Local government

Covid cases on the rise in Malheur County, vaccination rate remains low

ONTARIO – Malheur County has been experiencing an increasing level of Covid cases and hospitalizations for the virus, moving the county into the “high” category rating by federal authorities.

No new mandates have been imposed, however.

Sarah Poe, director of the Malheur County Health Department, said in a statement Friday, July 1, said positive tests for Covid have been increasing since February. She said a special wastewater testing program to detect Covid shows Covid levels as high as they were in January.

“We know the case numbers are underreported,” she said, because those taking home tests don’t always report positive results to health officials.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, Malheur County has the third highest rate of Covid infections in the state. The state agency said 16% of the population has tested positive. Total cases in the county since the . . .