Oregon Reports Two More COVID-19 Deaths: In Lane, Washington counties

 

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COVID-19 has killed two more Oregonians, raising the state’s death toll from this virus to three, the Oregon Health Authority reported Wednesday morning.

A 60-year-old woman in Lane County died at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend in Springfield on March 14. The other case was a 71-year-old man in Washington County, who died March 17 at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Southwest Portland. The Lane County resident’s virus test came back positive on March 17, while the Washington County resident received a positive result on March 16. Both had underlying medical conditions, the state said.

They are among  75 people in Oregon who have been confirmed to have COVID-19, the disease associated with the novel coronavirus. They includes 10 new patients who were confirmed statewide on Wednesday in the following counties: Benton (1), Lane (2), Marion (4), Washington, (2) and Yamhill (1).

“We are saddened at the news of these additional lives lost in Oregon due to COVID-19,” said Patrick Allen, OHA director. “These deaths only strengthen our resolve to slow the spread of this disease in our communities. We are in this together.”

The state has tested about 1,500 people, according to Dr. Tom Jeanne, the deputy state epidemiologist, who spoke to providers on Wednesday in a conference call.

A shortage of tests has forced the state to limit testing to people who've been hospitalized with respiratory symptoms who do not have influenza. Oregon Health & Science University, which hopes to ramp up testing, has also tested dozens of employees who've potentially been exposed to the virus.

State officials have repeated for days that Oregon will soon get more tests. Gov. Kate Brown announced on Wednesday that the state has contracted with Quest Diagnostics for 20,000 tests. About 5,000 are expected to be delivered immediately. The state has also been receiving results from Lab Corp., another private testing company. 

Oregon officials won't know the extent of the pandemic until more people can be tested.

Jeanne said in the conference call that Oregon appears to be two weeks behind Washington state, which has been hard hit, 52 deaths and  at least 1,012 people infected.

Lynne Terry contributed to this report.

You can reach Christian Wihtol at [email protected] or Lynne Terry at [email protected].

 

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