Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus’s spread in Oregon:
HUNDREDS COULD HAVE IT: Oregon may now have 300 to 500 Oregonians who are or were unknowingly carrying the coronavirus, Dr. Dean Sidelinger, the state health officer and epidemiologist said. The advance of coronavirus to a remote town more than 200 miles from Portland means the virus “is fairly widespread in our community.”
THIRD CASE IN OREGON: On Monday, officials announced Oregon’s third presumptive coronavirus case. The person is a casino worker who attended a youth basketball game at a Umatilla County middle school.
HOSPITAL WORKERS IN QUARANTINE: Dozens of employees at Kaiser Permanente Westside Medical Center in Hillsboro, where the first Oregonian to come down with the virus sought treatment, have been quarantined after it was determined they may have had contact with the COVID-19 virus. Sources within local healthcare unions said as many as 70 Kaiser Westside workers were placed in quarantine at home.
NEGATIVE TESTS: To date, the state has only tested 28 people for COVID-19. Of those, three tests were positive. The Oregon Health Authority announced Monday evening that seven more tests came back negative. The state is still waiting for test results for eight people, and is monitoring symptoms for 101 people.
WASHINGTON DEATHS: The state of Washington on Monday announced four more deaths, all of elderly residents with underlying health conditions, and all at the same nursing home in Kirkland, east of Seattle.
INTERNATIONAL IMPACT: There have been over 91,300 confirmed cases internationally as of early Tuesday. The vast majority of them are in mainland China, where 80,151 cases have been confirmed and 2,945 have died. The total number of deaths from the virus has topped 3,100.
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS: A major study of nearly 45,000 Chinese patients found that 81 percent suffered no symptoms or “mild” symptoms — what feels like a really bad case of the flu but that can be treated at home. About 14 percent of cases were severe, and 5 percent were critical. The greatest problem is for elderly people or for those with pre-existing health problems.
DAILY LIFE: Spread of the virus is affecting an ever-expanding part of Oregonians’ lives. Catholics are temporarily suspending the distribution of the “Precious Blood” during the Eucharist when parishioners typically drink consecrated wine from a communal chalice. And the NBA is telling the Portland Trail Blazers to avoid high-fiving fans or taking any item for autographs.
HOW LONG THE VIRUS LASTS ON SURFACES: There is little known about the outside-the-body longevity of the virus that specifically causes COVID-19. But a recent study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection has given us an idea, based on the length of time other coronaviruses — such as SARS and MERS — have been found to last on surfaces. The answer? As few as two hours and as long as nine days.
BEST ADVICE: Stay home if sick, call your doctor if you have trouble breathing or other significant symptoms, and determine if you need to seek further treatment or can stay home. Children in the metro area with any symptoms should stay home. Do not go to a doctor if your only reason is fear of a coronavirus infection.
And here’s some good news: In Oregon, state law requires employers to give employees sick time.