As Oregon’s Death Toll Rises, Counties Request More Transport Vehicles

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : September 1, 2021

According to Bobbi Doan, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Crisis Administration, the vehicles have been sought by Tillamook County on Oregon’s north coastline and Josephine State in the south.

The mortality number of deaths from COVID-19 in Oregon is quickly rising in several areas, prompting the government to organize the transportation of one chilled van to house the dead and is preparing another, according to the statewide disaster administration agency.

As Oregon’s Death Toll Rises, Counties Request More Transport Vehicles

The administrators are in touch with various agencies that can offer the vehicle but almost none of them have left any option which adds to the trouble. Due to the higher death rate, the bodies are getting deposited at a higher rate and as per protocol they cannot be handed over to relatives also said an official. 

As Oregon's Death Toll Rises, Counties Request More Transport Vehicles

“Due to COVID cases of staff, they are unable to transport for storage to adjacent counties,” he wrote, adding that suicides are also up in the county.

“In the past week, we more than doubled the number of COVID deaths in Tillamook County, from five to eleven,” Commissioners Mary Faith Bell, David Yamamoto, and Erin Skaar wrote. They begged residents: “Please get vaccinated.”

In his plea to the government, Tillamook County Emergency Director Gordon McCraw stated that the county’s lone funeral spot “is now constantly at or beyond its capacity” of 9 corpses. They added in a report posted published in the Tillamook Country Pioneer that 6 additional COVID-19 deaths occurred in the county from August 18 to Aug. 23, exceeding the 5 overall COVID-19 fatalities that happened in the initial 18 months of the epidemic.

As per Oregon Health Authority statistics, the immunization rate in Josephine State, where clinics were overburdened and morgues are likewise at maximum, is really only 53%. COVID-19 children at the country’s institutions and intensive care were overwhelmingly unvaccinated. The demand comes as Oregon’s unvaccinated populace is being ravaged by the coronavirus delta strain. The town’s vaccination ratio is 70%, with 70% of people in either process of becoming immunized or fully immunized.

“I’m not going to hog-tie someone and give them a vaccination,” Josephine County Commissioner Herman Baertschiger Jr., a former leader of the minority Republicans in the Oregon Senate, said at a meeting with local health officials earlier this month, according to Jefferson Public Radio.

Several guests stare into the chamber of COVID-19 patients in the intensive care at Salem Hospital in Salem, Ore., in this Aug. 20, 2021 file picture, as a caregiver dons complete safety equipment while entering the chamber of some other patients. Gov. Kate Brown stated on Wed, August 25, 2021, that the county has engaged with a health hiring agency to offer up to 500 clinical staff to clinics across the state to assist in the response to the spike in people caused by the delta strain. File picture courtesy of Andrew Selsky of the Associated Press.

Despite their Tillamook County counterparts, Josephine District officials really aren’t advocating for the vaccination.

Commission heard from Win Howard, CEO of Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, who said: “We are in a full-blown health care crisis in our community. I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

“Right now, OEM’s role is really in that air traffic control,” Doan said. “It’s like, here’s a need, here’s a resource to help them to connect the dots through mutual aid.”

There have been 268,401 coronavirus infections documented in this 4.2 million-person nation since the epidemic began. The Oregon Health Agency announced 20 new fatalities on Friday, bringing the total number of fatalities in the nation to 3,115.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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