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The person is a 'household contact' with the first case and did not need medical attention.

PMG graphicA second person in Oregon has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, the Oregon Health Authority announced Sunday night.

Like the first case, which was announced Friday, Feb. 28, this person is a Washington County resident. According to Oregon Health Authority, the person who tested positive Sunday is an adult and a "household contact" of the first case. The patient did not require medical attention and is currently isolated at home.

The patient is one of nine tested for potential coronavirus exposure in Oregon on Sunday. The other eight tested negative. PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - The first person in Oregon who tested positive for the COVID-19 illness was an employee in the Lake Oswego School District, who works at Forest Hills Elementary School.

"When a positive test result occurs, state and local public health officials conduct what is known as contact tracing, which is a way to identify and notify others who have been in close proximity to the person who has tested positive," an Oregon Health Authority press release read. "Health officials continue to follow up with these individuals."

Test results are considered to be "presumptive" until they are verified in a second test by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Georgia. That has yet to take place for either of the two Oregon cases.

The first individual who tested positive Friday was confirmed to be an employee in the Lake Oswego School District who works at Forest Hills Elementary School.

The district closed Forest Hills through March 4 to allow for deep cleaning to take place, as well as the full 14-day recommended waiting period after the virus was last believed to be present at the school. All surfaces and school buses within the district were cleaned over the weekend, Superintendent Lora de la Cruz said in a statement Sunday night, and all schools besides Forest Hills will be open Monday.

Activities at all Lake Oswego schools were cancelled over the weekend, but are expected to resume Monday.

"We have learned from Clackamas County Public Health that no further cases have been identified and there is no risk of disease from this case at other schools," de la Cruz said. "Risk of students who have not been in close contact with the case becoming ill is very low."

De la Cruz added that state and local officials agreed that the case is of low risk to staff and students. The CDC determined that "expanded surveillance" was not needed at this time.

De la Cruz's message Sunday was expansive, covering the definition of "close contact" in more detail as well as important hygiene measures and what the district suggests for students who have siblings at Forest Hills.

De la Cruz said siblings of Forest Hills students may attend school unless they show symptoms of illness or are considered a close contact. Volunteers and guests who have spent time at Forest Hills recently also are welcomed at schools, so long as they are not symptomatic. Close contact with COVID-19 generally means being around coughing or sneezing while caring for, living with or sharing space with someone who has the virus.

"Oregon Health Authorities have advised that COVID-19 is moderately transmittable," de la Cruz said. "According to the CDC, people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus (COVID-19), but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. This is why frequent handwashing is so critical."

Indeed, teachers and staff will be emphasizing proper hygiene techniques when students return to schools this week.

"We will be demonstrative in modeling and encouraging our best practices during the school days, as well as during after school events including athletic practices and activities," de la Cruz said.

On a more obvious note, kids who feel sick should stay home and call for an excused absence. Parents should also make sure their child's emergency contact information is updated, in case the student feels sick at school.

"If we cannot get ahold of you, the emergency contact needs to be someone close enough to bring your student home from school," de la Cruz said. The district provided this link for updating emergency contact information.

De la Cruz's full message can be viewed at the bottom of this story.

Open for business

Elsewhere in Lake Oswego, the business community says it will be open and ready for customers Monday. PMG PHOTO: ASIA ALVAREZ ZELLER - Lake Oswego School District Superintendent Lora de la Cruz addresses the media in a press conference Saturday, Feb. 29, following the announcement that a school district employee tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

"We want our customers to know that Lake Oswego is open for business," Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce President Julia Fowler said in a statement Sunday. "Our local business owners have been diligent in notifying their employees about virus information. Many businesses have notified customers about precautionary measures to protect both customers and employees.

"Local businesses will continue to monitor information from the Oregon Health Authority and Lake Oswego School District to help communicate with our community while continuing to serve the needs of customers."

Letter from Lake Oswego Superintendent Lora de la Cruz:

Dear LOSD families,

Lake Oswego School District (LOSD) takes the health and safety of our community very seriously. This is why we quickly responded to the coronavirus COVID-19 case identified at Forest Hills Elementary School, cancelled all activities at our schools this weekend,

and made the decision to close Forest Hills through Wednesday, March 4.

