A Deschutes County man, who was in contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19, has died.
The 63-year-old man had chronic medical conditions and was admitted to St. Charles Bend on Monday. He died Tuesday morning, said Dr. George Conway, Deschutes County Health Services director. The man is the second person to die from the coronavirus in less than two weeks in Central Oregon.
The first was also 63 years old. The Crook County woman may have traveled outside the area and became symptomatic on July 1, 17 weeks after the first person tested positive for the virus.
Health officials are not releasing any other information on the man, and his death will be recorded in Wednesday’s statewide COVID-19 health updates issued by the Oregon Health Authority.
“We have persistent concerns about three things: social gatherings without proper precautions and mask wearing, social distancing and household contacts,” said Conway. “We continue to be committed to containing the virus by making testing widely available and with case investigations, contact tracing and follow -up.”
On Tuesday, the Oregon Health Authority said there were seven deaths, the most in a single day since April 28, during the initial wave of the pandemic in Oregon. Deschutes became the 20th county in Oregon to record a COVID-19 related death. There are 16 counties that have not reported a death.
An estimated 13.2 million people have been infected worldwide, with 575,200 deaths, according to Tuesday’s report from Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center.
The first case of COVID-19 was identified March 11 in Deschutes County, Conway said. At that time the virus appeared to affect mostly older people who had traveled abroad or on a cruise ship in March and April, he said. That was the first wave.
The second was spouses or partners of the those who initially were sick from the virus, he said. The county experienced a lull in April until mid-May, but after Mother’s Day, the county began to see quite a few cases associated with family gatherings.
“The demography of the people that are (getting the virus) have changed,” Conway said. “They’re young adults who typically have large social networks and more contacts to follow up. They don’t get ill or not as ill.”