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Second Klamath County COVID-19 case was Sky Lakes employee, medical center says

Klamath County Public Health identified the new case in a statement on Thursday morning.

Posted: Mar 26, 2020 9:51 AM
Updated: Mar 26, 2020 5:00 PM

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — Klamath County's second positive test for the new coronavirus came from a Sky Lakes employee, Sky Lakes Medical Center confirmed on Thursday.

The employee works at a facility separate from the primary medical center and Emergency Department, Sky Lakes said.


(Courtesy Sky Lakes Medical Center / LinkedIn)

"Preliminary investigation indicates that, even though the employee displayed no symptoms upon returning for a half-day at work, the individual wore a mask while engaged in close contact with a small number of patients and other staff," Sky Lakes said in a statment. "Testing was initiated after onset of symptoms, and COVID-19 was later confirmed."

Although the employee had recently traveled by plane, they had not visited one of the CDC-designated "hot spots" in the country, Sky Lakes said. However, the trip included a layover at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on the way to Medford.

The case was first announced by Klamath County public health officials on Thursday morning, who said that they had just received confirmation.

"Employers assist in the investigation and contact tracing of healthcare workers who have COVID-19. All individuals with risk of exposure will be notified and given directions about next steps," Klamath County Public Health said.

The individual is being quarantined at home. Anyone who was close to the employee has been contacted, tested for COVID-19, and will also be quarantined for 14 days.

The first case of COVID-19 in Klamath County was announced on March 7, the same day as the first two cases in neighboring Jackson County. Health officials have since said that the first individual was isolated and has recovered from the disease.

Jackson County now has four confirmed cases of new coronavirus, while Josephine County announced two new cases on Thursday. Josephine's county's first case was also a healthcare worker, Asante confirmed.

“Our highest priority is the health and safety of our community. We will take all steps necessary to ensure safety while also holding to our core value of integrity. We will not release the name, address or other identifying information about this person,” said Jennifer Little, KCPH director. “It is a matter of integrity to our team and patient confidentiality.”


RELATED: Passengers on flight to Medford may have been exposed to COVID-19, health officials say


Instead of releasing any identifying features about the individual, public health officials in southern Oregon have preferred to use back-tracking investigations to quietly contact any people who have been in close quarters with the individual, followed by quarantine and monitoring for symptoms.

Klamath County Public Health said that the information may not appear in the Oregon Health Authority's daily statewide tally of cases, as health officials did not learn about the positive test until after Thursday's numbers were rounded up at 8 a.m. It should appear in OHA's numbers on Friday.

On Wednesday, Sky Lakes Medical Center announced new visitor restrictions to further protect patients and staff from possible infection with COVID-19, limiting visitors to only adult guardians or caregivers for surgical patients that need them. All surgical updates will now be given over the phone to a designated family member.

"Our providers and staff remain committed to taking care of our friends and neighbors. This situation demonstrates that even when we are well-meaning, we must take the threat of this virus seriously," Sky Lakes said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 9930

Reported Deaths: 213
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah241769
Marion161047
Washington153420
Clackamas82125
Umatilla7166
Union3551
Lincoln3463
Deschutes2110
Lane2083
Malheur1911
Polk15912
Linn1579
Jackson1470
Jefferson1320
Yamhill1328
Klamath1301
Benton935
Morrow931
Hood River880
Wasco881
Josephine521
Clatsop510
Douglas460
Coos420
Columbia360
Lake210
Tillamook140
Crook120
Wallowa100
Curry80
Baker50
Sherman20
Gilliam10
Grant10
Harney10
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 252895

Reported Deaths: 6334
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1078263457
Riverside19450479
Orange16191363
San Diego15696387
San Bernardino13676269
Imperial7039114
Alameda6556140
Fresno585177
Kern513081
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Tulare4627136
San Joaquin447455
Sacramento400469
San Francisco377650
Contra Costa356481
San Mateo3536108
Santa Barbara326129
Ventura324047
Marin271921
Kings260032
Stanislaus253144
Monterey191515
Solano147625
Sonoma135911
Merced127211
Placer82811
San Luis Obispo7012
Yolo61325
Madera5785
Santa Cruz4553
Napa3764
San Benito2652
Sutter2433
Lassen2420
El Dorado2260
Butte2063
Shasta1484
Humboldt1444
Nevada1291
Glenn1220
Yuba1061
Tehama881
Lake870
Mendocino850
Colusa700
Del Norte581
Calaveras530
Mono451
Tuolumne430
Inyo331
Amador310
Siskiyou310
Mariposa271
Plumas110
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
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