Second Positive Case of COVID-19 Appears in Oregon

Posted on March 2, 2020

The Oregon Health Authority announced the second presumptive case of COVID-19 in Oregon. The second case is a Washington County resident who is an adult household contact of the initial presumptive positive case. The second adult did not require medical attention. The individual was identified as a contact of the first person during the public health investigation. The individual remains isolated at home.

This presumptive positive test result was one of 9 total tests completed today 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 February 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 (CDC). The results of the second (CDC) test have 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 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 www.healthoregon.orgcoronavirus.

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

On Wednesday, February 27, Oregon Governor 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.

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