The Oregon Health Authority today announced Wasco County’s first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in a resident of the Oregon Veterans’ Home in The Dalles Wednesday evening, March 25, 2020.

The new case brings Oregon’s total to 266 cases in 20 counties. North Central Public Health District is working closely with the Oregon Health Authority to identify any additional cases and protect the residents and dedicated staff of the Veterans’ Home. The individual, a male resident in the 60-80 age range, had no known contact with a confirmed case and had not traveled to a country where the virus is circulating, so the case is being investigated as a community-acquired case.

He has been in isolation since March 19, 2020. “On behalf of North Central Public Health District, I would like to extend support to those affected by the diagnosis of COVID-19 in this beloved individual who served our country, and to commend the incredible work of the staff of Oregon Veterans’ Home in The Dalles. They have worked diligently and tirelessly to care for their residents,” said Dr. Miriam McDonell, Health Officer for North Central Public Health District.

“We are doing our utmost to combat the spread of this disease, and to provide information, resources and guidance to all in Wasco, Sherman and Gilliam counties, “ McDonell said. “In these times of uncertainty and hardship, I know the compassion and integrity of our residents will enable us to protect our most vulnerable, and provide help to any neighbors in need.”

Wasco, Sherman and Gilliam Counties have formed a Unified Command to respond to the many challenges COVID-19 brings to the residents of these counties. Test results are now coming from multiple laboratories and are delivered electronically to providers, counties, and OHA throughout the day. As a result, some counties may release county data sooner than it is reported on the Oregon Health Authority website.

To slow the transmission of the disease, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has ordered all Oregonians to “stay home, save lives” and only leave the home for essential reasons like grocery shopping and seeking healthcare. She has ordered certain retail businesses closed where social distancing isn’t possible and has closed campgrounds and playgrounds.

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