‘Denial, unwillingness’: COVID death toll climbs to 867


Health authorities also reported 1,189 new confirmed and presumptive cases

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The death toll in Oregon from the novel coronavirus rose to 867 Wednesday with the announcement another 20 people died recently. The Oregon Health Authority also said 1189 new confirmed/presumptive cases of COVID-19 were recorded in 32 of the state’s 36 counties.

These cases raise the cumulative state total to 68,503.

One of those who died was a 27-year-old Lincoln County man who had underlying conditions. KOIN 6 News reached out to OHA for clarification on his death since their release said he “tested positive on Nov. 18 and died on Nov. 17.”

The others who died ranged in age from 47 to 98. Most had underlying conditions. Seven lived in Multnomah County, 4 in Marion County, 3 in Lane County, 3 in Malheur County and one each in Wasco and Lake counties.

Washington County had 180 confirmed cases on Friday, the most of any of the 32 recording counties. Multnomah had 177 and Clackamas had 112.

They were followed in order by: Marion (105), Lane (101), Jackson (89), Deschutes (75), Klamath (44), Douglas (42), Polk (35), Josephine (28), Union (26), Umatilla (25), Linn (17), Malheur (14), Yamhill (12), Lincoln (12), Jefferson (12), Coos (12), Columbia (11), Benton (10), Wasco (9), Crook (8), Curry (8), Morrow (5), Baker (4), Lake (4), Clatsop (3), Grant (3), Hood River (3), Tillamook (2) and Harney (1).

‘What’s amazing to me is the amount of denial’

Dr. Vicki Sands has been an ER physicican for 25 years at Providence Portland Medical Center, November 25, 2020 (Courtesy: Providence Medical Center)

Dr. Vicki Sands, who’s been an ER physicican for 25 years at Providence Portland Medical Center, said her job is heartbreaking on a daily basis.

“We’re having to have conversations with families, telling them what’s happening. They’re not allowed to say goodbye. It’s very, very difficult for family, for patients, and the staff.”

The other issue is that the coronavirus has “made it difficult accessing care for those who don’t have COVID, those who have strokes, who have heart attacks.”

On a personal level, she’s adjusted how she interacts with her family.

“I spent the first month of this, because we weren’t sure what type of protection we would have, how this virus would act, isolating from my family. That means I did not come into contact with my family. I stayed in my own little room. They put meals in front of my door. I would walk in, take my clothes off, put them in the washing machine. That’s where I stayed until my next shift. It’s heart breaking.”

And Dr. Sands continues to shake her head at the denial so many have about the coronavirus.

“What’s amazing to me is the amount of denial and the unwillingness of our citizens to have common decency to protect other people by simple actions such as wearing a mask, or staying apart.”

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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