Grants Pass resident highlights need for community to self-isolate

GRANTS PASS, Ore.– A Josephine County man is getting the word out about the importance of self-quarantining after witnessing the process of testing to see who might have coronavirus.

Scott Thorsen, a chiropractor in Grants Pass, has had concerns about coronavirus since it began showing up in Oregon. He and his partners decided it would be best to close their chiropractor business in an effort to keep themselves and their clients safe.

Other than the trips to the grocery store, Thorsen says he and his family have been working to isolate as best as they can.

On Sunday, however, Thorsen said his wife began to show symptoms such as a dry cough, mild fever, body aches, and fatigue – symptoms similar to that of coronavirus. They followed the procedures and called her primary care doctor who recommended they call the Asante Covid-19 hotline.

Once they did, two nurses recorded the symptoms and agreed it could be coronavirus. The couple was given home healthcare recommendations but neither of them was tested. Thorsen says even if they were tested it could take up to seven days to get results.

“She said that they were only testing more seriously ill people because they were limited in the number of tests they had to deliver,” said Thorsen. “They didn’t want to overwhelm the system.”

Instead, the nurses asked Thorsen and his wife to quarantine for the next 72 hours. The reason being those infected with coronavirus usually showed mild symptoms before getting even sicker.

Thorsen says after going through this process he realized more people needed to understand the importance of isolation. He went to social media to share what happened to him and his wife and it instantly took off.

“In my opinion, we should air on the side of caution and take those precautions and isolate as much as possible,” he said.

Thorsen said his post on social media was about highlighting how serious people should take isolation. He says the nurses were following procedure and doing what they could but it’s up to everyone else as well to stop the spread of the virus.

With only several confirmed cases between Jackson and Josephine County, Thorsen doesn’t want people to feel complacent.

“Yes there are a few positives right now but that really doesn’t mean anything when you understand hardly anyone is being tested and the results are coming back so slow,” he said. “I mean, imagine where the numbers might be in a week when we actually get some results.”

Thorsen says after witnessing the process it’s likely there are more positive cases that just haven’t been reported yet. As of Wednesday morning, the Oregon Health Authority reported there were 5,742 cases with results from across the state. Of that total, 266 came back positive. Four of those were in Jackson County and two in Josephine County.

Thorsen says his family is isolating and trying to minimize the risk to themselves and their community at this point but they still don’t know if his wife has coronavirus or not since she was never tested. He’s worried if more people like his wife have symptoms but still goes out in public, that’s the risk everyone should be trying to avoid.

At this time, his wife is doing well and hasn’t shown a worsening of symptoms which may mean she doesn’t have coronavirus.

But after seeing how complicated it is to get tested and the time you have to wait to get results, he wants everyone to be safe and treat this virus with the severity it deserves.

“It’s hard to do that when maybe people don’t think it’s an issue here. Maybe people don’t think there are not many cases here so why is it a problem for us,” he said. “I guess the biggest point was we really don’t know.”

If you are feeling any symptoms similar to that of coronavirus, you’re asked to call your primary care doctor first before being referred to a hospital.

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