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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.

Cases: 390066

Reported Deaths: 5142
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60179836
Washington41910395
Marion39824506
Clackamas32722377
Lane30033354
Jackson24808357
Deschutes23460185
Umatilla15098180
Linn14610179
Douglas13323287
Josephine10134242
Yamhill9717142
Klamath9002145
Polk8162100
Benton608338
Malheur592086
Coos5600106
Columbia429255
Jefferson419366
Lincoln360752
Union338654
Crook332356
Wasco314946
Clatsop261235
Baker219133
Tillamook216345
Hood River211937
Morrow197125
Curry191039
Harney119532
Grant108515
Lake104216
Wallowa75413
Sherman1903
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5078594

Reported Deaths: 74367
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152627227138
San Diego4050994325
Riverside3873955358
San Bernardino3742565958
Orange3341765710
Sacramento1682422428
Kern1575251791
Fresno1566772252
Santa Clara1519051920
Alameda1251221504
San Joaquin1075271834
Ventura1039691190
Contra Costa1036861046
Stanislaus914651415
Tulare860701095
San Francisco56866669
San Mateo56265629
Monterey52477626
Solano47644356
Santa Barbara47268549
Merced45052667
Sonoma43127412
Placer42120470
Imperial38446773
Kings35204364
San Luis Obispo31463358
Madera26180311
Shasta26082444
Butte25441313
Santa Cruz22209224
Yolo21547257
Marin18447249
El Dorado18294166
Sutter14559186
Napa13419104
Yuba1075689
Tehama10275130
Humboldt10143118
Nevada10014105
Mendocino856097
Lassen796256
San Benito780778
Tuolumne772390
Lake7039110
Amador577066
Siskiyou474555
Glenn456636
Calaveras441288
Del Norte375442
Colusa325319
Inyo256846
Plumas19367
Mono18604
Mariposa159818
Trinity99617
Modoc7655
Unassigned2700
Sierra2180
Alpine1080
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