Fifth COVID-19 case in county

LINCOLN COUNTY — After more than two weeks since the last diagnosis, the Lincoln County Health Department announced the county‘s fifth positive novel coronavirus case on Monday, April 20.

The patient is a person in their 60s who did not have contact with another confirmed COVID-19 case, meaning it is likely a case of community transmission. The individual is not hospitalized and is self-isolating, according to a health department statement.

Two of the county’s other cases, announced March 31 and April 1, had known contact with positive individuals, while the first, announced March 24, and the fourth, announced April 2, were also presumed to be community acquired. Only the first patient, who became symptomatic while in another county, was hospitalized.

“We have had 18 days with no confirmed cases, but today’s announcement is an important reminder that the novel coronavirus is still active in Oregon,” Rebecca Austen, county health department director, said in a statement on Monday. “We urge our community members to continue to follow the ‘stay home, save lives’ order from Gov. Brown. Only go out if you must, and when you do, stay at least 6 feet away from others, wear a mask and wash your hands frequently.”

On Tuesday, cases of novel coronavirus in the state exceeded 2,000. The Oregon Health Authority announced 46 new cases, bringing the total to 2,002, as well as three deaths. Seventy-eight people in the state have now died from COVID-19.

Tests have been administered to 366 people in Lincoln County, less than 1 percent of the county’s population. The OHA announced Monday it was revising its testing guidelines to prioritize frontline workers and impacted populations — which includes those living or working in congregate care or group living facilities, as well as underserved and marginalized populations, like racial and ethnic minority groups — and urging the expansion of testing to asymptomatic persons in congregate settings.

Dr. Dean Sidelinger, state epidemiologist, said, “By focusing clinicians’ attention on testing certain groups — including those most at risk for contracting severe forms of COVID-19 — we are making sure people who need to be tested are getting tested and getting the information and treatment they need to manage COVID-19. Similarly, increased testing in specific areas will help OHA, other state authorities and partners to understand and manage the epidemic.”