PENDLETON — At least 150 Umatilla County residents have died of COVID-19, the county’s health department reported Thursday, Oct. 21.

The county reported four new COVID-19 deaths in an Oct. 21 press release. Two victims died in a single Pendleton nursing home.

The disclosures mark another grim milestone as the county continues to grapple with the delta variant, the highly-infectious coronavirus strain that has spread rapidly among the county’s unvaccinated residents in recent months, inundating hospitals with patients.

But the county’s overall infection rates have recently declined, following a positive statewide trend. The county has reported a weekly drop in cases for two consecutive weeks.

The newly disclosed deaths came as the county reports 50 new COVID-19 cases. The daily total remains far higher than totals in late spring and early summer, but it continues a general downward trend in average daily cases.

As of Oct. 21, the county averaged 34 cases per day. That’s the lowest number since July 21.

But as with all previous pandemic surges, COVID-19 deaths have followed in large numbers. The county has reported 49 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of August. At least 23 residents died in August alone, making it the pandemic’s deadliest month in the county. The following are the four deaths Umatilla County Public Heath reported OCt. 21:

• The county’s 147th victim is an 86-year-old woman who tested positive Aug. 6 and died Aug. 20 at a private residence. She had unspecified underlying health conditions.

• The county’s 148th victim is a 70-year-old woman who tested positive Aug. 31 and died Sept. 10 at Willowbrooke Terrace Nursing Home, Pendleton. She had unspecified underlying health conditions.

• The county’s 149th victim is a 79-year-old woman who tested positive Aug. 31 and died Sept. 21 at Willowbrooke Terrace Nursing Home, Pendleton. She had unspecified underlying health conditions.

• The county’s 150th victim is a 78-year-old man who tested positive Aug. 3 and died Sept. 23 at the Milton-Freewater Health and Rehabilitation Center. He had unspecified underlying health conditions.

Since the pandemic started, the county has reported 14,450 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases.

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Reporter

Reporter primarily covering government and public safety in Umatilla and Morrow County.

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