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Case appears to be travel-related and no hospitalization has been needed thus far

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - The first presumptive COVID-19 case is reported in Crook County.Crook County may likely have its first positive COVID-19 case.

Local public health officials reported the first presumptive positive case Wednesday afternoon. It seems to be a travel-related case, no hospitalization has been necessary, and the individual is fully cooperating with public health.

Health officials said the health department, in partnership with the county and City of Prineville, will continue to respond to the local declared emergency. They added that "for some time now it has been known the virus is present in the community, and now through the ability to do more relaxed testing, it will be possible to identify positive cases."

As novel coronavirus continues to spread, local health officials stress that the health and wellbeing of the community is paramount. The safety of staff and community members are the highest priority and efforts will continue around releasing updates to the public with the most current information and guidelines available.

The leadership of Crook County and the City of Prineville respects and values the privacy of community members and the confidentiality regarding medical information. Therefore, no identifiable information will be released about presumptive or confirmed cases in Crook County.

The Crook County Health Department Communicable Disease team has already started working diligently to identify and notify all known contacts of the presumptive positive case through case investigation. This includes identifying all known contacts of the presumptive positive cases so proper notification and risk assessment can occur. This allows local public health to then apply monitoring requirements set-forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Oregon Health Authority.

Another part of the process is to identify how the patients were exposed and who else may have been exposed. That work is reportedly under way now and will be ongoing for this and any future cases identified in Crook County.

Currently all persons under monitoring are cooperative and following the guidance, health officials said, and any persons under monitoring will be monitored by Crook County Health Department for a minimum of 14 days.

Crook County Health Department has been part of a tri-county response around COVID-19 since March 1 and will continue to work closely with neighboring counties along with our local city and county organizations.

Local public health and the Oregon Health Authority continue to recommend people in Oregon take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of many respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19 and influenza. The CDC is recommending non-pharmaceutical interventions to slow the spread of COVID-19, and other respiratory infections (including flu and pertussis) by taking everyday preventive actions.

• If you feel sick, call ahead to your healthcare provider to discuss whether or not you need to be seen.

• 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. Staying current on your vaccinations, including flu vaccine, eating well and exercising all 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.

• Stay home if you are sick and talk with your employer now about a plan if you do become ill and cannot show up for work.

• It is advised that anyone with compromised immune systems, chronic medical conditions and the elderly not attend large events and practice social distancing to protect yourselves.


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