Klamath Basin News, Tuesday, 10/26 – Open Enrollment for Health Insurance Begins Nov. 1st; 61 New Covid Cases in Klamath County Reported Overnight

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Klamath Basin Weather

Today A chance of rain before 11am, then a chance of showers after 11am. Snow level 5100 feet rising to 7300 feet in the afternoon. Cloudy, with a high near 45. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Overnight showers and a low of 40.

Wednesday A 20% chance of showers before 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 58. Southwest wind 5 to 7 mph. Overnight mostly cloudy, with a low around 39. 
Thursday Partly sunny, with a high near 64.
Friday Partly sunny, with a high near 63.
Saturday Mostly sunny, with a high near 61.

Today’s Headlines

There are 12 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 4,295. The Oregon Health Authority reported 2,293 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01AM, bringing the state total to 359,733.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (6), Benton (53), Clackamas (203), Clatsop (8), Columbia (34), Coos (42), Crook (21), Curry (7), Deschutes (231), Douglas (79), Gilliam (2), Grant (2), Harney (5), Hood River (19), Jackson (108), Jefferson (38), Josephine (46), Klamath (61), Lake (9), Lane (203), Lincoln (43), Linn (150), Malheur (16), Marion (187), Morrow (7), Multnomah (329), Polk (31), Tillamook (10), Umatilla (32), Union (17), Wasco (24), Wallowa (7), Washington (223) and Yamhill (40). 

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 571, which is 41 more than yesterday. There are 123 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is one fewer than yesterday.

Klamath County reported 61 new cases yesterday, Jackson (108), Jefferson (38), Josephine (46) and Lake (9).

Graphic image asks, "Am I eligible for a third dose or booster?"

Open enrollment – the time to sign up for health insurance for 2022 – has been extended this year. It runs from Nov. 1, 2021, to Jan. 15, 2022.

More than 75 percent of Oregonians who enrolled through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace for 2021 qualified for financial help, which lowered their monthly premium to as low as $1 per month.

The Marketplace estimates that thousands of Oregonians throughout the state could see significant savings by enrolling in health coverage through the Marketplace for 2022.

Trained health coverage experts are available to help with applying for financial assistance and choosing health plans. This help comes from licensed insurance agents and community groups and is completely free to you. 

You can prepare for open enrollment by going to OregonHealthCare.gov/WindowShop to browse plans and find out how much savings for which you are eligible. This year, the tool has significant enhancements to help consumers wade through plan options.

To start, go to OregonHealthCare.gov before Jan. 15 and answer a few questions to preview plans and savings available to you.

The Soroptimist’s International Club of Klamath Falls is seeking eligible women for their Live Your Dream Award.

In order to apply, the applicant must: be the primary source of income for herself and her dependents; Have financial need; Be enrolled in or have been accepted to a vocational/skills training program or an undergraduate degree program; Be motivated to achieve your education and career goals; Have not previously been the recipient of a Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity or Live Your Dream Award; Not have a graduate degree; Not be a Soroptimist member or employee.

The Live Your Dream Award applications begin at the local level, Soroptimist International of Klamath Falls and the recipients of the award may use the $5,000 to help offset tuition costs, purchase books, get transportation or find reliable childcare. Live Your Dream applications are due Nov. 15. For application information, call 541-891-1660

Crescent Ranger District plans to conduct 293 acres of pile burning through Wednesday, if conditions allow.

Fuels specialists plan to ignite piles, located southeast of the junction of highways 58 and 97, on Tuesday. No road or trail closures are anticipated. Smoke may be visible from Highway 97. Firefighters will monitor the highway for smoke impacts and place warning signs where precautions may be needed. Once ignited, piles are monitored by firefighters until declared out. Piles may smolder, burn, and produce smoke for several days after ignition.

Residents in the area are encouraged to close windows at night to avoid possible smoke impacts.

On Sunday, Halloween evening, October 31st, from 4:45 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Pacific Terrace will be closed from Melrose Street to Van Ness Avenue.  

This closure is being conducted for the safety of the children while they are trick-or-treating. The City of Klamath Falls encourages everyone to drive with caution on the side streets and throughout the community on Halloween for the safety of the children and their families.

Around the state of Oregon

The Oregon Health Authority says 550 people died with COVID-19 but weren’t counted in the total because of a technical error.

They had been adding the deaths manually and in the process of automating the information, they developed a back log of reported deaths. It happened between May and August of this year. They’ll add the additional deaths to the daily numbers, which will cause the state’s death rate to increase. Oregon is currently ranked 6th lowest. The increase is expected to move Oregon higher on the list by a few states.

Thousands of people remained without power Monday afternoon following a strong Pacific storm system that downed trees and power lines. Most of those still without electricity were in the Seattle area, where utilities reported a drop Monday from about 60,000 to 40,000 customers out. Utilities in the Portland, Oregon, area listed about 4,000 customers without power.

Two people died Sunday after a tree collapsed onto their car near Issaquah, Washington. The Seattle Times reports they were traveling in a white sedan on a densely forested roadway when the tree came down across the car. Eastside Fire & Rescue reported responding around 3:30 p.m. and pronounced the victims dead at the scene.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is asking the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to review pharmacy closures nationwide.

Earlier this year, Eugene-based BiMart announced it’s closing 56 pharmacies in the Northwest and handing over the clients to Walgreens. BiMart cited increasing costs and reimbursement pressure as the reason. Wyden says he wants to know whether fees imposed by Medicare Part D and middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers are driving the closures.

State Representative Pam Marsh will host a community forum Tuesday night via Zoom to address the growing issue of illicit marijuana grows across southern Oregon.

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency earlier this month as a result of the influx of grows recently — a phenomenon that has been building for years, though officials say that this year was particularly extreme.

Southern Oregon was already a lodestone for cannabis and hemp grows operating within the state’s legal framework, due in part to the area’s conducive climate. For the same reason — and because the presence of legal operations provides a certain level of reasonable doubt for illicit operations — black market operations have flourished. The operators grow marijuana, process it, and ship it to states where cannabis remains illegal. Particularly in a severe drought years like 2021, one of the biggest issues is how these operations obtain large quantities of water.

The other issue is one of labor, with law enforcement officials claiming that there are humanitarian issues with the way migrant laborers are exploited on black market grows.

Police in Boise, Idaho, said Monday that five people and a police officer have been injured in a shooting at a shopping mall.

They say one person is in custody. Police on Twitter said they are working their way through each business at the mall, but don’t have information indicating additional threats. Police are asking people to avoid the area.

The Boise Towne Square shopping mall is located in Idaho’s largest city and is the city’s largest mall. Police were interviewing dozens of people outside the entrance to Macy’s, one of five large department stores at the mall that has 153 stores in all. Police are also investigating what appears to be another crime scene at a restaurant near the mall.

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