County health officials expect new cases of coronavirus to emerge when results return from the 17 tests conducted in the pilot drive-thru clinic at the Douglas County Fairgrounds on Tuesday.

Douglas County Public Health Officer Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer expects some of those will have the COVID-19 virus.

“We did high risk patients so we would expect some positives,” Dannenhoffer said. “We would not be surprised to have positives.”

As of Thursday, Oregon Health Authority is now reporting 88 cases of the virus statewide and three deaths have been reported in the state. The OHA figures still show just one positive case of COVID-19 for Douglas County.

The Douglas Public Health Network held its third Facebook Live COVID-19 Q&A session Tuesday night and  Dannenhoffer plans to continue the sessions periodically for people to be able to submit question about the novel coronavirus.

The DPHN also has a COVID-19 hotline that can be reached between 8 a.m and 7:30 p.m for any questions about the virus. The call center is staffed with volunteer health care professionals to answer questions.

The hotline number is 541-464-6550.

On Thursday, Gov. Kate Brown directed all Oregon hospitals, outpatient clinics, and health care providers, including veterinarians and dentists, to cease all non-emergency procedures, in order to preserve personal protective equipment, such as surgical masks, gowns, and gloves for health care workers treating COVID-19 patients.

The order also limits visitation in hospitals to protect health care workers and at-risk patients from the spread of COVID-19.

“It is critical that we preserve every piece of personal protective equipment we have in Oregon, so that our health care workers can keep themselves safe while treating COVID-19 patients,” Brown said. “If we do not take immediate action, the surge in demand in our hospitals for masks, gowns, and gloves will quickly outstrip the limited supplies they have available. We cannot let that happen.”

At the Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center, it was announced Wednesday that screening at strategic entry points to the campus for signs of respiratory illness and exposure to COVID-19.

Patients are asked to arrive 30 minutes early for appointments and to come alone unless a caregiver’s assistance is needed. Veterans are asked to call before visiting the VA facility.

Visitation is limited, and no one under age 16 will be permitted in any VA facility or clinic.

No Roseburg VA providers have encountered anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, the VA said in a press release.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office announced new regulations for the Douglas County Jail on Thursday morning. Effective immediately, all in person inmate visitation has been suspended. Inmates are being given two phone calls per week free of charge. Additional calls or video chat are available for a fee through icssolutions.com.

The records division has suspended public fingerprinting services, including pre-employment and background fingerprinting. A citizen ride-along program has also been canceled.

Crater Lake National Park is modifying operations to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and local and state authorities to promote social distancing.

As of Wednesday, the Steel Visitor Center at park headquarters closed and fees will not be collected at the Annie Springs Entrance Station until further notice.

Ranger guided snowshoe walks have also been cancelled. Where it is possible to adhere to the latest health guidance, park areas remain open.

Park officials say it is still possible to come and view the lake and go for a snowshoe walk or cross-country ski.

Diamond Lake Resort officials are also making changes to comply with the governor’s executive order. The Bailey Room and the bar and lounges are closed for at least 4 weeks.

The pizza parlor, innertube slide hill and Cat Ski Mt. Bailey are all closed for the season.

Reporter Dan Bain can be reached at 541-957-4221 or e-mail at dbain@nrtoday.com.

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Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

(1) comment

Mike

A recently published Chinese study on the pre-print website medRxiv indicates a person's blood type could affect how vulnerable they are to developing COVID-19. The researchers arrived at this conclusion after studying the blood samples of 2,173 patients with COVID-19 in three hospitals in the Chinese cities of Shenzhen, and Wuhan, where the outbreak is thought to have started late last year.

The researchers concluded that "blood group A had a significantly higher risk for COVID-19" when compared with non-A blood groups. Those in the O group, meanwhile, "had a significantly lower risk for the infectious disease." The difference may be explained by certain antibodies in the blood, but they suggest this will need to be investigated in future studies in order to be confirmed. The scientists stress if you are type A, there is no need to panic. It does not mean you will be infected 100 per cent. Similarly, if you are type O, it does not mean you are absolutely safe, either. You still need to wash your hands and follow the guidelines issued by authorities.

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.11.20031096v1

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