June 19, 2020

The volunteers and community involvement for the drive-through testing the last two days have been outstanding.  Having so many concerned citizens coming together to support the community shows how much care is reflected in our community. There was a total of 40-50 critical volunteers assisting with the drive-through clinics.  This included several volunteers from the community that were able to assist with very short notice, volunteers from La Grande Rural Fire Protection District, and several members of Union County Search and Rescue.

A combined total of 561 tests were conducted over the span of the two-day clinic.  The laboratories Union County were required to utilize were different on the Thursday clinic versus the Friday clinic.  Consequently, Thursday testing results should be available toward the beginning of the week while tests conducted today (Friday) may not be available until the end of the week.  Each individual that was tested will receive their results through a phone call from local public health representatives.  Notifications will be made as soon as possible, but due to the high volume of tests completed, there may be delays in reporting. 

If you received a COVID-19 test and have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been a close contact to a confirmed case, please stay home and avoid others until you receive your results.  Self-isolation/quarantine is necessary to lower the chances of additional illness spread.  This means not attending any activities or gatherings outside your home, such as work, school, health care, faith-based facilities, grocery stores, restaurants, etc.  Do not allow any visitors to your home.  If you are a close contact (15 minutes within six feet) to a confirmed positive case, you are advised to quarantine for 14 days even if you test negative.  This is because the symptoms can take up to 14 days to develop.  Quarantining for the full 14 days is the only way to assure the virus is not transmitted.

While isolating/quarantining at home, monitor your symptoms.  If symptoms worsen to the point you need medical care, contact your primary care doctor or clinic by phone for instruction.  This will help to avoid exposing others at the provider facility. If your symptoms are severe enough that you need to visit the Emergency Room, call ahead and if you are requesting an ambulance, let dispatch know about your symptoms.  Keeping our healthcare providers and emergency responders healthy is critical to our success as a community.

If you or anyone you know are facing sudden changes with work, income or health insurance, there is free assistance available to determine health insurance eligibility and steps to get enrolled or maintain existing coverage. Northeast Oregon Network (NEON) is offering phone appointments while practicing physical distancing for the safety of the community during the COVID-19 emergency.  NEON can assist in determining what assistance and plans may fit your situation.  They can be reached at (541) 910-0336 or (541) 910-5286.

Out of consideration for others, Union County citizens are urged to wear cloth face coverings or masks when shopping or in a location where a minimum of six feet distance from others outside of your household is not an option.  Oregon Health Authority guidance states that cloth face coverings or masks should be worn when physical distancing guidelines cannot be observed. 

There were six new confirmed cases announced for Union County today bringing the total number of cases to 253.  Wallowa County announced one new case today bringing their total reported by Oregon Health Authority today to five. Statewide, there are a total of 6,572 cases.  Officials anticipate the number of local confirmed cases will continue to increase as contact tracing, investigations, and additional tests are conducted.

The next update will be provided on Monday, June 22.