Malheur County health officials warn of spike in COVID-19 cases, test positivity

Malheur County Health Department staff administer the COVID-19 vaccine to people experiencing homelessness .jpg
Posted at 4:59 PM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 10:53:48-04

Malheur County health officials warn of increasing COVID-19 cases and test positivity rates in the area.

The Malheur County Health Department reported the county currently has a case rate of 74.9 cases per 100,000 people and a test positivity rate of 5.1% for the period of March 28 to April 10.

“These numbers are concerning, given the rise in cases throughout the country and the increase in the presence of variants in and around Oregon and Idaho,” Malheur County Health Department Director Sarah Poe said in a statement.

As case numbers and positivity rates increase, the county vaccination rate has not. According to the health department, Malheur County has the second-lowest vaccination rate in Oregon with 2,276.9 people per every 10,000 having received a dose of the vaccine.

Related: Malheur County to administer more COVID-19 vaccines as eligibility expands

And if case numbers continue to go up, restrictions on business capacities and activities could be put into place, according to Malheur County Health Department.

“As partners with Malheur County, the City of Ontario wants to see our businesses operate at their fullest capacity under the circumstances to maintain the economic health of our community," Ontario City Manager Adam Brown said in a statement. "Vaccinations are proven to be one of the ways to keep case rates down. We urge you, for the sake of our business community and working families, to prioritize getting everyone in your household vaccinated who meets the conditions and recommendations of the CDC.”