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Oregon COVID-19 Deaths At 138, Experimental Drug Arrives

<p>There is currently no vaccine to prevent contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.</p>
<p>There is currently no vaccine to prevent contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.</p>

UPDATE (12:25 p.m. PT) – The Oregon Health Authority reported Monday 62 new confirmed coronavirus cases and two presumptive cases. The state’s total number of known positive and presumptive cases is 3,687.

Presumptive cases are people who have not tested positive but have COVID-19 symptoms and have had close contact with someone confirmed to be infected with the virus.

The OHA also reported one new coronavirus-related death Monday. The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Oregon now stands at 138.

Officials detailed Oregon’s latest death as a 69-year-old man in Marion County, who tested positive on May 16 and died the same day at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center. He had underlying medical conditions.

Experimental drug arrives in Oregon 

Oregon health officials say hospitals will be provided with an experimental drug that has shown some promise treating the coronavirus. The Oregon Health Authority said Sunday that the state has received enough doses of remdesivir to treat all patients who met the medical criteria for using the drug as of Saturday.

Recent early results for the drug suggested it could help patients recover from the coronavirus faster, although longer-term data is still needed to confirm any benefit. OHA is not taking a position on whether it should be used or not, leaving that decision up to doctors and their patients.

Clark County, Washington, deaths reach 25 as of Friday

Health officials in Clark County reported Friday that two more people tested positive for COVID-19 and one more person died. In total, 401 people have tested positive in the southwest Washington county, and 25 people have died.

Mount St. Helens anniversary observations on hold

Big plans to mark the 40th anniversary of the Mount St. Helens eruption Monday fell victim to the coronavirus pandemic. The main highway into the national volcanic monument is closed. The state, federal and Weyerhaeuser visitor centers are closed. 

Museums that organized special exhibits for the milestone anniversary are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. But many have new life online, allowing people to join virtual observances even as no public events are being held. 

An immersive anniversary exhibition was planned at the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center in Seaquest State Park, near Castle Rock, Washington. Mementos and artifacts were to be displayed along with dozens of oral histories from area residents. Now, the plans are on hold; organizers hope to break out the collection for the 41st anniversary of the blast, in 2021.

In the meantime, Washington state parks and at least half a dozen other agencies and nonprofits have pivoted to virtual experiences and online science talks through Tuesday. The Mount St. Helens Institute has a full listing on its website.

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting