Your COVID-19 primer for Tuesday, March 24
Editor's note: Neither the state of Oregon nor the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had updated their COVID-19 websites as of 5:30 a.m. today. This story will be updated later this morning. The following statistics were from Monday, March 23, and the weekend.
COVID-19 has claimed another life in Oregon, raising the state's death toll from to four to five.
The Oregon Health Authority on Sunday reported 24 new cases of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the new coronavirus — bringing the state total to 161, as of 8 a.m. Sunday.
The new COVID-19 cases reported Sunday include 13 in Washington County; three in Marion County; two each in Benton and Yamhill counties; and one each in Clackamas, Deschutes, Lane and Multnomah counties.
Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day at the Health Authority website.
Oregon reports one new COVID-19 death in Linn County; a veteran in his 90s who tested positive on March 11, and who died Sunday morning at the Oregon Veterans Home. He had underlying medical conditions.
Gov. Kate Brown on Monday issued stricter stay-at-home rules for all Oregonians. Brown said her executive order was about "keeping Oregon moving as much as we can, while keeping people home and stopping the spread." The order will close more businesses, impose penalties for failure to comply and require that open businesses enforce social distancing guidelines. But some businesses can stay open for pick-up or delivery services. Violating the order could be a Class C misdemeanor.
Also Monday, Portland Police explained how they intend to enforce the new rules.
In Salem, the Legislature's coronavirus response committee is working through proposals to help Oregon businesses and residents handle the economic and health effects of the pandemic. The committee resumes its work today, with the goal of prioritizing its recommendations. Co-chair Sen. Arnie Roblan, D-Coos Bay, said it would be up to Gov. Kate Brown and the Legislature's Democratic and Republican leaders to create the plan for a special legislative session.
Editor's note: These statistics will be updated later this morning.
As of Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report a total of 33,404 COVID-19 cases in the United States. That's more than double the amount reported on Thursday, March 19.
The rapid increase in cases likely stems from further testing, rather than an actual increase in infections.
The CDC reports a total of 400 deaths on Monday. That's double the amount, 201, reported on Thursday.
The CDC does not update its COVID-19 website on the weekends.
The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was reported on Jan. 21.
Readers can track the daily spread of the disease here.
What do we know about COVID-19?
It's a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.
The name COVID-19 stems from the disease's origin: (CO)rona(VI)rus (D)isease that first emerged in 20(19).
The virus causing COVID-19 is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. Find out more at the CDC website.
How is it spread?
The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another — "close" meaning within about 6 feet — through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. (It also may be possible that people can get it by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.) Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses at this site.
As of Monday, March 16, the CDC is recommending that no gatherings of 50 people or more be held in the United States for the next two months.
What are the symptoms?
Most patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, a cough and shortness of breath. In the more severe cases, some patients have pneumonia in both lungs, multi-organ failure and, in some cases, death.
How can I help protect myself?
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
What should you do if you're sick?
Stay home when you are sick. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. And clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
What should I do if I recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19?
If you have traveled from an affected area, there may be restrictions on your movements for up to two weeks. If you develop symptoms during that period — such as a fever, cough or trouble breathing — seek medical advice. Call your health care provider before you go, and explain about your travel and your symptoms. Your health care provider will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness. While sick, avoid contact with people, don't go out and delay any travel to reduce the possibility of spreading illness to others.
Is there a vaccine?
Just like the common cold, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often.
Is there a treatment?
There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms. Call your doctor first before going it, to avoid exposing others.
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