3D rendering, coronavirus cells covid-19 influenza flowing on grey gradient background as dangerous flu strain cases as a pandemic medical health risk

PENDLETON — Umatilla County reported more COVID-19 deaths in August than any month since the pandemic began.

The county in a press release Wednesday reported its 126th COVID-19 death.

The disclosure raises August’s death toll to 22, topping the county’s previous monthly record set in July 2020.

The record-setting spike in COVID-19 deaths comes after a dramatic surge in cases driven by the delta variant, which shattered pandemic records, infected large amounts of unvaccinated people and filled regional hospitals.

This year, the unvaccinated have accounted for approximately 49 out of every 50 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Umatilla County, according to data from the county’s health department.

“Our hospital system is plugged up right now with unvaccinated people with COVID,” said Dr. Jon Hitzman, Umatilla County’s public health officer.

Since the pandemic started, the rate at which COVID-19 has infected and killed Umatilla County residents has been among the highest of all Oregon counties, according to a newsroom analysis of state data. Just six Oregon counties have reported a higher death rate than Umatilla County.

The county’s death rate is now nearly twice as high as some densely populated Portland metro counties such as Multnomah County, which has more than 10 times as many people, state data show.

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(2) comments

Tom Pained

There is a saying that freedom isn’t free. Revolutionary Patriot and Founding Father Patrick Henry is purported to have said “Give me liberty or give me death” in a speech where he likened being a subject of the king to being a slave. An odd comment from a slave owner. The people of Umatila fancy themselves as freedom fighters (however wrong headed I believe their position to be.) We need to respect their right of freedom to live,( however shortly) as they want. However, the unvaccinated should not be allowed to take up hospital resources outside of their county. They opted to spend what they have allotted to their medical system. And they have made the decision to place their freedom over medicine. So like Patrick Henry they have chosen liberty or death. Respect! Personally, I care about my commitment to be part of a societal community where we think about the welfare of others. But that is my choice.


"Give me liberty, unless I get sick. Then give me your resources."

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