By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Mask mandate to end by March 31

Another Oregon child has died of COVID-19. A 12-year-old girl from Marion County tested positive on Jan. 18, and died at her home on Jan. 25.

Like many people who die from COVID-19, she had pre-existing conditions. She was the fourth child in the state to die of the virus, and the fifth person 19 or younger. An infant died of COVID-19 in September, and a premature newborn died in February of 2021.  A 15-year-old boy died in May, and a 19-year-old young woman died in August.

Another 68 children have developed multi system inflammatory syndrome, a potentially fatal condition in which multiple body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, gastrointestinal organs, skin and eyes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of MIS-C include ongoing fever in addition to more than one of the following: stomach pain, bloodshot eyes, diarrhea, dizziness or light-headedness, skin rash or vomiting.

Children are also subject to developing “long COVID.” COVID-19 has been spreading most rapidly among children in Oregon, but the state has had a lower incidence of disease than much of the country. However, the Oregon Health Authority noted that pediatric hospitalizations for COVID-19 have been increasing. In Yamhill County 490 children 9 and younger have been infected in the past four weeks, and 923 children and teen-agers 10 to 19.

New cases of COVID-19 dropped by 35% in Oregon last week, although hospitalizations increased 30%. The state reported 144 deaths; three fewer than the previous week. It reported 3,309 new cases on Wednesday, and 57 deaths.

With cases decreasing from the massive daily numbers seen last month, the Oregon Health Authority announced this week that it will drop its indoor mask mandate by March 31, including for schools, although it cautioned that people who are high risk, or who live with someone who is should continue to wear masks.

It joined a rash of states who are dropping their mandates. However, CDC Director  Rochelle Walensky said at a White House briefing this week that it is too early to drop preventive efforts.

“We continue to recommend masking in areas of high and substantial transmission. That’s much of the country right now, in public indoor settings,” Walensky said.

Currently, the United States is averaging some 247,300 new cases per day, 13,000 hospitalizations and 2,404 deaths, according to Walensky. Although those numbers are dropping, she said, “Our hospitalizations are still high, our death rates are still high. So, as we work towards (dropping mask mandates) and as we are encouraged by the current trends, we are not there yet.”

More than 900,000 people in the United States have died; the U.S. has the highest death toll from COVID-19 of any country in the world. The White House announced this week that students should continue wearing masks in school, and that people continue wearing masks in indoor public spaces, as transmission rates continue to be extremely high.

County Commissioner Mary Starrett said in Thursday’s board meeting that she had made inquiries of Health and Human Services Director Lindsey Manfrin, who told her that local school districts would be able to impose their own mask mandates, or drop the requirements, after the statewide mandate is lifted. Starrett said she plans to attend a rally in Newberg on Tuesday, to protest masks in schools.

A study released by the University of Miami in September showed that masks did not hinder pre-schoolers’ ability to learn languages, even when the children had hearing loss. Other studies have shown similar results.


Sheriff Tim Svenson told county commissioners on Thursday that the state Department of Corrections is continuing to recommend precautions in county jails.

Svenson noted that the jail had an outbreak of COVID-19 in the jail last week, when seven inmates from a single block tested positive.

He said that six others who did not test positive were temporarily removed from the block, and the seven who were ill were quarantined together. Svenson said he believes that all seven have since recovered and tested negative.

New cases in Yamhill County have dropped sharply this week, with the county reporting 56 new cases, and one death, on Wednesday. As of Wednesday, there have been 16,901 cases in the county to date, and 185 deaths.

The county has reported two deaths this week.

A 77-year-old man tested positive Jan. 30 and died Feb. 4 at his residence. A 94-year-old ma tested positive Dec. 12, 2021, and died Dec. 23, 2021, at Providence Newberg Medical Center.



They might not need a US truckers' convoy after all.

Web Design and Web Development by Buildable