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Portland-area resident dies of hypothermia on Christmas Day

MULTNOMAH COUNTY, Ore. (KGW) — A Multnomah County resident died from exposure to the cold weather on Christmas Day, the county medical examiner’s office confirmed Tuesday.

The person who died was housed but was outdoors when they were found, said a news release from Multnomah County. Temperatures in the Portland metro area were in the mid-30s to low 40s on that day.

No further details about the person’s death have been released.

“This is a somber reminder that cold weather is dangerous for anyone outside who does not have the right gear to stay dry and warm,” said county health officer Dr. Jennifer Vines.

There have been no other hypothermia deaths reported in Multnomah County during the recent cold snap.

When exposed to the cold, people lose heat quickly — sometimes without realizing it’s happening. When a person’s body temperature drops, they may be unable to think clearly or move well. The county said symptoms of hypothermia can mimic the symptoms of impairment from drugs and alcohol.

If someone appears to be impaired and not dressed for the weather, county officials said it’s important to check on them and try to get them someplace warm.

A welfare check can be requested by calling Multnomah County’s non-emergency line at 503-823-3333.

To help someone find shelter and help them get a ride to an emergency warming shelter during cold or severe weather, call the 211info helpline. In an emergency, call 911.

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