PORTLAND, Ore. -- Health officials in Oregon have found a third "presumptive" case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state, according to a statement issued on Monday morning.
"The third case is an adult Oregon resident from Umatilla County who is hospitalized in Walla Walla, Washington," the Oregon Health Authority said.
OHA continues to recommend all people in Oregon take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of many respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19 and influenza:
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are often touched.
- Take care of your health overall. Staying current on your vaccinations, including flu vaccine, eating well and exercising all help your body stay resilient.
- Consult CDC’s travel website for any travel advisories and steps to protect yourself if you plan to travel outside of the US.
Governor Kate Brown convenes the Coronavirus Response Team (Gov. Kate Brown Press Office / My Oregon News).
Cases are being treated as presumptive by state health officials until the test results can be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).
Now officials with both state and local health agencies are quickly trying to contact people who may have been in close contact with the new patient, OHA said. This third case in the state is another one not linked to world travel or other sources, meaning it represents a case of "community spread."
The person attended a youth basketball game in Weston, Oregon on February 29, an investigation found.
"Athena-Weston School District officials have closed the gym and will conduct a deep cleaning out of an abundance of caution," OHA said. "The gym is physically detached from the rest of the school. Health officials do not consider the separate school building to pose any risk of exposure."
The test of a sample from this new case was performed in Washington state's public health lab and represented one of Oregon's pending cases.
Oregon Health Authority and Washington County Health Authority held a media call on Sunday night, confirming a second positive case of COVID-19 in Oregon. It also confirmed that 86 people across the state of Oregon are being monitored.
Dr. Dean Sidelinger, Oregon State Health Officer, said the second person identified with a positive case is isolated at home, and the first person remains hospitalized.
The CDC will be rerunning all positive tests to confirm.
It was also confirmed that eight tests came back negative on Sunday, and there are still six tests to process on Monday.
Sidelinger also said that Oregon expects the number of cases to increase and will respond accordingly to help control the spread of the virus.
OHA said that the state has 1,500 coronavirus test kits to use, and those are getting replenished by the CDC as they get used. 80 of the kits are able to be tested daily. The tests can take three to four and a half hours to run. The state can run 20 batches at the same time.
Sidelinger said people should feel safe sending children to school tomorrow, and for the next week. Sidelinger also reminded people to take the basic steps for the prevention of illness, like washing hands and staying home if feeling ill.
Mild symptoms of the virus could be treated as a normal illness, Sidelinger said. If you have mild symptoms, he suggests you manage those symptoms at home. He also said that more serious illnesses and symptoms warranting medical attention should get that attention.
Sidelinger also said that most coronaviruses don't live long on surfaces. During the call, he confirmed that it normally does not live for longer than an hour, on surfaces. Routine disinfectants work against it.
Because the current presumptive case of COVID-19 is affiliated with a local school, the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education partnered to create an “Information for Families and Schools” Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document. Additional updated information, including daily tracking of Persons Under Investigation (PUIs) and Persons Under Monitoring (PUMs) is available at www.healthoregon.orgcoronavirus.
The public is encouraged to find additional information through these resources: