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Third coronavirus case reported in Clatsop County

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Clatsop County reported a third coronavirus case on Friday, a man in the southern part of the county who was in contact with another man who tested positive for the virus.

The county described the man as between 35 and 54 years old. The other man was also in the same age range.

Public health

Clatsop County recorded its third coronavirus case.

A woman between 35 and 54 years old who lives in the northern part of the county was the first reported local case of the virus.

The county said all three people are at home under quarantine.

“Following reports of positive COVID-19 tests, public health staff move immediately according to the department’s established case investigative process to contact the individuals in order to gather information on others they have had contact with, and in turn to contact those people about self-quarantine guidelines,” the county said in a statement.

“Department staff check twice daily with positive-case contacts to ensure they are properly self-isolating.”

The Oregon Health Authority tracked 72 test results in Clatsop County as of Friday morning, including two of the positive cases.

The health authority reported 414 cases and 12 deaths from the virus statewide as of Friday.

Earlier this week, at the direction of Gov. Kate Brown, the health authority started to provide more detailed demographic information to the public on coronavirus cases. Ages, for example, are now disclosed in 10-year ranges, a narrower window to measure the people most affected by the disease.

Michael McNickle, Clatsop County’s public health director, on Friday declined a request by The Astorian to provide narrower age ranges for the three local cases so far. All three have been described by the county as people between 35 and 54 years old.

McNickle cited privacy concerns as the reason.

“We feel it is unnecessary to do so, and in this small community, more detailed information about a patient’s age may lead to patient identification, which is a violation of their privacy,” he said in an email.

Brown told reporters during a conference call on Wednesday that she ordered the Oregon Health Authority to share “all COVID-19 information with the public that does not compromise patient privacy.”

That includes more exact age ranges of patients, hospitalization status and the number of available hospital beds and ventilators for virus patients. A potential shortage of ventilators has emerged as a critical issue for treating virus patients who require hospitalization.

The health authority reported that, as of Friday, there were 715 available ventilators in Oregon. Astoria Mayor Bruce Jones has said there are about 25 ventilators in Clatsop County, roughly divided between Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria and Providence Seaside Hospital.

Legislators, journalists and others had asked the state repeatedly for better data to track the virus. The health authority had been releasing cumulative data from Jan. 24, plus daily updates on confirmed cases, testing and deaths.

Dick Hughes of the Oregon Capital Bureau contributed to this report.

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(1) comment

Hannah Micah Gabrielle

The only reports I see from the county are that they are *PRESUMED* positive. Not verified positive. Continuing to post these articles as if they are verified cases is absurd and causing unnecessary wide spread panic among the county. Please be careful with your words.

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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.

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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.

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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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