LA GRANDE — Union County’s COVID-19 cases continue to spike. The Center for Human Development, La Grande, reported 47 new cases in the span of three days.
The center, which serves as the public health arm of the county, on Friday, Nov. 13, reported the county had a total of 574 cases. Then it reported 19 new cases Sunday and another 23 Monday, spinning up the total to 621.
That’s more than an 8% increase in the total number of cases from Friday and 127 new cases since Nov. 2.
Union County Public Health Administrator Carrie Brogoitti in a press release Monday reported the jump in cases the past few days can be partially attributed to an outbreak at a local long-term care facility.
The Oregon Health Authority identified Wildflower Lodge, one of Union County’s long-term care facilities, as the spot of the outbreak. Six people there tested positive, according to the OHA’s weekly report on Thursday, Nov. 12.
The facility did not respond to requests for comments in time for publication Monday.
Brogoitti reported the CHD is “working closely with the facility to identify cases and close contacts to help mitigate further spread.”
In addition to the outbreak at Wildflower Lodge, Brogoitti stated Union County is mirroring a statewide trend.
“Social gatherings of various sizes and not adhering to public health recommendations continue to play a significant role in our increasing cases and contacts to confirmed cases,” according to Brogoitti. “Reports of birthday parties, get-togethers with friends, weddings, etc. continue to occur. Attendees at these events then spread the virus to their homes, workplaces, schools, etc.”
And Grande Ronde Hospital, La Grande, announced in a press release last week it is reimplementing COVID-19 measures that went into effect Friday.
The hospital will allow only one visitor at a time per patient, according to the press release, and the visitor must comply with all COVID-19 regulations, including completing a screening and wearing a mask.
There are exceptions to this regulation, however, including if a caregiver of a patient needs assistance due to a language barrier or disability or if a person is a close family member of a patient undergoing end-of-life care. Parents also can accompany their children.
The hospital allows these circumstances even if the visitor does not pass screening, the press release stated, but the visitors must follow mask and safety protocols.