PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon doctors are preparing for a possible coronavirus outbreak as the virus continues to spread across parts of the U.S.
The Oregon Health Authority said no cases have been confirmed in the state as of Thursday afternoon but American Family Care clinics are ready if they do receive any patients.
Staff members have been undergoing mock patient drills and training sessions on how to respond if someone with coronavirus walks into one of their urgent care clinics in Portland and Beaverton. The preparations include reviewing evaluation questions and stocking up on supplies including protective gear like masks, face shields, gowns and gloves.
“The U.S. is doing a really good job quarantining people and limiting the transfer of this virus,” said Dr. Salvador De La Cruz at AFC. “Given that we have a really good healthcare system — urgent cares, emergency rooms, regular clinics — I think that our providers are well-informed.”
Oregon has started putting out weekly updates on people being monitored and tested for the virus. There were 76 people being monitored as of Monday.
Sen. Jeff Merkley on Thursday launched a new online resource for Oregonians that outlines information on exposure risks, prevention, treatment and steps he’s asking the federal government to take.
Local concern over the number of coronavirus cases in the country has sparked a very real spread of misinformation and unconfirmed information, especially over social media. Doctors have reaffirmed that there is no reason to panic.
OHA said it will post data on its website beginning March 3. Those being “monitored” don’t have symptoms but may have been exposed to the virus. People “under investigation” are people with symptoms who were somehow exposed.
Tips to avoid potential illness include staying away from sick people, washing your hands frequently — especially after being on public transit. Cover your coughs and sneezes and stay home if you’re sick.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises against healthy people wearing face masks to protect against respiratory diseases, including the coronavirus. The CDC says people who show symptoms should wear masks to prevent spreading the disease to others. For more information about the CDC’s recommendations, click here.
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