Public health officials in Deschutes County announced a presumptive positive case of COVID-19, the first in the county.

Deschutes County Health Department has launched the contact investigation process to identify and notify anyone who may have had contact with this individual during the exposure period.

The case is being treated at a St. Charles Health System facility in an isolation room. St. Charles has been preparing for how to best protect patients and staff, including making plans if required to treat additional cases and ensuring adequate supplies of personal protective equipment. Visiting restrictions to hospitals and clinics as well as screening at entries continue to be priorities.

Every resident should take these basic steps to protect those most at risk:

  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Stay home if you feel ill.

Health officials continue to urge community members to take steps to protect those who are most vulnerable to complications from COVID-19. Those considered “high risk” include adults 60 and older, or anyone with a serious health condition, including lung or heart problems, kidney disease, or diabetes, or anyone who has a suppressed immune system.

People vulnerable to complications should follow federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to stay home as much as possible and avoid gatherings.

Deschutes County Health Department recognizes community concern surrounding COVID-19 and is working with multiple health agencies and community partners to disseminate accurate and up-to-date information available at http://www.deschutes.org/covid19

Central Oregon public health officials recommend that individuals with concerns about COVID-19 and their health first call their local health care provider. The provider can determine if individuals need to be seen and let them know what their next steps should be. This allows local emergency rooms the capacity to care for those with critical health needs.  For general questions, call 2-1-1.

Oregon Health Authority recommends that physicians rule out influenza and other common respiratory pathogens prior to testing for COVID-19.

There is no specific treatment for COVID-19. The goal of medical care is to support the person who is ill, supply oxygen if needed, and help lessen the symptoms until the immune system kicks in and kills the virus. 

Calling ahead before seeking medical attention is an important step in protecting the health of the public and health care providers. Those who seek care at a clinic or hospital may be asked to:

  • Wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.

  • Put on a mask to limit spread of the virus.

  • Make sure to keep their distance from other individuals.