OHA: 3 new COVID-19 cases in Oregon, 39 total

SALEM, Ore. — Three more people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Oregon, bringing the total number of positive cases to 39.

The OHA reported one new case in Yamhill County, one in Deschutes County and one more new case in Linn County.

The Oregon Health Authority announced the latest cases on Sunday, March 15. The announcement comes after the state’s first COVID-19-related death on Saturday, a 70-year-old man in Multnomah County who had underlying health conditions.

Health officials said the case in Linn County is a staff member at the Oregon Veterans’ Home in Lebanon, which currently has nine residents who have tested positive. The OHA said the employee was sent home when symptoms appeared and has remained in isolation ever since, in accordance with established infection prevention protocols and public health guidelines. Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs said it’s working closely with OHA to coordinate and prioritize testing for residents and staff at the Oregon Veterans’ Home in Lebanon.

Health officials said there are two cases Jackson County, one in Klamath County and one in Douglas County. The OHA said 90 percent are not travel-related and 63.9 percent are over the age of 55. As of Sunday night, 13 people were hospitalized and 355 were being monitored.

Officials said they continue to urge all Oregonians to take steps to protect themselves, their families, and those who are most vulnerable to complications from COVID-19. Those considered “high risk” include adults 60 and older, or anyone with a serious health condition, including lung or heart problems, kidney disease, diabetes, or anyone who has a suppressed immune system.

People vulnerable to complications should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to stay home as much as possible and avoid gatherings.

Every resident should take these basic steps to protect themselves and those most at risk:

  • Never visit a hospital or long-term care facility if you have a fever or cough.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces like bathrooms, desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, faucet handles, toys and cell phones.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home and away from others if you are ill.

According to the OHA, the COVID-19 virus spreads like the flu, when someone who is sick coughs or sneezes close to another person (close means within about 6 feet). After someone contracts COVID-19, illness usually develops within 14 days. Symptoms mirror those of the flu, including fever, cough, runny nose, headache, sore throat and general feelings of illness.

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