Local health agencies prepare for coronavirus

What would happen if coronavirus hit the Rogue Valley? Local agencies say they are prepared.

Posted: Feb 12, 2020 7:05 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- The CDC is closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak in Asia. Yesterday, World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the coronavirus outbreak, it’s called “COVID-19”.

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused but a new strand of coronavirus, which was identified in Wuhan, China. Right now, there are no confirmed cases in Oregon.

According to the CDC, there have been 45,000 confirmed to be infected with COVID-19. Over 4,000 of those people have recovered from the virus and 1,100 people have died.

There has been a lot of misinformation and even conspiracy theories circling social media, one misconception is that “coronavirus” is the next plague but according to statistics from this year’s flu season, the flu is more deadly. At least 22 million people have been diagnosed with the flu and 12,000 people have died this flu season.

Nevertheless, local health departments and local hospitals say they are prepared at all times for communicable diseases, such as COVID-19.

“COVID-19 is really working a lot of like a lot of our other communicable diseases,” said Tonya Phillips, Health Promotion Manager for Jackson County Public Health, “It’s important to understand in the United States right now we don’t have any outbreaks, therefore the risk to the average American is very low.”

If there was a case confirmed in our area the CDC has a set of guidelines that are passed down to state departments and local departments that include protocols that our local health departments and hospitals will follow.

“CDC, when it comes to the United States, they are the mothership of public health so a lot of our guidance does come from CDC,” said Phillips, “that guidance then goes to Oregon health Authority and they put that guidance in a place for all of the counties that do communicable disease investigation.”

At Asante, those protocols include a set of questions for patients to answer and an action plan that is in place at all times.

“The screening questions ask if you travel to China with in the last 14 days or if you’ve been around somebody that’s travel to China in the last 14 days,” said Julie Zetterquist, Infection Prevention Manager at Asante, “We’ve established a location at each one of our facilities where that patient would be relocated right away. For example, if they were coming through the emergency department the triage nurses would meet them at the front desk, they would put a mask on the patient to contain any droplets. The staff themselves know the precautions to take. That patient would be immediately roomed in a room that has airflow precautions attached to it.”

Zetterquist echoed Phillips in saying that a situation involving coronavirus wouldn’t be much different than a response to tuberculosis.

“We already do a lot of this stuff on a normal daily basis so really it’s like if we had a measles outbreak, we would be doing very similar stuff,” said Phillips, “coronavirus isn’t too different, other than the fact that it’s new and we’re continuing to learn about it.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 3967

Reported Deaths: 148
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah105258
Marion91425
Washington69817
Clackamas29610
Deschutes1200
Linn1159
Umatilla1123
Polk9610
Lane672
Yamhill667
Jackson600
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath410
Coos310
Malheur280
Josephine251
Douglas250
Jefferson240
Wasco181
Columbia160
Hood River120
Morrow120
Lincoln90
Tillamook60
Crook60
Curry60
Union60
Wallowa20
Sherman10
Grant10
Harney10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 99387

Reported Deaths: 3819
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles478452145
Riverside7139303
San Diego6797249
Orange5578131
San Bernardino4567176
Alameda298693
Santa Clara2675139
San Francisco239940
San Mateo190482
Kern187629
Tulare177179
Santa Barbara155112
Fresno148222
Contra Costa135337
Imperial135224
Sacramento131056
Ventura91230
San Joaquin77133
Kings6882
Stanislaus65928
Sonoma5154
Solano45520
Monterey4298
Marin41714
Merced2687
San Luis Obispo2631
Santa Cruz2002
Yolo19822
Placer1889
Napa1093
Humboldt942
Madera852
El Dorado780
San Benito762
Sutter422
Nevada411
Butte400
Del Norte400
Shasta364
Mono341
Yuba281
Mendocino220
Inyo191
Mariposa161
Lake140
Calaveras140
Glenn120
Amador100
Siskiyou61
Colusa50
Plumas40
Lassen40
Tuolumne30
Tehama31
Alpine20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
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