A 70-year-old Klamath County man who was being treated for underlying health conditions died at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend. His death is being attributed to COVID-19.
It is the fourth death of a Klamath County resident attributed to the virus.
Valeree Lane, public information officer for Klamath County Public Health, said COVID-19 was a secondary factor in the man's death.
“When he sought medical assistance, to the best of my knowledge, he was not known to be COVID-positive at that point,” Lane said.
The names of patients who die of COVID are not released to the public due to HIPAA, according to Lane.
Lane said Klamath County Public Health is in the process of working through the close contacts of the 30 new cases reported by the county on Thursday.
“It looks as though they trace back to other cases so it’s not a community spread situation,” Lane said. "That’s, again, people getting together and being contagious and not realizing that and then passing it along.”
Lane said no cases have been traced back to large events in the county.
“It usually comes down to, 'Some friends and I got together,' 'Our family had an event,' and it just is one of those things that when we’re with the people that we have in the past spent a lot of quality time with, we tend to let our guard down," she said. “People have unintentionally spread it to the people that they love and care about, and didn’t realize they were doing it."
Lane said she knows it's hard to continue to wear a mask and keep your distance, even from those you love.
"None of us want to be in a position of coming into the holiday season and not performing the traditions that come with this time of year," Lane said. "But I think we're all making modifications to be responsible for our own health and that of those around us."