LAKEVIEW, Ore. -- As COVID-19 cases continue to decrease across some counties in the state of Oregon, in Lake County new COVID-19 cases are rising. According to the county's public health Facebook page, 106 COVID-19 cases remain active in the county. That's the largest amount of active cases in the county at one time.
This comes as new COVID-19 cases continue to be reported throughout the county at a larger rate. Health officials reporting 22 cases on Monday and 36 cases on Tuesday.
The reason for the large increase, according to some health officials, can be linked to large group gatherings, especially during the Labor Day Weekend.
"I'm sure it's probably a function of several public events, especially like our Labor Day celebration of Round Up and rodeo," said Charlier Tveit, the CEO at Lake Health District.
Another factor, the low vaccination rates across the county.
According to the latest update from the Oregon Health Authority, only 41% of Lake County's population, 18 years and older, have been vaccinated. That's the lowest percentage of vaccinations in the entire state of Oregon.
"The fact that we have a low vaccination rate is in part the belief that many people have, that they're not really at risk," said Tveit.
The reason behind that belief varies according to Tveit.
"The reason behind that, is that many people are living remotely or live outside on a ranch or are outside a great deal," Tveit said. "They don't see themselves as being at risk, as in an urban setting where they're in the mall or they're shopping where there's hundreds, or thousands of people at the same time."
Tveit also telling NewsWatch 12 that pandemic and vaccine fatigue could also be playing a role.
According to Tveit, hospitalizations from COVID-19 continue to be low across Lake County for COVID-19, but he also says that it could change at a moment's notice with this virus.
"I just hope and pray that those people that arn't getting vaccinated and think that their risks are relatively small, don't get really sick," he said.
Right now Tveit says that he expects that the peak of this surge in Lake County will hit sometime next week. Even though new COVID-19 cases are surging, he wants to let the public know that the county's hospitals are safe.
"I want to let people to know that they can come to the hospital," he said. "We are safe."
But until the pandemic is over, Tveit also states that it is extremely important for the public to continue wearing masks and get vaccinated if you are able to do so.
"I encourage everyone to get vaccinated," Tveit said. "Those that choose not to, I understand and appreciate that. But wherever possible, do the right thing for our community and for yourself."