COVID IN MALHEUR COUNTY Jun. 23
Vaccination rate continues to lag even as the Covid infection endures
The virus isn't vanquished and remains a persistent threat to area residents. While cases are down from their peak more than six months ago, health officials believe the only way to stop it is through more vaccinations.
COVID IN MALHEUR COUNTY Jun. 3
Immunization goal for Malheur County far off, keeping 'low risk' rating out of reach
Recent data shows only 26% of county is immunized, far short of the state-mandated goal of 65%. Health officials, though, plan to continue outreach efforts through the summer to cut the margin.
FreeCOVID May. 21
Get a free lunch and a shot at Origins Faith Community in Ontario on Friday
The event will feature free lunch and $25 gift cards for all those vaccinated.
MALHEUR COUNTY COVID May. 12
Oregon could open at 70% vaccination, but Malheur County isn't halfway there yet
Gov. Kate Brown promised Oregonians Tuesday that she'd lift most pandemic restrictions in counties that can show 70% of people 16 and older have been vaccinated. Malheur County has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the state.
COVID IN MALHEUR COUNTY May. 4
Malheur County sees 'concerning' increase in Covid cases, now faces new state restrictions
After being at a low level of risk for the coronavirus, Malheur County is now considered at "high risk" for the spread of the virus. On Friday, new limits take hold on some local businesses and institutions.
POLITICS May. 4
Rep. Bentz slams governor over her increased Covid restrictions
After the governor announced that 15 counties would be moving into the category of "extreme risk" for Covid last Friday, U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz released a statement criticizing the restrictions, which include a shutdown of indoor dining for eight of the 20 counties he represents. Malheur County is still in "moderate risk," with indoor dining allowed.
COVID Apr. 29
Vax efforts fall short for Oregon Latinos, including in Malheur County
Across the state, Latinos make up 13% of the population and 25% of Covid cases, but only 6% of vaccinations. In Malheur County, local providers are looking to improve access and information-sharing within the Latino community.
CORONAVIRUS: Life in Malheur County Apr. 27
Restrictions loom again for Malheur County as Covid case rate rises
Covid cases are on the rise in the region, as Malheur County struggles to boost the vaccination rate – now the second worst among Oregon counties. Officials are gearing up for a return to tighter restrictions on businesses and gatherings.
FreeCOVID Apr. 21
Drive-thru Covid vaccine clinic off to a slow start at the Ontario fairgrounds
The clinic has plenty of the Moderna vaccine to distribute each day from 4 to 8 p.m. through Friday, April 23.
COVID IN MALHEUR COUNTY Apr. 15
Mobile vaccine clinic opens Friday for 8-day run at Malheur County Fairgrounds.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency clinic will be open every day until Friday, April 23. Meanwhile, there is still time today to visit Four Rivers Cultural Center to participate in a vaccine clinic.
COVID IN MALHEUR COUNTY Apr. 14
Malheur County at risk of restrictions as Covid cases stack up
Malheur County officials on Wednesday warned that they are seeing an increase in Covid cases and the percentage of people testing positive for the coronavirus. If the trend continues, the county's businesses and organizations could face new limits.
MALHEUR COUNTY PUBLIC SAFETY Apr. 14
Judge's ruling in Ontario prison case considered landmark in holding state accountable
A recent court order at SRCI which resulted in a sweeping order to reform the institution's masking and Covid testing protocols revealed problems that advocates say are endemic to the Oregon Department of Corrections as a whole.
COVID IN MALHEUR COUNTY Apr. 13
Malheur County's battle to defeat Covid loses key weapon as Johnson & Johnson vaccine put on hold
Two federal agencies on Tuesday recommended a "pause" in administering the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and the Oregon Health Authority soon followed up telling providers to stop using it for now. This comes as Malheur County planned to ramp up its vaccination effort.
