Malheur County Announces First Positive Case of COVID-19

The Malheur County Health Department today announced Malheur County’s first laboratory-confirmed positive case of COVID-19. The person is a male Malheur County resident in his 20s and is not hospitalized. He is quarantined and recovering at home. Public health investigation is underway.

Malheur County is in close coordination with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). Test results are now coming from multiple laboratories and are delivered electronically to providers, counties, and OHA throughout the day. As a result, some counties may release county data sooner than it is reported by the OHA.

“Our primary concern is the health and well-being of this person and the people close to him. Our thoughts are with them and we wish him a speedy recovery. We have excellent health care providers in Malheur County who are coordinating with our emergency preparedness team and doing all they can to care for their patients. I have confidence in the quality of care available, but it is important that all of us do our part to ensure that health care providers don’t have to care for more people than the system can handle at one time,” said Malheur County Health Department Director, Sarah Poe. “That means the goal is not to make sure that no one is infected with this virus, but that we prevent it from spreading too quickly. Without a vaccine and without specific treatment, our best bet as a community is to slow the transmission so those who have a severe case can get the care they need from our health system. As the state’s ability to test for COVID-19 increases, so will the number of positive cases. Testing has been limited and we can only test those who meet a high-criteria which is why we need everyone staying home to save lives.”

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One thought on “Malheur County Announces First Positive Case of COVID-19

  1. What is Malheur County doing to allow for more testing and getting more testing supplies? I read that the criteria to be tested is a fever of greater than 100.4, a cough and Shortness of Breath. There was a hospital in the Midwest who has been checking all of their employees and many of them tested positive and had no symptoms at all. Other things I have read is that pink eye and GI problems can be indicative of Covid-19. Are our numbers so low because we are not testing enough people? We are lucky so far that our hospitals are doing OK, but if we do not do more testing in this area we could see what cities like New York and other cities are experiencing. I think Malheur County needs to be more pro-active and not wait until it gets out of hand.

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