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Heartbreaking loss of Vale father from Covid resonates for local family

Jerry Erstrom (center with hat) poses with his son Mike (left) and other family members. Ernstrom died Jan. 21 from the Covid virus. (Photo courtesy of Niki Cutler)

VALE – The nurse walked into the hospital room and then the chaplain came and they stood by as Niki Cutler kneeled next to her dad’s bed and held his hand and, as best she could, prepared for him to die.

His lungs destroyed by the Covid virus, Erstrom died quietly soon after.

Erstrom became one of 55 Malheur County residents who have died from Covid since last spring.

In Oregon, he was among 1,900 people who perished form Covid.

Less than a month before Jerry Erstrom died Jan. 21, he was a healthy 71-year-old man recovering from a minor back surgery . . .