ROSEBURG, Ore. -- As COVID-19 cases rise in Douglas County, public health officials are concerned about how well people are following the state’s safety guidelines.
Public health officer Bob Dannenhoffer said they saw an average of three cases and no deaths a week in the first few months of the pandemic.
However, in just the last week, Dannenhoffer said they saw more than 30 cases and four deaths. He said that has been one of their biggest numbers so far.
“It’s deeply concerning because we’re coming at a time of the year where we would expect an increase in respiratory illnesses,” he said.
He said many of the cases have come from employees not staying home if they're sick and from out-of-state travelers.
“Twenty-one states where people have come from and brought disease to Oregon,” he said. “People really need to be careful when they travel to other areas.”
Dannenhoffer said there are many people who have grown tired of the pandemic, which has caused them to relax on the safety guidelines.
However, he said this is not the time to relax, and the growing number of cases is a representation of that.
“Being tired and fatigued won’t make it go away and hoping it goes away isn’t great either,” he said.
However, Dannenhoffer said he is confident the community will help the numbers go down eventually because of how well everyone did at the beginning of the pandemic.
“I don’t think this is outside our grasp,” he said. “If we worked hard enough, we could get these numbers down.”
Tri City Elementary School is the latest school in Western Oregon to report a student has tested positive for COVID-19. The school is staying open.