MEDFORD, Ore. -- Alongside 15 new cases of coronavirus, Jackson County Public Health on Sunday reported an outbreak of the virus at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center.
Asante said that the cases at Rogue Regional came from two separate, unrelated incidents.
"During these instances, there are no known cases of patients acquiring COVID-19 from an Asante employee," the health care provider said.
According to Asante, a nurse at Rogue Regional began having symptoms of COVID-19 after their last shift, and an unknown number of co-workers also tested positive after the nurse's case was identified. Asante said that this is believed to be a case of community spread, and not an illness acquired from a patient.
"The nurse did not have symptoms while at work and stayed home once the symptoms presented," Asante said.
In a separate incident the next week, an asymptomatic patient stayed in one of the units at Rogue Regional for a period of four days. During that time, the patient was tested for COVID-19 before being transferred to a skilled nursing facility for post-discharge care. The test later came back positive.
"Employees at Asante Rogue Regional who cared for the patient also tested positive," Asante said. "The patient was transferred to Asante Ashland Community Hospital."
Asante and Jackson County Public Health have not yet revealed how many positive cases were discovered between the two outbreaks, though public health officials characterized it as a "small group of employees."
Jackson County Public Health said that state and local public health officials are working to isolate sick workers, test and quarantine those who have been exposed.
"Asante and Jackson County Public Health continue to partner closely to assist each other with contact tracing, as our two organizations have done since the pandemic first hit Southern Oregon," Asante said.
Public health officials described a COVID-19 outbreak as two or more confirmed or presumptive cases in different households, identified with an epi-link. The Oregon Health Authority has set a standard of revealing workplace outbreaks — on a weekly basis — when there are five or more cases at a workplace with 30 or more employees.
The new cases bring the total number of cases in Jackson County to 291.