The novel coronavirus claimed another victim, public health officials said Sunday, raising Oregon's statewide death toll to five.
Oregon Health Authority also reported another 24 news cases of COVID-19, raising the state's total caseload to 161 as of 8 a.m. on Sunday, March 22.
The newly discovered cases have infected 13 people in Washington County, two people in Benton County, two in Yamhill County, three in Marion County, and one each in Deschutes, Lane, Marion and Multnomah counties.
There are now 55 total cases of coronavirus in Washington County — more than twice the number in any other county — and roughly one-third of all cases of the disease in Oregon. In the rest of the metro area, Multnomah County has 19 cases, while Clackamas County has 12.
The deceased person is described as a male veteran in his 90s living in Linn County at the state's Oregon Veterans Home. He tested positive for COVID on March 11 and died this morning. Underlying medical conditions were also a factor, doctors say.
"Our hearts are heavy," said Kelly Fitzpatrick, director of the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs. "This resident was a veteran who served our nation with honor and dignity in its hour of need. He was also a beloved member of our Lebanon community, and he will be deeply and truly missed."
Fitzpatrick continued: "On behalf of everyone at the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs and the Oregon Veterans' Home, we offer our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones. We grieve with them."
Native Americans receive funding
The Oregon Health Authority also announced about $4 million in state funding for the nine federally-recognized Tribes in Oregon.
"We believe that those funds will have a significant positive impact on our state's capacity to perform COVID-19 response functions at the local level," said Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen. "Their staff are truly on the front lines of the essential epidemiological work that can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases in communities. But we know that more resources will be needed across all aspects of the response."
"Honoring our government to government relationship is important in our coordinated response to COVID-19," said Julie Johnson, OHA Director of Tribal Affairs. "We are appreciative of this funding to provide support at the local level. We know everyone is working extremely hard to protect all of our communities across the state."
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