Auditors: Some virus deaths in senior care preventable

Coronavirus

Healthcare at Foster Creek in Southeast Portland, May 5, 2020. (KOIN)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — State auditors say Oregon health officials’ failure to adequately prepare for COVID-19 likely contributed to some senior care home coronavirus deaths early in the pandemic.

The two state agencies responsible for responding to the pandemic wasted “valuable time” in the first few months after Oregon’s first case as they tried to figure out how to work together, the Secretary of State Oregon Audits Division found in a report released Wednesday.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports more than 90 people eventually died in outbreaks that began while state agencies were building a new administrative system.

About half of all COVID-19 deaths in Oregon were long-term care residents, auditors said, compared to just over a third nationally.

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