Klamath Basin News, Thursday, Aug. 26th – Another 20 Deaths in the State Reported Overnight, 2,777 New Covid-19 Cases Says Oregon Health Authority

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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.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Klamath Basin Weather

Tonight Widespread haze before 8pm in the Basin. Patchy smoke after 8pm. Mostly clear, with a low around 46.

Friday Widespread haze before 2pm, then widespread haze after 5pm. Patchy smoke before 11am. Sunny, with a high near 84. Overnight mostly clear, with a low around 47.
Saturday Widespread haze before 2pm. Sunny, with a high near 89.
Sunday Sunny, with a high near 90.
Monday Sunny, with a high near 86.
Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 81.
Wednesday Sunny, with a high near 82.

Today’s Headlines

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There are 20 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 3,086.  Oregon Health Authority reported 2,777 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of yesterday, bringing the state total to 263,164.

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 1,080, which is 80 more than yesterday. There are 295 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is 12 more than yesterday. There are 44 available adult ICU beds out of 662 total (7% availability) and 320 available adult non-ICU beds out of 4,256 (8% availability).

Klamath County reported  46 new cases.  Jackson County reported a new one day record of 416 new Covid cases.

Sky Lakes Medical Center says the strain COVID-19 has placed on our medical center has affected ER wait times, elective surgeries, and ICU space, to name a few of the challenges they are facing right now.

In a Facebook post yesterday,  the hospital asks that those unvaccinated should consider getting vaccinated.  Vaccination will help keep you out of the hospital and help us ensure they can provide all patients with the care they need As of yesterday, Sky Lakes reports 21 Covid  patients., 17 of those are hospitalized.  Four patients are in intensive care. No Covid care resources are threatened as of yet.

Oregon will deploy “crisis teams” of hundreds of nurses, respiratory therapists, paramedics and nursing assistants to regions of the state hardest hit by a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations that have stretched hospitals to the limit, Gov. Kate Brown said Wednesday.

The state has finalized a contract with a medical staffing company that will send up to 500 health care providers to central and southern Oregon, where hospitals have been slammed by a surge in coronavirus patients, most of them unvaccinated.

Smaller teams will also head to long-term care facilities around the state. COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased 990% in Oregon since July 9, according to health officials.

The personnel from Jogan Health Systems will head to Bend, Redmond, Medford, Ashland, Grants Pass and Roseburg and can move as conditions required, Brown said.

The plan also calls for 60 additional nurses and clinical staff from provider AMN Healthcare, but plans for where those medical workers will be have not been finalized.

The Klamath County School District says they know some families are concerned about COVID-19 or mask mandates, and they have options for those who do not want to be in school buildings this fall.

Falcon Online is a new district-operated, home-based, online program for K-12 students.

Great Basin Homeschool is a traditional parent-led program for K-8 students. Both programs offer academic support, and are part of the Klamath County School District.  Any district area student in those grades is eligible to attend.

For more information contact Principal Joe Tacchini at 541-883-6699.

Yesterday the Klamath County Economic Development Association officially announced that LTI, Inc., part of the Lynden family of companies, has expanded its operations into Klamath Falls.

They recently began operating out of a 3.5 acre location south of downtown Klamath Falls LTI, Inc. has locations throughout the Pacific Northwest and has been operating since the 1940s. Previously, the company held facilities in Bonanza, Oregon, where for 15 years, they would use their fleet to transport milk from local dairies to customers outside the region. People familiar with the area may recognize the iconic “Milky Way” logo on the side of the vehicles.

The company has continually expanded its capabilities to serve a wider range of products and customers, such as wine and juice moving to Washington and California.

As a result of this expansion, the company began exploring other location options which were capable of housing their 24 employees while also serving a growing customer base.

Speaking on behalf of LTI, Inc., Operations Manager John Bailey commented on the expansion, saying, “Our new location on Highway 97 puts us right in line with the current routes, offering new opportunities for how we can utilize the Klamath Falls team. KCEDA and their partners, including Klamath Community College, have really made this transition the most optimal. We look forward to a continued partnership with these stakeholders as we seek to expand our Klamath Falls operations.”

Around the state of Oregon

The waiting week will return to Oregon unemployment insurance starting September 5th.  That means people going onto unemployment benefits will have to wait one week before starting to receive benefits.  

The waiting week was temporarily eliminated by the Governor during the pandemic to get benefits out faster.  The waiting week is required by Oregon law, and the legislature would have to eliminate it to make it permanent.  Around 11-thousand people will be affected by the change.

