By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Prison COVID-19 outbreak leads to jump in cases


An outbreak of COVID-19 at the Sheridan federal prison has led to a spike in new cases reported by Yamhill County. Between Saturday and Monday, the county reported 50 new cases, bringing the county to a total to date of 4,718 cases, and 78 deaths.

A new outbreak began at the prison on April 24, and the Oregon Health Authority reports there have been 83 cases at the prison.

Across the state, new cases have been decreasing. Postive test results decreased to 4.5% of those tested during the last week of May and new cases decreased by 13%.

However, OHA Director Pat Allen said in a press conference on June 4 that COVID-19 is still a threat to people who are not vaccinated.  

“There isn’t one pandemic in Oregon,” Allen said. “There are two: One is a pandemic that is dying out among people who are vaccinated. And the other is a pandemic that is raging as fiercely as ever among people who are unvaccinated.”

Referring to data captured between March 1 and May 31 of this year, Dr. Dean Sidelinger pointed out that 98% of COVID-19 cases and 94% of COVID-19 associated deaths were among people who were not fully vaccinated.

Yamhill County reported on Monday that as of Sunday, June 6, 57% of county residents 16 and older had received at least one dose of vaccine.

Last week the OHA reported an outbreak at Joan Austin Elementary School in Newberg that affected two students, that began on May 29.

An outbreak at Newberg High School that began on May 29 has affected two students as well, the OHA said. Another two students were reported infected at Country Faith Christian Academy in Newberg, beginning on May 24. One student was reported nfected at Dundee Elementary School on May 23. At Grandhaven Elementary School in McMinnville, the OHA reported two students and one staff member infected, beginning May 20.

At the Delphian School in Sheridan, the OHA said, there have been 43 students and 8 staff members or volunteers affected since May 18.

CS Lewis Academny in Newberg reports one student affected, on May 17, while Edwards Elementary School in Newberg reports two students affected, as of May 16.

Sue Buel Elementary in McMinnville reports one student affected as of May 14. Five students have been affected at Willamina Middle/High School, beginning May 13, and one student at Willamina Elementary School, on May 11.




Seems a bit unfair that we continue to live under the dark cloud of Coronavirus restrictions when the real culprit is already locked up.

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