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County reaches contacts in first coronavirus case

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The Clatsop County Public Health Department said Tuesday that the county has reached all of the contacts of the woman who tested positive for the coronavirus.

The contacts have been provided with information on self-quarantine based on guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Oregon Health Authority.

Public health

Clatsop County has recorded its first coronavirus case.

The woman has been described as between 35 and 54 years old and living in the northern part of the county.

Asked whether the woman's work or recent activities make it more or less likely the county will see more cases, Michael McNickle, the county's public health director, said community spread of COVID-19 was already occurring in Oregon.

"It would be pure speculation to say whether or not we will see more cases based on this patient's positive test," McNickle said in an email. "Community spread of COVID-19 is occurring Oregon. The likelihood that this past weekend’s throng of tourists from all parts of the state and other places is a more likely source of new and potential cases than a single patient."

McNickle said he was pleased by how county staff responded to the first reported local case of the virus.

"Once public health was informed of the positive test result, our staff immediately worked to make contact with the individual, identify any people with whom she had contact and laid out measures to isolate them to control any potential spread of the illness," he said. "I’m happy with the way our staff performed in our first COVID-19 response."

Statewide, the Oregon Health Authority reported 209 cases and eight deaths from the virus as of Tuesday morning.

Information about testing is also coming into focus.

The health authority has tracked 46 test results from Clatsop County, including the positive case.

Locally, the only data on testing had come from Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria, which disclosed 29 tests as of Tuesday.

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Coronavirus FAQ

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Can I get COVID-19 from my pets or other animals?

There is no reason at this time to think that any animals, including pets, in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States.

Pets have other types of coronaviruses that can make them sick, like canine and feline coronaviruses. These other coronaviruses cannot infect people and are not related to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals, such as washing your hands and maintaining good hygiene.

Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick with COVID-19?

You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the new coronavirus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets.

What about imported animals or animal products?

CDC does not have any evidence to suggest that imported animals or animal products pose a risk for spreading COVID-19 in the United States.

What precautions should be taken for animals that have recently been imported from outside the United States?

At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets and service animals, can spread COVID-19. As with any animal introduced to a new environment, animals recently imported should be observed daily for signs of illness. If an animal becomes ill, the animal should be examined by a veterinarian. Call your local veterinary clinic before bringing the animal into the clinic and let them know that the animal was recently imported from another country.

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