Jackson County saw a new high for daily coronavirus cases on Wednesday, with public health officials reporting 614.

The case count easily broke the record 416 cases posted less than two weeks earlier. Hospitalizations also rose on Wednesday over the day prior, reaching 221 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and 60 patients in an intensive care unit (ICU). This includes both Jackson and Josephine counties, organized as Oregon’s Hospital Region 5.

The county also reported two more deaths attributed to the virus, bringing the county death toll to 192 since the pandemic began. A 69-year-old woman died August 23 at Asante Rogue Regional Medical center, and a 65-year-old man died August 23 at Providence Medford Medical Center. Both had underlying health conditions.

The expanded mask requirement begins Friday, and means that masks will be required in most public outdoor settings where physical distancing is not possible, regardless of vaccination status.

Oregon Health & Science University echoed calls from the FDA on Wednesday, warning against the use of the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19 — a phenomenon that has been increasing within the past several months.

The Oregon Poison Center, located at OHSU, says that it has been fielding a “substantial” number of calls related to ivermectin.

The drug is approved to treat parasitic worms and some skin conditions in humans, but is being misused by some for COVID-19. Because the drug is not approved in the treatment of COVID-19, even for emergency use, some people have turned to using veterinarian doses designed for animals. During the entirety of 2020, the Oregon Poison Center recorded just three cases of intentional misuse of ivermectin. So far just in the month of August this year, the center says it has seen nine cases.

Taking too much ivermectin can cause nausea, diarrhea, low blood pressure, itching and hives, dizziness, balance problems, seizures and even death. In the veterinary formulations designed for animals, the drug can be much more concentrated or contain ingredients not approved for human use, which OHSU says is particularly dangerous.

Oregon could send out a massive $1.9 billion “kicker” tax refund next year due to surging income tax receipts.

If the projections hold, the refund — which takes the form of credits on 2021 tax returns filed next year — would be Oregon’s largest-ever kicker.

The state’s unique kicker tax law sends money back to taxpayers whenever personal income tax revenues come in at least 2% above initial projections during a two-year budget cycle.

The new projection was delivered to a joint meeting of state senators and representatives Wednesday. In May, economic forecasters had anticipated the state would see a $1.4 billion kicker. Under the anticipated kicker, the median income taxpayer would receive a $420 credit on this year’s state taxes.

The average taxpayer, with an adjusted gross income of roughly $67,500, would receive $850. Since the kicker is awarded as a percentage of income taxes paid, the top 20% of earners stand to receive far more: between $1,600 and $16,880.

A head-on collision caused by an apparent wrong-way driving incident on I-5 near Ashland on Tuesday morning claimed two lives, according to Oregon State Police, including that of a local man.

OSP said that state troopers and emergency crews responded to reports of the two-vehicle crash on I-5 southbound near milepost 15 just after 5:30 a.m.

According to OSP’s initial investigation, 59-year-old Angela Chin-Hugh of Kent, Washington, was driving a Chevrolet Malibu northbound in the southbound lanes of the freeway. She collided with 25-year-old Cesar Beltran of White City as he drove southbound in a Kia Spectra. Both Chin-Hugh and Beltran were killed in the crash.

ROSEBURG, Ore. – Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin released an online statement Wednesday saying he will not enforce Gov. Kate Brown’s statewide mask mandate.

The announcement comes as Douglas County sees more new COVID-19 cases than Lane County, with about a third of the population. At 50%, Douglas County also has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the state.

“The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will not be enforcing Governor Brown’s mandates period,” Hanlin’s two-page statement said. He added that it is up to individuals to stay informed and make their own responsible decisions about their health.

He said he is tired of Brown’s leadership, which he says ignores the abilities of local leadership and contradicts the values held by those in rural Oregon.

Brown has initiated what many consider to be an unconstitutional mandate by requiring citizens to wear masks and state employees, healthcare workers and teaching staff to get vaccinations, Hanlin said.

“The citizens of Douglas County can choose to wear a mask or choose not to wear a mask,” he said. “We can choose to get vaccinated or choose not to get vaccinated. And we can choose to stay home or we can choose to travel freely. These are choices we as informed individuals shall make ourselves, not have made for us by the government.”

Hanlin said he takes his duties as sheriff seriously, and it is his responsibility to provide for the peace and safety of people in Douglas County. He added that it is in the best interest of Douglas County and other counties to retain local control over decisions affecting public health and safety.We reached out to Brown’s office for a response to Hanlin’s comments and will update this story when we hear back.

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