Covid cases in Malheur County increase by 33, deaths by two

(Kezia Setyawan/The Enterprise)

Thirty-three new Covid cases and two deaths in Malheur County were reported by the Oregon Health Authority Tuesday.

While these new cases and deaths come just a few days into the new month, the sharp increase in cases is deceiving, said Sarah Poe, Malheur County Health Department director.

“It’s not a huge jump considering only three tests were reported Sunday — all positive,” said Poe. “Whenever we see a lag in reporting numbers, we expect a bigger day ahead.”

As of Monday, Malheur County had 709 Covid cases, 12 deaths and a positive testing rate of 18.1%, according to the county health department.

The county’s positive test rate, Poe said, increased steadily over the past four to six weeks, which means cases will continue to increase since “we aren’t capturing the true number of infected people and isolating them.”

One of the deaths reported was an 89-year-old woman with underlying conditions, who tested positive for Covid July 19 and died at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center on July 27, according to the health authority. The month of August’s first death was a 96-year-old woman, who tested positive July 27 and died on Aug. 2 at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center. Whether the 96-year-old had underlying health conditions is still being confirmed.

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