COVID IN MALHEUR COUNTY Apr. 6
County scheduled to drop into lower risk Covid classification Friday
Gov. Kate Brown announced the new direction Tuesday. More than 10 other Oregon counties will remain in the high risk category while six counties will be listed as moderate risk.
FreeCOVID Apr. 5
Where to get vaccinated or tested this week
Four Rivers Cultural Center is hosting its usual vaccine clinic open to all eligible community members this Thursday, and Saint Alphonsus Medical Center Ontario has appointments available Friday.
FreeCOVID Mar. 29
COVID: Where to get vaccinated or tested this week in Malheur County
Expanded hours at the Malheur County Health Department's Covid vaccination clinic this Thursday, plus new eligibility beginning April 5.
OREGON GOVERNMENT Mar. 29
State judge rules that SRCI must enforce mask mandate, consider rapid tests for employees
Circuit Court Judge Amy Baggio found that two inmates' Eighth Amendment right to protection from cruel and unusual punishment had been violated over medical care. She found that prison workers doubt the seriousness of Covid.
COVID Mar. 26
Saint Alphonsus to host vaccine clinic Monday
Saint Alphonsus Medical Center in Ontario will offer vaccinations to eligible Oregonians on Monday, March 29. More than 80 appointments to get the Covid vaccine shot are available.
FreeMALHEUR COUNTY COVID Mar. 25
Vaccine available Thursday to growing list; Saint Alphonsus hosts Monday clinic
Here is the latest on where you can get a Covid vaccination shot if you are eligible. The Malheur County Health Department clinic is Thursday afternoon.
FreeCOVID Mar. 22
As more people are eligible for vaccine, here's where to get yours in Malheur County
Agricultural workers and others became eligible for vaccine this week after Gov. Kate Brown moved the timeline up.
COVID IN MALHEUR COUNTY Mar. 17
Vaccine now available at several Malheur County locales as supply expands
The Malheur County Health Department reported it has vaccinated almost 5,000 people against Covid as of last week, a sign of progress nearly a year after the pandemic began.
COVID IN MALHEUR COUNTY Mar. 3
Local businesses pleased, but remain cautious, regarding new Covid mandates
Malheur County dropped from the extreme risk category to moderate risk Feb. 27, heralding a new beginning for area merchants. The new rules, though, are not set and stone and some businesses owners remain guarded about the future.
COVID Feb. 26
Advocates seek to bridge vaccine gap for Latinos, others in Malheur County
Local medical providers said they were working with community-based organizations to address disparities in vaccine distribution that affect communities of color.
COVID IN MALHEUR COUNTY Feb. 26
A chance to sit inside a restaurant or bar starts Friday across Malheur County
After months of inactivity, a change in the county's Covid risk level means area taverns and restaurants are once again accessible to residents.
COVID IN MALHEUR COUNTY Feb. 23
State eases Covid restrictions on Malheur County
The county will drop from the Extreme Risk level to Moderate Risk beginning Friday. That means bars and restaurants will be open for indoor service and larger public gatherings will be allowed.
FreeCOVID IN MALHEUR COUNTY Feb. 18
Malheur County's Covid case count shows sharp decline
The county logged just one new Covid case during a three-day period last week. While the trend may be a hopeful sign for the future health officials caution it is too soon to tell if the county has turned the corner in the Covid war.
COVID Feb. 17
Feb. 18 vaccination clinic at Four Rivers Cultural Center canceled
The cancellation was due to weather-related shipping issues, according to a press release from the Malheur County Health Department
COVID Feb. 17
You did it, Malheur County - data shows drop in Covid, eased restrictions could come next week
UPDATED: The Oregon Health Authority showed that Malheur County could move to a county with "moderate" risk of Covid spread, meaning indoor dining and entertainment would be allowed for the first time in months.
FreeCOMMENTARY Feb. 11
COLUMN: Malheur County residents are making a difference to reopen schools, businesses
As Malheur County shows improvement in Covid testing rates, school officials are lauding the community's efforts to get the virus under control. They urge everyone to continue with masks, hand washing and other precautions to lift restrictions from schools, businesses and activities.
