PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The health officials at the Oregon Health Authority are working seven days a week and pulling over 14-hour days in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.
They have put together an incident response team full of dozens of experts. Those experts are tracking and monitoring the cases in Oregon, as well as the people who the confirmed cases have come in contact with. OHA is working on properly communicating health safety procedures to various entities such as schools and hospitals.
Though the OHA has only confirmed three cases of COVID-19 — two in Lake Oswego and one in Umatilla County — state epidemiologists believe more people in Oregon have the virus.
“Some modeling was done in Washington that showed that they probably have 500-600 cases in the state of Washington,” said Oregon State Health Officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger. “We don’t have similar modeling here but we know we have at least two cases in Oregon that we don’t identify the source.
“With those two cases and given they’re in different parts of the state — there are likely many more cases and I think we will continue to detect those cases.”
Currently, the OHA can test up to 80 people a day for the virus. They will up their staff if need be. As their incident response team gets more information and more confirmed coronavirus cases, they said they’ll let us know within hours.
At this point, health officials said they are working hard to do what they can to contain the virus — but doctors say we all have a role in this. They are urging people to use good hand hygiene, covering coughs and staying home if you’re sick.
Gov. Kate Brown asks feds to send 400k respirator masks
SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Oregon’s governor says the state needs 400,000 respirator masks, gowns and gloves, disposable protective suits and up to 100 ventilators in case the coronavirus spreads more widely.
Gov. Kate Brown conveyed those needs in a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, who was appointed by the president to lead the U.S. government’s response to the outbreak.
Brown also asked for increased flexibility on criteria for testing for COVID-19 and additional test kits. Oregon has three confirmed cases of the new virus.