April 21, 2020

There are currently 2,002 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in Oregon. Of that total, Union County remains at four cases and Wallowa County remains at 1. Umatilla County is reporting 29 confirmed cases and has been increasing daily. There is also a new outbreak of confirmed cases in the Tri-Cities, Washington area. The combined total of confirmed cases for Franklin, Benton, Yakima and Walla Walla Counties is 1,630 with 76 deaths. These areas are reporting large increases daily. Union and Wallowa Counties have been fortunate that the total number of confirmed cases remain low. Local officials are concerned at the growing cases in areas where Union and Wallowa county residents frequently travel, and would urge caution and consideration against traveling to these areas. Travel to areas experiencing an outbreak will increase the risk of bringing additional cases of COVID-19 back to our counties.

Many questions have come up regarding reporting a total number of recovered cases in Oregon. Oregon Health Authority has been reluctant to release the information due to the many unknown factors surrounding COVID-19 recovery. Today, the following information was provided.

Oregon is assessing recovery of COVID-19 cases by calling each case to determine if they have recovered and the date of recovery. A person is considered recovered once they are free of fever (without the use of fever-reducing medication), cough, and shortness of breath for 72 hours. If they are not yet recovered, public health staff will call back weekly until the person is recovered. COVID-19 cases without symptoms are considered recovered 7 days after the last positive test. Of the 1,853 surviving COVID-19 cases, 595 (32.1%) are considered recovered and 682 (36.9%) are not yet recovered. We (Oregon Health Authority) are still assessing recovery status for 576 (31.1%) of the COVID-19 cases. The median time to recovery for all cases who had symptoms is 14 days (interquartile range:10–20 days). The median time to recovery for cases who were hospitalized and had symptoms is 16 days (interquartile range: 11.5–24 days).

Today, Oxarc, Inc. of La Grande donated several items of personal protective equipment (PPE) to Union County emergency responders. Items included gloves, N95 masks, and safety glasses. Union County is appreciative of our community partners. Thank you Oxarc for helping to protect our first responders! Pictured below is Manager Sean Louden and Jon Louden of Oxarc in La Grande and JB Brock, Union County Emergency Manager.