The Oregon Health Authority has announced the first presumptive positive cases of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, in Linn County – one of the counties served by Samaritan.
While COVID 19 is new, preparing for pandemic illness is not new for Samaritan Health Services.
“Emergency preparedness training is a year-round activity and our facilities treat patients with a variety of infectious diseases on a daily basis,” said Chief Medical Officer Robert Turngren, MD. “On top of that, Samaritan has been working for weeks to prepare for potential cases of novel coronavirus, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control, the Oregon Health Authority and local public health departments.”
While concerns about coronavirus are likely to increase as cases are confirmed in our region it is important to remember that many cases of coronavirus are mild, and most people recover with no additional complications.
Community members can stay informed about coronavirus by getting information from trusted sources. The Oregon Health Authority offers an abundance of up-to-date and helpful information and is reporting on cases in Oregon. The CDC has information about what’s happening across the country. Information specific to Samaritan may be found at samhealth.org/Coronavirus.
“While reports of coronavirus are alarming, we encourage you to take reasonable steps to stay healthy,” said Adam Brady, MD, of Samaritan Infectious Disease. “The best way to prevent coronavirus is the same as preventing any virus during cold and flu season: wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, cough or sneeze into your elbow and stay home if you are sick.”
Symptoms commonly seen with coronavirus infection include fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
If you are having these symptoms, it is important that you call first before visiting a clinic, urgent care facility or hospital. This will ensure you are evaluated quickly and allow health care providers to make arrangements that will keep the virus from spreading to others.