State Announces 8 New COVID-19 Cases (Updated)

Posted on March 17, 2020

(See update below)

Oregon now has a total of 47 people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The Oregon Health Authority announced eight new cases of the novel coronavirus as of 10:30 a.m. yesterday.

OHA is reporting 2 new cases each in Benton and Deschutes Counties; and 1 new case in each of the following counties: Clackamas, Marion, Multnomah and Washington.

“I know it’s difficult to learn that we are seeing more active community spread of COVID-19, but this is something we’ve been expecting,” said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed, State Health Officer and Epidemiologist, OHA Public Health Division. “It’s a good reminder to take steps to protect yourself, and vulnerable friends and family members, by washing your hands, covering your coughs and sneezes, and staying home and away from others if you’re sick.”

Officials 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 federal 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.

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.

Stay informed

Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority leads the state response.

United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.

Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.


Since the state announcement, four additional residents of the Oregon Veterans’ Home in Lebanon have tested positive for presumptive cases of COVID-19, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs was notified this afternoon.

ODVA is collaborating closely with state health officials, and these four additional cases will be added to the state’s overall COVID-19 numbers tomorrow.

The Home now has a total of 13 residents with presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. Twelve of the residents are veterans, and one is a veterans’ spouse.

One staff member has also tested positive. 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.

“In the midst of this unprecedented public health crisis facing our state and nation, the focus and efforts of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Lebanon Veterans’ Home staff remain on our now 13 residents and one employee who have tested presumptive positive for COVID-19. Our staff are working tirelessly to provide the residents the best possible care and attention,” said ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick. “Though we’d hoped for the best, we always knew we were likely to receive more positive results as our partners at OHA continued testing for the virus. Our staff continue to diligently follow established infectious disease prevention protocols and public health guidelines. We know they are doing everything in their power to stop the spread of coronavirus and keep our community safe. All possible resources are being made available to support them in their critical work.”

ODVA is staying in regular communication with residents’ family members through email and other means. Family and the general public can also access current information at or by calling the COVID-19 information line at 541-730-4344 for a recorded message that will be updated each day at noon.

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