Klamath Basin News, Tuesday, 5/11 – Covid-19 Cases Continue To Rise in Klamath County Says Sky Lakes Medical Center

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The latest and most comprehensive coverage of local News, Sports, Business, and Community News stories in the Klamath Basin, Southern Oregon and around the state of Oregon from Wynne Broadcasting’s KFLS News/Talk 1450AM / 102.5FM, The Herald & News, and BasinLife.com, and powered by Mick Insuranceyour local health and Medicare agents.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Sunny, with a high of 76 degrees expected.

Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 76. Overnight with a low around 45.
Wednesday Sunny, with a high near 83. C
Thursday Sunny, with a high near 82.
Friday Night Partly cloudy,
Saturday Sunny, with a high near 73.

Today’s Headlines

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There are three new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 2,533, the Oregon Health Authority reported on Monday. Oregon Health Authority also reported 388 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the state total to 191,774.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (1), Benton (21), Clackamas (76), Clatsop (4), Columbia (12), Coos (1), Crook (3), Deschutes (56), Douglas (6), Harney (3), Hood River (2), Jackson (8), Jefferson (4), Josephine (7), Lane (24), Linn (23), Marion (45), Multnomah (76), Polk (3), Tillamook (2), Wasco (1), Washington (4) and Yamhill (6). 

On Monday, OHA reported that 28,659 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry.  The 7-day running average is now 34,030 doses per day. The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 326, which is eight more than day prior. There are 78 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit beds, which is two more than day prior.

While cases in Jackson, Josephine, and Curry counties are on a sharp decline,  Klamath County has seen a steady increase of Covid cases since last week.

Sky Lakes Medical Center issued a public statement via their Facebook page yesterday, saying, “Today we had to open a second COVID-19 isolation unit to supplement our recently expanded unit due to the increase in COVID-19 inpatients. As of this morning, there were 18 patients in the COVID-19 unit which is near the record number of patients we had in December 2020. Because COVID-19 patients require more care than most other patients, we had to cancel several elective procedures today to accommodate for staffing demands. We will review other scheduled elective surgeries on a case-by-case basis”.  

Klamath Falls has been hit hard with a drastic increase in COVID-19 cases the last few weeks and the case numbers continue to grow daily. As cases in the community increase, so will the need for hospitalization.

Thigs to Know this Week. Click to open pdf.

While Klamath County has seen two wildfires of significant size in the past two weeks,  Fire Season officially begins May 12 in Jackson and Josephine counties, the Oregon Department of Forestry announced Monday.

The change means the beginning of fire danger restrictions and closures on ODF-protected lands in southwest Oregon. At the outset, the fire danger level will be “Low” (green) with the Industrial Fire Precaution Level at level one. These regulations apply to 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city, and federal forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Starting Wednesday, debris pile burning and use of burn barrels will be prohibited in Jackson and Josephine counties. ODF pointed to multiple escaped debris burns that crews have responded to over the past several weeks. Landowners are asked to check previous burn piles to confirm that they are completely extinguished. ODF is set to follow suit in Klamath and Lake counties on Saturday, May 15 — officially beginning Fire Season regulations in those areas.

For Klamath and Lake, the fire danger level will begin at Moderate (blue) with IFPL at level one.

Lost River Junior/Senior High School’s senior class committed to 10 different trade schools and colleges last week during the school’s annual signing day event.

The outside ceremony was attended by a limited number of family members and underclassmen via Zoom. Ivan Ayala, a 2016 Lost River graduate, Gates Scholar, Hispanic Scholars speaker, published author and master’s degree of public health candidate was the keynote speaker.

Representatives from Oregon Tech and Klamath Community College also attended. The soon-to-be Lost River graduates will be represented at 10 colleges and trade schools including Boise State, Klamath Community College, OIT, Southern Oregon University, Eastern Oregon University, Southwestern Oregon Community College, Blue Mountain Community College, Western Welding Academy, Highline College in Seattle, and Kauai Community College in Hawaii.

Around the state of Oregon

A 52-year-old man from Coos Bay was arrested Saturday after police said he attacked his elderly parents with a hatchet or axe.

Deputies from the Coos County Sheriff’s Office responded to reports of an assault off of Shore Edge Drive in Coos Bay, officials said in a news release. The first officers on the scene found “evidence of a major assault that occurred on the property,” officials said, along with three injured victims suffering from lacerations on their faces and bodies.

Investigators said Lee Huckabee had fled the scene when deputies arrived.   He was found with blood on his clothing and taken into custody by deputies, officials said.

The Rogue Valley International Medford Airport is now host to new routes from a new airline. Avelo Airlines, the first new U.S. mainline airline in almost 15 years, starts service between Medford and the Los Angeles area this week.

Avelo boasts “one-way fares starting at $19,” and will offer nonstop flights between MFR and the Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR). The airline is using 189-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft on the route, which Avelo says is one of the most fuel-efficient planes in the world. The route offers flights from Burbank at 4:20 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, arriving in Medford at 6:10 p.m.

Flights from Medford to Burbank depart at 6:50 p.m. and arrive at 8:50 p.m.

On Sundays, the flights depart Burbank at 11:10 a.m. and arrive in Medford at 1 p.m., then depart Medford at 1:40 p.m. and arrive in Burbank at 3:40 p.m. MFR plans to celebrate the new airline’s arrival with a ceremony at the airport on Tuesday evening, with airport fire trucks creating a “traditional water arch” to welcome the arriving Avelo plane.

People moving to Oregon who have a driver’s license from another state soon won’t have to take a written test to get an Oregon license.  

Governor Kate Brown has signed a bill last week that eliminates the requirement.  The bill takes effect June 5th.

The University of Oregon has joined Oregon State, Portland State, the University of Washington and other public and private institutions in requiring a COVID-19 vaccine for fall term.

The UO had previously announced plans to resume in-person and on-campus programs in September. The University of Oregon plans to return to mostly in-person classes and experiences this fall. Encouraging news about vaccines supply and distributions means we can carefully plan to welcome you safely back for more on-campus instruction and activities,” according to the University.

A 71-year-old man who had been missing in the Columbia River Gorge since Saturday night was found alive Monday, officials said.

One of the volunteer search-and-rescue crews that began looking for Joe Dean of Portland early Monday found him near the trail where he was last heard from, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet. Around 11 a.m., the sheriff’s office said Dean had been brought down from the trail in wheeled basket and reunited with his family.

He was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation, according to the sheriff’s office.

The Treasury Department on Monday launched its $350 billion program to distribute aid to state and local governments, giving the U.S. economy an added boost as President Joe Biden sought to assure the country that stronger growth is coming.

The aid is part of Biden’s larger $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that became law in March. Administration officials said payments could begin to go out in the coming days to eligible governments, allowing state, local, territorial and tribal officials to offset the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement came after the government reported Friday that just 266,000 jobs were added in April — a miss that the president felt obligated to address from the White House on Monday.

Republican lawmakers have suggested that his relief package, with its extra unemployment benefits, has hurt hiring because people can earn more money by staying at home than working.

But Biden emphasized that much of the money is still being disbursed and noted the new portal for state and local government aid. The funding could provide a jolt of growth after the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 6.1% in April, a sign of how difficult it can be to restart an economy despite an unprecedented degree of federal assistance.

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