(Columbia County, Oregon) - Columbia County has suffered its third loss to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Oregon Health Authority statistics reported on Saturday, November 21.
The 75-year-old Columbia County woman was Oregon's 815th COVID-19 death. She tested positive on October 23 and died on November 19, at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center. She had underlying conditions.
“Coronavirus is real and we do see deadly effects from this virus,” Dr. Joe Skariah, Portland Residency Director for OHSU said. “We know what we can do right now and that’s what we need to be doing. Wear a mask, social distance, practice good hygiene – it will protect you and those around you.”
Columbia County is currently experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases, and the likelihood of coming into contact with Covid-19 is higher than it’s ever been within our community. According to Columbia County Public Health Director, Michael Paul, we have a test positivity rate and the number of new cases per week have been steadily increasing for several weeks. Additionally, weekly hospitalizations from Covid-19 continue to break records. As of today, there are 456 coronavirus patients hospitalized across Oregon. 44 of those patients were hospitalized since Friday.
“We want people to know their individual actions have consequences for the community. You can infect others without knowing it,” Paul said. “Healthcare workers are asking for our help. Businesses have had to close to comply with the freeze, and we need this freeze to work so we don’t have to do it again.”
Due to the surge in cases, Columbia County Public Health is asking that any citizen who tests positive begin reaching out to their close contacts themselves.
“We will continue to try to reach everyone within 24 hours, but we have reached a tipping point that requires us to implement surge protocols,” Paul said.
This means that not all positive Covid-19 cases will get a full public health follow-up, and contacts may not hear directly from local public health contact tracers in a timely manner. Those who test positive should review the Columbia County Public Health’s “After Testing Guide” and follow the instructions below:
Key points for patients:
Anyone getting COVID-19 testing should stay home until they hear about test results. That includes people without symptoms.
If your test is positive:
If your test is negative:
Additional statewide information concerning COVID-19-related demographics and information about positive cases can be found on the Oregon Health Authority's website at https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19.
General questions about COVID-19 can be answered by calling 2-1-1. Questions about your specific medical needs should be directed to your health care provider. If you cannot find the information you need via the website and number provided here, call Columbia County Public Health at 503-397-7247