Senior and Group Homes Account for Over Half of Oregon’s COVID Deaths

Over half of Oregon COVID-19 deaths were associated with group housing, according to the July 15 Oregon Health Authority Weekly Report.  

Out of the state’s 262 reported deaths (as of July 20), at least 142 were residents, staff, or close contacts of group homes, primarily senior care facilities and retirement communities. The report mentioned how fatalities and hospitalizations are proportionately higher among older adults which is a factor in the higher fatality rate.  

The OHA report noted that at least ten smaller congregate living facilities like foster homes or smaller retirement homes also had outbreaks. They don’t list those homes out of respect for privacy since they have five or fewer beds. The report also didn’t mention fatalities.  

Workplace outbreaks remain a leading source of exposure and infection, however the OHA doesn’t report deaths associated with workplace outbreaks. Top outbreaks include correctional facilities like Oregon State Penitentiary and Snake River Correctional Institution, as well as food processing plants like Pacific Seafood, Lamb Weston, and Bob’s Red Mill.  

The OHA’s weekly report for July 20 is available online.

By Samantha Sied