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Oregon confirms 2nd positive case of COVID-19

Coronavirus generic MGN

Contact of initial, presumptive positive case didn't need medical attention

(Update: Adding Gov. Kate Brown statement)

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Oregon Health Authority announced Sunday night the second presumptive case of COVID-19 in Oregon: a Washington County resident who is an adult household contact of the initial presumptive positive case, announced late Friday.

"The second adult did not require medical attention," the agency said. "The individual was identified as a contact of the first person during the public health investigation. The individual remains isolated at home."

The presumptive positive test result for novel coronavirus was one of nine total tests completed Sunday by the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory. Eight other tests were negative.

When a positive test result occurs, state and local public health officials conduct what is known as "contact tracing," which is a way to identify and notify others who have been in close proximity to the person who has tested positive. Health officials continue to follow up with these individuals.

Public interest and inquiries about COVID-19 have centered on the testing process. The following information is to help inform persons about this process:

  • A presumptive case of COVID-19 was announced Friday, Feb. 28. The testing process is two-tiered. The first test is done by the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory and a second test to confirm is conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The results of the second, CDC test have yet to be received on the presumptive case.
  • Testing is only done upon request of a health care provider and is based on symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), travel to an affected area and exposure to a person or persons who have traveled to an affected area.
  • Testing only occurs in state public health labs and at the CDC.
  • The Oregon State Public Health Laboratory has materials to process up to 80 tests a day and is building surge capacity if needed. Supplies are on hand to perform approximately 1,500 tests, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has pledged to replenish Oregon’s capacity as needed.

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\coronavirus.

The public is encouraged to find additional information through these resources:

Last Wednesday, Feb. 27, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown launched the Coronavirus Response Team (CRT). The Oregon Health Authority and state agencies have worked through the weekend to address the spread of this new disease. The response team is tasked with coordinating state and local agencies and health authorities in preparation for response to the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.


Gov. Kate Brown news release:

(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown issued the following statement today regarding the Oregon Health Authority's (OHA) announcement of an additional case of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Oregon. According to OHA, there are now two reported cases of COVID-19 in Oregon, both connected. An additional eight tests came back negative:

"My thoughts are with the Oregonians who have contracted this virus, as well as their families. The developments of the last 48 hours in Oregon and across the globe are concerning, and we are taking this extremely seriously.

"State and local health professionals are working around the clock to identify, treat, and contain each case of this disease. My commitment to Oregonians is that our state agencies will be as accurate, transparent, and swift as possible in conveying the information we have to the public, especially when new cases of the coronavirus are identified. 

"Oregonians have a history of bringing out the best in each other in uncertain times. By staying calm and, yes, by doing the same simple things that protect us during cold and flu season––washing our hands, properly covering our coughs and sneezes, and staying home from school or work if we’re feeling sick––we can help keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy and safe.”

The Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 incident management team has been working with state agencies and local health authorities to prepare for this scenario since January. OHA has operated similar response operations in past efforts to address global health threats such as H1N1 influenza, Ebola, and Zika. 

Last week, Governor Brown directed state agencies to continue building on active preparations, and stood up an interagency Coronavirus Response Team to coordinate state and local efforts statewide.

Tips for preventing the spread of the coronavirus include:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces people often touch.
  • Consult travel advisories if you plan to travel outside of the U.S.
  • Take care of your health overall. Staying current on your vaccinations, including flu vaccine, eating well and exercising all help your body stay resilient.
  • If you feel sick, or develop a cough or fever, stay home from work or school.

Members of the public can sign up for regular coronavirus updates on the Oregon Health Authority's COVID-19 website. More information about the coronavirus is available on the website of the Centers for Disease Control. General questions and concerns regarding the coronavirus and the state’s response can be directed to the state’s helpline by dialing 211.

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