HEALTH Feb. 10
Pandemic in Malheur County boosts substance abuse by kids, adults
Prevention experts said that the stress of the pandemic, coupled with a lack of access to social connections and positive recreation, had led to increased drug use and relapses county-wide.
COVID IN MALHEUR COUNTY Feb. 10
Top Malheur County health official says more vaccine needed to stymie Covid
Sarah Poe, Malheur County Health Department director, believes the Covid serum is the best weapon to thwart the pandemic. She just wishes there was more vaccine to distribute to residents.
COMMENTARY Feb. 4
EDITORIAL: Vaccines offer hope, but vigilance remains key to keeping Covid at bay
The virus isn't done with us, as local outbreaks prove, and that makes it critically important to adhere to social distancing and mask precautions in the months ahead.
COVID IN MALHEUR COUNTY Feb. 3
State inmates at Ontario prison to be vaccinated quicker following judge's order
A federal judge found Tuesday that the Oregon Department of Corrections had acted with “deliberate indifference” in deciding not to promptly vaccinate all inmates, violating their Eighth Amendment rights. Now, they've been moved up in the rollout plan and will be vaccinated as soon as possible.
COVID Feb. 3
Heartbreaking loss of Vale father from Covid resonates for local family
Jerry Erstrom was always quick with a smile and loved his children and grandchildren. Recovering from a back surgery, Erstrom - a well-known local personage - contracted Covid and died from the infection. Now his family wants people to know the Covid virus isn't a hoax and it kills.
FreeCOVID IN MALHEUR COUNTY Jan. 29
Vale High School will close for two weeks in wake of Covid outbreak
The school district made the announcement Friday as eight individuals tested positive for the infection. Vale School District returned to in-person instruction two weeks ago.
FreeCOVID IN MALHEUR COUNTY Jan. 28
Covid outbreaks hit Vale schools and Ontario businesses, county reports
In a press release Thursday afternoon, officials described outbreaks of the infection in Ontario and Vale at schools and businesses.
FreeCOVID IN MALHEUR COUNTY Jan. 27
Covid outbreak strikes Malheur County Jail
The virus struck earlier this month and infected 25 people - inmates and employees - before it began to burn itself out. No one died or was hospitalized from the outbreak.
COVID IN IDAHO Jan. 25
IN THE REGION: ‘Like my heart was trying to tear through my rib cage.’ Idahoans describe long COVID
Idaho residents chronicle their battles with long-haul Covid, reporting a range of symptoms that persist after surviving their initial bout with the virus. Health officials are bracing for more cases that will require long-term monitoring and treatment.
COVID IN MALHEUR COUNTY Jan. 16
AROUND OREGON: With fewer Covid vaccines coming from feds, seniors now behind teachers in Oregon’s inoculation line
Oregonians 80 and older will now have to wait until Feb. 8 to get a Covid vaccine after Gov. Kate Brown prioritized school employees. The change comes after state leaders learned an expected influx of vaccines from a federal reserve wouldn’t arrive as promised.
FreeMALHEUR COUNTY HEALTH Jan. 14
Malheur County Health Department grapples with switch in how state measures Covid test results
Officials in Malheur County have again adjusted how they report Covid data to the public. Now the county reports only weekly case totals and does not furnish daily updates on positivity rates. The switch happened after the state modified its Covid tracking system.
FreeCOVID: THE HUMAN TOLL Dec. 20
The human toll of COVID-19: 'I don't think any of us really do recover fully'
Her granddaughter didn't have any symptoms and her boyfriend lost his sense of taste and had a fever for a day, Jones said. The World Health Organization estimates that people typically recover in two to six weeks from COVID, but some people may have lingering symptoms following an initial recovery, the WHO states. He sent her back to work because she didn't have any COVID-19 symptoms, Franklin said.