February 28, 2020

Health Promotion and Wellness Blog

Oregon Health Authority confirms Oregon’s first, presumptive case of COVID-19

Late today, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) confirmed Oregon’s first, presumptive case of novel coronavirus, COVID-19. We encourage all community members to read this article on the Oregon Health Authority website for details.

It is important to note that OHA is labeling this as a presumptive case. Per the OHA, a sample from the patient was sent to the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory in Hillsboro, which used the new COVID-19 test kit it received Wednesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. OHA is awaiting confirmation of the test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also of note, OHA reports that “the individual had neither a history of travel to a country where the virus was circulating, nor is believed to have had a close contact with another confirmed case—the two most common sources of exposure. As such, public health officials are considering it a likely community-transmitted case, meaning that the origin of the infection is unknown.”

Public health officials have been advising about the likelihood that COVID-19 would spread in the United States. Lewis & Clark staff are actively monitoring the current situation and are ready to support our students, faculty and staff in facing the threat posed by this illness.

The CDC continues to recommend taking these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of this and other respiratory illnesses:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are often touched.
  • Take care of your health overall. Eating well and exercising help your body stay resilient.
  • Consult CDC’s travel website for any travel advisories and steps to protect yourself if you plan to travel outside of the US.

Over this weekend, students who are experiencing any health concerns–and in particular, symptoms including coughing, fever, sore throat, or shortness of breath– may contact our Nursing Consultation Line at 1-800-607-5501. Students can also call into one of the urgent care centers or hospitals listed on this webpage.   Faculty and staff with concerns about symptoms should contact their health care providers by phone. 

We will post additional guidance as soon as it is available.