Community transmission of COVID-19 has been documented in Douglas County. Accurate information is very important. Douglas Public Health Network officials have compiled answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Douglas County Health officials have established a hotline (541) 464-6550 for people with questions. The call center will be staffed with health care professionals who can answer questions from the public. Call center hours will be 8am-7:30pm seven days per week until further notice.
“This is the most critical time for us to continue to try to contain this with social distancing. It may seem like this is dying down but it’s actually the calm before the storm.” Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer, Douglas Public Health Officer
COVID-19 Cases in Douglas County
As of Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 12:00 pm PT
COVID-19 Cases in Oregon
As of Tuesday April 7, 2020, 8:00am PT
|Positive Cases||Negative Results||Deaths|
If I am sick, what do I do?
If you are feeling reasonably well, you might not need to visit a clinic or hospital, which allows providers to focus on patients who most need care. If you are very ill or having trouble breathing, call your healthcare provider and only call 911 if it is an actual emergency.
If someone has a cough and a fever, and/or difficulty breathing, where can they go to be tested for COVID19?
Most people with cough, fever and mild illness can recover at home and do not need to seek medical care. If you are feeling reasonably well, you might not need to visit a clinic or hospital, which allows providers to focus on patients who most need care. If you are very ill or having trouble breathing, call your healthcare provider and only call 911 if it is an actual emergency.
What are the symptoms of the COVID-19 virus?
The disease progression of COVID-19 ranges from person to person. Symptoms of COVID-19 are non-specific and the disease presentation can range from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe pneumonia and death. People with COVID-19 generally develop signs and symptoms on an average of 5-6 days after infection (mean incubation period 5-6 days, range 1-14 days).
According to the World Health Organization, “As of 20 February 2020 and based on 55924 laboratory confirmed cases, typical signs and symptoms include: fever (87.9%), dry cough (67.7%), fatigue (38.1%), sputum production (33.4%), shortness of breath (18.6%), sore throat (13.9%), headache (13.6%), myalgia or arthralgia (14.8%), chills (11.4%), nausea or vomiting (5.0%), nasal congestion (4.8%), diarrhea (3.7%), and hemoptysis (0.9%), and conjunctival congestion (0.8%).”
How does COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 is spread when people touch or breathe in droplets made when ill people cough, sneeze or talk. This can happen when someone is close to a sick person, within six feet. Rarely, people might catch COVID-19 by touching a surface that a person with the infection coughed or sneezed on, and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes. Coronaviruses can’t survive for long on surfaces, though, so this isn’t common.
What is my risk of getting COVID-19?
Your risk of becoming ill from COVID-19 depends on your exposure to the virus. We recommend taking the steps listed below to decrease your risk of infection.
What is the best advice to lower my chance of contracting COVID-19?
Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
Stock up on supplies.
Avoid crowds as much as possible.
Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.
Why aren’t we releasing details about cases?
With community spread, we need to remember the disease is in all parts of the county and the advice of social distancing, hand washing and the like would not change even if we knew everything about the patient. Since it would not change what we would do, we believe in protecting the patient’s privacy. If there is an exposure in a public setting, we would only release information that is necessary to reduce the threat or protect the public health. Close contacts of confirmed cases would be notified by public health.
Why isn’t more information available about the person who is considered positive?
We and our collaborative partners have been working hard for weeks preparing for COVID-19. These partners include the Douglas County Emergency Manager, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, local hospitals, healthcare workers, emergency medical services, the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Office of Emergency Management. It was through this collaboration that we were able to quickly identify and isolate this case with very few people exposed. We communicated the positive results to the public within hours of receiving them. We have interviewed the patient and are actively following up with all of their close contacts.
We protect the privacy of all patients. As this was a case of community spread, knowing the exact location and identity of the person would not be helpful and could compromise their confidentiality.
You may have heard of other counties releasing more information about their cases, as an example: the Umatilla case that attended a youth basketball game. With our case, there were no such public events or locations that are at risk. With future cases, if we believe unknown members of the public may have been exposed, we will release that information.
We recommend to stay home if you are sick, wash your hands, avoid the hospital emergency department (except in emergencies) and at your discretion, avoid large gatherings.
If you would like more information on COVID-19, please call 211 or visit the Oregon Health Authority www.oregon.gov/oha or the Center for Disease Control www.cdc.gov