The number of people in Oregon diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has risen to 39, officials say.
Yamhill County has its first-ever case of coronavirus, while Deschutes and Linn counties each reported one new case.
The Deschutes County incident, the fourth in the county overall, is believed to have been acquired through community transmission, as is the case in Yamhill County.
The new infected person in Linn County works at the Oregon Veterans' Home in Lebanon, where nine residents have tested positive for the illness. State officials say the worker was sent home as soon as symptoms became plainly visible, and has remained in a state of self-isolation ever since.
The group home remains a top priority for the public health agency, which is prioritizing testing of residents and staff. Worldwide, symptoms indicate COVID-19 is particularly threatening to elderly patients and those with other illnesses.
"Protecting our dedicated staff, along with our residents, has always been the highest priority. All infectious disease control precautions were, and continue to be, taken to mitigate the spread," said Kelly Fitzpatrick, director of the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs.
"I cannot speak highly enough of the herculean efforts these staff members have taken to continue to provide exceptional care to our honored residents even before this outbreak," Fitzpatrick said. "They are truly going above and beyond, and all efforts are being made by ODVA, our state agency partners, and our Linn County partners to support them in their critical work."
Oregon reported its first fatal case of coronavirus in Multnomah County on Saturday, March 14. A 70-year-old man died of the disease.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.