First of all, thank you for your care and concern for our employee who is presumed to be infected with COVID-19. We are bound by HIPPA laws and cannot legally share more. We are passing along your thoughts and well wishes with the individual's family.

We hosted a news conference yesterday. If you have not done so already, please view the

30 min. conference by clicking this link or visit the Health Alert page on the LOSD website. The statements madeat the conference are also posted on the site.

Schools open: All schools within LOSD, other than Forest Hills, will operate as normal tomorrow, Monday, March 2. We have learned from Clackamas County Public Health that no further cases have been identified and there is no risk of disease from this case at other schools. Risk of students who have not been in close contact with the case becoming ill is very low.

The case has been discussed among state and local public health officials, who have concurred that the case presents a low risk to staff and students. CDC has reviewed this incident and has determined that expanded surveillance is not needed at this time.

Close contact: Oregon Health Authorities have advised that COVID-19 is moderately transmittable, it is spread by coughing and sneezing. That typically happens while caring for, living with, or sharing a space with another person for a prolonged period of time. According to the CDC, people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. This is why frequent handwashing is so critical.

Schools cleaned and disinfected: All surfaces in LOSD schools and all school buses have been cleaned and disinfected this past weekend using the guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Proper hygiene: Teachers and staff will be emphasizing proper hygiene techniques with your students. These techniques are what we always espouse,and we will be demonstrative in modeling and encouraging our best practices during the school days, as well as during after school events including athletic practices and activities.

Seeking medical care: Public health officials are telling us that people without symptoms do not need to seek care or be tested. If your child has a cough or respiratory illness and a fever, and is ill enough that they need medical care, you should call their physician. The physician, in consultation with Clackamas County Public Health officials, will determine appropriate care that will limit exposure to others, and whether testing is needed.

Exact symptoms of COVID-19: The symptoms to look for with COVID-19 are all three of the following: 1) a fever over 100.5 degrees, 2) cough, and 3) shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

Staying home: If your child is a student at Forest Hills, and their sibling(s) attend another school, there is no need to keep them home unless they have symptoms of illness or are considered a close contact. Close contacts know who they are, and are being monitored.

If your student is feeling ill, please keep them home. You will find more guidance by clicking on this document provided by the LOSD school nurse. If your child stays home, you will need to call the school attendance secretary for an excused absence.

An excused absence allows students to have adequate time to make up all work including tests, quizzes, homework assignments, labs, etc. We want to encourage all students to stay home if they are feeling ill, and we will treat all excused absences with grace.

Emergency contacts: If your student starts feeling ill while at school, you will be contacted immediately. We ask that you make sure your emergency contact information is updated. For example, if we cannot get ahold of you, the emergency contact needs to be someone close enough to bring your student home from school. You can review and update your emergency contacts in ParentVue (click here for instructions on the Health Alert landing page on losdschools.org).

Volunteers and guests: If you and/or your student are a volunteer or guest who has visited Forest Hills, and you are not symptomatic, you are welcome and encouraged to go to school (other than Forest Hills) on Monday. If you are related to a student or staff member of Forest Hills and are not symptomatic, you are welcome and encouraged to report to work and school (other than Forest Hills) on Monday.

School and district events: All school and district events may proceed as planned starting Monday. Forest Hills may resume events starting Thursday.

Expect next: We know that your child's health is the most important thing to consider in this decision. While we understand that the situation is causing fear, we are basing the decision on all of the most recent information and facts from the agencies monitoring the situation. If a new case is identified, public health officials will take the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of the community, and we would reevaluate the decision to keep schools open at that time.

If you have questions about COVID-19, please consult a trusted source such as the CDC or OHA webpages, which are updated frequently with current information, or call or visit the 211 information line to be connected with people with health and social service organizations.

We care deeply about every student, staff and community member in LOSD and we will continue to keep you apprised of pertinent and helpful information as it becomes available.

Sincerely,

Dr. Lora de la Cruz,

Superintendent LOSD


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