PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - State officials announced Friday night that someone living in Oregon has the state’s first presumptive case of the coronavirus.
A press conference took place at 6 p.m. Friday in Portland. Gov. Kate Brown spoke, along with the director of the Oregon Health Authority.
OHA reports the person is from Washington County and has been isolated while receiving care at Kaiser Permanente Westside Medical Center in Hillsboro.
The person did not recently travel to a country where the virus is circulating and the person is also not believed to have had close contact with another confirmed case, the two most common sources of exposure.
This is considered a “community-transmitted” case and investigators are working to determine the origin. The symptoms began Feb. 19 for this person.
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The case is considered presumptive until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms a positive test result.
Dr. Jennifer Vines, the lead health officer for Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties, said this person has spent time at Forest Hills Elementary School in Lake Oswego. The Lake Oswego School District confirmed the person is an employee at that school.
The OHA said this person may have exposed students and staff.
The Lake Oswego School District is planning to close the school through Wednesday to allow for deep cleaning. Public health officials will complete their investigation, including contacting employees at the school and family of children to inform them of their possible exposure and let them know next steps.
The Lake Oswego School District announced Friday night that all activities at all district schools would be canceled for the weekend, "in an abundance of caution."
"We anticipate all schools to be open on Monday, March 1, except Forest Hills. Forest Hills will remain closed through Wednesday, March 3," according to a district statement.
FOX 12 spoke with Sam Sewright on Friday night, used to attend Forest Hills Elementary School.
"I was honestly both alarmed and surprised. I mean, you hear things like that on the news, but you don’t expect it to just plop right down essentially on your doorstep. I live like five blocks away on 8th street," Sewright said.
Sewright says he still walks by the school on a regular basis.
"I take my dog up here," Sewright said. "A lot of kids running around, just vulnerable immune systems and stuff like that."
State agencies, hospitals and school district have spent the week discussing preparations for possible cases of coronavirus in Oregon.
The OHA has been getting daily updates from the Centers for Disease Control about Oregon residents returning from China. Local agencies have then been contacting those travelers within 72 hours, and they are interviewed and monitored for symptoms.
Patrick Allen, director of the OHA, reminded people that while coronavirus is getting a lot of attention right now, most people who get it only have minor symptoms and recover without serious issues.
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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown earlier Friday announced the formation of a Coronavirus Response Team.
The Coronavirus Response Team includes agency directors or their representatives from:
- Department of Administrative Services
- Oregon Health Authority
- Department of Human Services
- Oregon State Police
- Oregon Department of Transportation
- Office of Emergency Management
- Oregon Military Department
- Oregon Department of Education
- Department of Corrections
- Oregon Youth Authority
- Secretary of State
- Oregon State Treasurer
For more information, go to http://healthoregon.org/coronavirus
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