A year of COVID-19 in Benton County

By Kyle Schwer
Samaritan Health Services and Benton County workers and volunteers take temperatures of people coming to get vaccinated on Thursday, March 11th. Currently, vaccinations are only available to people 65 years and older, educators, and childcare providers, to find more information on how to apply you can visit Benton County’s website.

McKenzie Moore, News Contributor

Today marks one year since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.. Since then, 18 people have died and over 2000 have been infected in Benton County alone. While scientists point to a light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine now being distributed, it is important to reflect on the events that have passed since the pandemic began.


March 11th, 2020: The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. This news came 4 months after the first suspected case was discovered in China in December of 2020.


March 13th, 2020: Benton County reports its first two cases of COVID-19. In addition, City Manager Mark Shephard declared a local emergency for the City of Corvallis. 


March 30th, 2020: Benton County officials announced the first COVID-19 fatality. The woman was in her 80s and died at the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center. In addition, 10 more cases were diagnosed, bringing the total to 12.


April 3rd, 2020:  A woman in her 70s passes, bringing the death total to 4. In addition, 11 more cases were diagnosed bringing the total to 23. 


May 28th, 2020: The U.S. reaches an unprecedented milestone as the death toll surpasses 100,000.


June 28th, 2020: Benton County reports its sixth COVID-19 fatality. 


July 19th, 2020: Benton County health officials notice a surge in new cases as the total number of cases rises to 124. 


September 19th, 2020: The death toll in Benton county remains at six. 27 new cases are diagnosed, marking the first time more than 10 have been diagnosed in a single day. These new cases bring the total to 285.


November 7th, 2020: Oregon marks its highest single-day case count as 988 new cases are diagnosed. 8 of these cases came from Benton County.


November 13th, 2020: Benton County marks its seventh death as Oregon marked its second consecutive day of recording 1000 new daily cases. In addition, Benton county records 18 new cases bringing the total to 585. 


December 3rd, 2020: Cases surge to 845 in Benton County.


December 11th, 2020: The Food and Drug Administration issues an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine.


December 12th, 2020: Members in Phase 1A became eligible for vaccinations. Those vaccinated included health care workers, residents in long term care facilities and those at a high-risk for the vaccine. 


December 15th, 2020: Following the surge in cases, Governor Kate Brown moved Benton County into the extreme risk category. 


December 18th, 2020: The Food and Drug Administration issues an emergency use authorization for the Moderna vaccine.


January 9th, 2021: Benton county experiences its twelfth death due to COVID-19 as cases rise to 1,643.


January 25th, 2021: Members in Phase 1B became eligible for vaccinations. Those vaccinated included educators, health care providers and elderly. 


January 26th, 2021: Mass vaccination clinics open at Reser Stadium to provide individuals with the first round of the Moderna vaccine.



February 10th, 2021: Reser Stadium hosts another mass vaccination clinic to provide more individuals with the first round of the Moderna vaccine.


February 13th: Benton County reports its 16th death from COVID-19. The number of individuals who have received the first round of the vaccine up to this date is 16,403. Only 7,943 Benton County residents have received both doses.


March 3, 2020: Benton County records 3 more cases as total cases rise to 2269. 

March 8, 2021: Corvallis schools reopened due to teachers and staff being vaccinated. 

March 11, 2021: A year has passed since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. The total cases in Benton County rose to 2330 cases and 8 new cases were reported. Daily case counts have been declining since February.

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