A COVID-19 particle is pictured in this image provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Oregon Health Authority reported Friday, Aug. 20 that a Baker County resident had died after testing positive for COVID-19.

It’s the 19th COVID-19-related death in the county.

The person who died is a 95-year-old woman who died on Aug. 17 at her home, according to OHA.

The date she tested positive, and the presence of underlying medical conditions, had not been determined as of Friday.

August on record pace for new cases

August is on pace to set a new record high for COVID-19 cases.

From Aug. 1-19, the county reported 188 cases. The highest monthly total is 196 in December 2020

August’s total so far exceeds the combined total of July (91) and June (70).

The daily average of new cases has dropped a bit over the past week.

From Aug. 1-7, the daily average was 8.4 cases. The average for Aug. 8-14 was 12 cases, including daily totals of 24 on Aug. 9 and 22 on Aug. 10, the highest two-day total during the pandemic.

From Aug. 15-19 the daily average was 8.4, the same as for the first week of August.

Vaccination pace increases slightly

Baker County’s vaccination rate has been higher during August than it was for most of July.

From July 10-31, the seven-day running daily average of vaccine doses administered in the county ranged from nine to 15.

So far in August the running daily average has ranged from 16 to 21 doses.

On Tuesday, Aug. 17, a total of 35 doses were administered — the most in a single day since June 17, when 36 doses were administered.

For the first 17 days of August, there were 321 doses given in Baker County, compared with 213 doses during the final 17 days of July.

During vaccination clinics at Baker High School during March and April, the county gave more than 600 doses on four days.

Baker County’s vaccination rate of 48% of residents 18 and older is the seventh-lowest of Oregon’s 36 counties.

Washington County has the highest rate, at 77.3% of residents 18 and older.

Lake County has the lowest rate, 38.9%.

Elsewhere in Northeastern Oregon, county rates include:

• Wallowa, 60.3%

• Union, 50.4%

• Umatilla, 46.4%

• Grant, 43.6%

• Malheur, 39.6%

Breakthrough cases

The OHA also released its biweekly report on “breakthrough” cases — infections in people who are fully vaccinated.

Baker County has had 27 breakthrough cases. Almost half of those — 12 — were reported between Aug. 1-14.

That’s 8.2% of the county’s 146 cases reported during that period.

Statewide, breakthrough cases accounted for 14.4% of Oregon’s COVID-19 cases from Aug. 1-14.

There were 20,701 cases during that period, and 2,982 were in fully vaccinated residents.

Of the state’s 7,138 breakthrough cases during the pandemic, 5.8% of those have been hospitalized, and 0.8% died, according to OHA. Most of the deaths — 46 of 58 — were people 60 or older.

The OHA breakthrough report doesn’t show whether any of the fully vaccinated Baker County residents who tested positive have been hospitalized.


OHA is reporting only one active COVID-19 outbreak in Baker County. Marvin Wood Products has had six cases, the most recent on Aug. 1.

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