Lane County Still Has No Known Cases Of Coronavirus

Mar 2, 2020

There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus yet in Lane County, but officials say they expect it to show up here in the coming weeks.

Lane County Health & Human Services Building
Credit Rachael McDonald

Lane County Public Health Officer Patrick Leudtke says the majority of people who’ve gotten the virus have experienced mild symptoms or none. He says the same prevention methods apply to coronavirus as for flu and cold.

Lane County Health Officer Dr. Patrick Leudtke (right) and Lane County Emergency Manager Patence Winningham brief reporters Monday.
Credit Rachael McDonald

“I think it’s really important to note that this is a virus like thousands of other viruses that spread respiratorially. And we have great data from decades of research that show some things are very helpful.”

Luedtke says covering your cough or sneeze, washing hands often, and disposing of tissues can all help stop the spread of illness. Leudtke says now Oregon’s public health laboratory is testing for the virus. He hopes to have more labs able to administer tests soon. If there is a case in Lane County, officials say they will notify the media.

“I suspect it’s already here.” Says Leudtke, “I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some mild cases. And if you look at the data that we have internationally, the last research article showed that 81 percent of cases were very mild or asymptomatic. We may have had a mild or asymptomatic case pass through Lane County or come back from somewhere and is now here.”

Leudtke says the county is working with vulnerable populations, including nursing homes to be prepared. Lane County’s Emergency Command Center is activated to coordinate with public health in response to coronavirus when it gets here.

Copyright 2020 KLCC.