OHA: 2nd presumptive virus case in Wash. County


Of the nine tests returned on Sunday, only one was positive for the new virus

A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — State health officials announced a second presumptive case of the coronavirus in Oregon on Sunday evening. This second individual shares a home with the first patient—a Washington County resident—but did not require medical attention, said the Oregon Health Authority.

This second presumptive case of the coronavirus was identified through OHA’s close contact tracing—a process through which health officials identify people who have come into close contact with the initial patient. Close contact is considered to be any time two people are within 6 feet of each other for a prolonged period of time.

The OHA said the second person who tested positive for the coronavirus is now isolated at home.

Continuing coverage on coronavirus here

That person’s presumptive positive test was one of nine tests that were completed over the weekend and returned on Sunday. A positive test result triggers several actions by the OHA. A secondary test is sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation. The OHA also begins to conduct contact tracing to compile a timeline of where that patient has been and who may have come into close contact with them.

The OHA said the other 8 tests returned on Sunday came back negative. According to the OHA, the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory is capable of processing up to 80 tests a day and currently has enough supplies to conduct approximately 1,500 tests. The CDC is able to replenish that supply as needed.

Oregon Health Authority’s Sunday update on the coronavirus situation statewide. Sunday, March 1, 2020 (OHA)

In response to the presumed presence of the coronavirus in Oregon, the OHA has started publishing weekly reports of statewide cases. Earlier last week, Governor Kate Brown also created the Coronavirus Response Team to help state and local agencies coordinate their response to the new virus. That announcement came two days before the OHA declared the first presumptive case of COVID-19 in the state of Oregon.

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