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Cases hit record in Malheur County, vax rate lowest in Oregon

Environmental health specialist Jessica Alexander (left) of the Malheur County Health Department and Euvalcree volunteer Gisselle Gonzalez work at the drive-in test and vaccine clinic at the Malheur County Fairgrounds last week. The clinics continue on Tuesdays this month. (The Enterprise/ AUSTIN JOHNSON)

Malheur County remains last among Oregon counties in vaccination rates, a circumstance the county’s top health officials say is “costing lives and draining our health care system.”

State officials reported Friday that a 57-year-old man from Malheur County who tested positive for Covid died in a Boise hospital on Wednesday, Sept. 1.

“The sheer number of infections and the rate of spread is alarming,” the Malheur County Health Department wrote in a letter last week. “Hospitals are filling with people who are very sick with Covid-19, not from the . . .