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Lane County Sees COVID Case Spike; 3rd Death Attributed To Virus


Over the weekend, Lane County Public Health learned of 9 new positive cases, one presumptive case and one new death assigned as COVID-19 related. As KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert reports, this third fatal case remains under review.

The rural Lane County man was in his early 60’s with pre-existing conditions. He’d been pre-screened for COVID-19 with a rapid test, which came out positive, according to Public Health. But because of the risk of false positives-- they re-tested with the more accurate swab PCR test. That one came back negative. The patient died on May 4th.

Spokesman Jason Davis says given the negative test, the death was “attributed to pre-exisiting conditions.”

“However, retroactively the Oregon Health Authority went back in and has labeled him as a COVID-related death,” Davis said. “So, we are now working with them to understand why that designation was made.”

Davis says the spike in new positive COVID-19 cases is a result of sentinel testing for asymptomatic cases in the Latinex community. He says contact trace investigations are underway.

Lane County has now seen a total of 76 positive cases (including 3 deaths) and one presumptive case of the virus.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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