ENTERPRISE — More than 700.

That is the number of COVID-19 cases that have been tallied up in Wallowa County during 2021.

The county passed that threshold Tuesday, Dec. 28, when the Oregon Health Authority reported five cases in Wallowa County. That moved the pandemic total at the time to 780, and the total for the year to 703, amounting to a more than 900% increase in cases over the total at the end of 2020. Two additional cases were reported Dec. 29, and there were five cases reported Dec. 30 and six reported Jan. 3. It brings the county putting the total at 793 for the pandemic and at least 710 for the year of 2021. The county’s infection rate for the pandemic is about 11.0%, per OHA data. Given the most recent COVID report covers the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022, it’s unclear how many of the six cases are in the last year.

To review, Wallowa County had among one of the lowest case rates in Oregon at the end of 2020, with the county reporting 77 cases from the start of the pandemic through Dec. 31, 2020.

Cases trickled in over the next six months. The county reached 100 on Jan. 26, and 150 cases on April 2. It was another three-and-a-half months until the 200th case was reported July 19. The rate for the year was higher than 2020, but the county remained on the lower end of the case spectrum until the delta variant spike hit the state.

It’s unknown exactly how many cases were the delta variant. Regardless, the count shot through the roof. An additional 39 cases were reported during the final 12 days of July, putting the number at 239 by the end of the month. By early August, the number was past 250. In the same month, 300, 350 and 400 were reached, and by the end of August the total was 419.

There were 180 cases in August alone, matching the total the county had from when its first case was confirmed in April 2020 through May 6, 2021. Totals that were once coming in over several months were now coming in just days.

The case count ebbed from that peak, but slowly. September saw 163 cases, October had 123 and November had 55. The three highest months all had totals that surpassed the case count of 2020.

December’s total has been tame in comparison, with the average under a case a day, and a total of 27 reported during the month as of Dec. 30.

The number of deaths in the county has remained at 13, with nine of those coming during 2021, and five being reported during a one-week span in late August. There were three deaths reported in 2020, and a fourth reported later in 2021 that was from the previous year.

As of Dec. 29, the county is at a vaccination rate among adults of 70.7%, which ranks it 15th among the 36 counties in Oregon. The 70% threshold was actually broken through on Dec. 7. Currently, 66% of county adults have received a full set of shots, and 33.7% have received a booster shot. In this area, the county is actually ninth in the state, and is above the state rate of 32.4%, where it sits below the state rate in the other categories, which are 80.7% and 73.9%, respectively.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated.

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