LCSD believes this is critical for the continuation of on-site hybrid education and to be able to return more students to on-site instruction in the future.”


Lincoln County staff and partners are making calls to close contacts of confirmed cases. Some of these calls may look like they come from an unknown number. If you don’t answer, they will leave a message. The public is asked to please call them back as soon as you can.

Local public and tribal health authorities will never ask for your social security

number, credit card number, bank account or billing information, or immigration status.


For more information on COVID-19 and resources visit

https://govstatus.egov.com/or-oha-covid-resources

Lincoln County Resource Guides in English & Spanish:

https://www.co.lincoln.or.us/hhs/page/covid-19-resources