Umatilla County Public Health announced two new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, bringing the county’s total to 16, and released a map Tuesday indicating most of the county’s cases are in the greater Hermiston area.
According to a press release, both of the people diagnosed with COVID-19 on Monday were in close contact with previous confirmed cases and are recovering from home in self-isolation.
As with previous cases, the county is declining to include demographic information like city of residence, age range and gender with these new announcements. However, on Tuesday, the department released a map at www.co.umatilla.or.us/health/covid_map/ showing a range of cases by zipcode. The map indicates a majority of the county’s cases are in Hermiston and Umatilla — between five and nine cases in each zipcode.
Health department director Joseph Fiumara said that doesn't necessarily mean the virus is more widespread in those areas, however, as the amount and availability of testing has not been "equitable" across all parts of the county.
Of the 16 reported diagnoses, the county health department says 11 are still actively sick, with the rest considered recovered completely. None of the active cases are hospitalized and no one in the county has died.
The Umatilla County Public Health website states that 400 tests have been conducted, of which 16 have tested positive.
Morrow County now has five positive cases, which the county says includes cases in both the northern and southern parts of the county.
The statewide report put out by the Oregon Health Authority on Tuesday noted a total of 1,633 confirmed cases in the state, and 30,730 tests that had come back negative. Fifty-five people in the state have died from complications of COVID-19, and investigative reporting by The Oregonian and other Oregon news outlets revealed last week that roughly half those deaths have happened in a handful of nursing homes.
Based on the report, 56% of confirmed cases are female, at least 49% are white (25% of patients are of unknown race), and 47% are under the age of 50. At least 17% are health care workers, 59% are not, and 25% are unknown. At least 23% were hospitalized during their illness, 68% were not, and 9% are unknown.
The state currently has 328 of a total 751 adult intensive care unit beds available, and 85 of its 198 pediatric ICU beds open.
The New York Times database of confirmed cases nationwide showed 587,834 cases and 25,191 deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the 2009 swine flu infected 60 million Americans and killed between 8,868 and 18,306 people over the course of 12 months.
Umatilla County Health director Joseph Fiumara said in a news release that the department encourages healthy individuals to continue essential functions, but to avoid all non-essential trips outside of home and maintain six feet of distance from other people when they do go out.
“To minimize the spread of COVID-19 between communities, we strongly encourage all residents to utilize essential services within the communities where they live,” he said.
Employers are encouraged to enforce social distancing in the workplace, give employees time off for illness and send them home if they are ill. Anyone who knows they are sick should isolate themselves in their home until 72 hours after their symptoms subside.
“Both the short-term and long-term success of containing COVID-19 in Umatilla County hinges on every single resident of Umatilla County adhering to the ‘Stay Home Save Lives’ order from Governor Brown,” Fiumara said. “Maintain social distancing, stay home unless absolutely necessary and help fight the spread with proper hand-washing and hygiene techniques.”