Health & Medicine

Health, Medicine

UPDATE (5:25 p.m. PT) — A new analysis released Friday by the Oregon Health Authority estimates that there may have been approximately 20,000 coronavirus cases in Oregon by May 22, when about 4,000 cases had been confirmed.  

The report, put together by the Institute for Disease Modeling, states that “the aggressive interventions in Oregon have been effective in dramatically reducing transmission rates.” #160; 

American Red Cross 2020

Blood banks have a supply and demand problem right now. Oregon hospitals are doing more elective surgeries, boosting the need, but blood supply is low. 

Oregon State University

People in Bend could discover someone knocking on their door this weekend offering them a coronavirus test.

Lane County Public Health video

Elected officials say Lane County appears to remain on track to apply for Phase 2 of re-opening communities. Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis says seeing many businesses and city programs open is encouraging.

Centro Latino Americano


Latinx community members make up 25% of Lane County COVID-19 cases, despite being 9% of the county’s total population. Now, the county is working to test more people.

UPDATE (4:03 p.m. PT) — Seven counties Saturday were approved to move to Phase 2 of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan, while some counties’ applications have been put on hold due to outbreaks.

Washington state Secretary of Health John Wiesman approved Phase 2 applications for Cowlitz, Grant, Island, Jefferson, Mason, Pacific and San Juan counties.

Kittitas and Clark counties had also applied for Phase 2, but both counties’ applications are being discussed further due to outbreak investigations.

A Roseburg family restaurant is facing a roughly $14,000 fine for re-opening its dine-in service, against Governor Kate Brown’s stay-home directive.

Dr. Patricia Hasbach

Coping with a global pandemic has been new territory for all of us. The unknown is scary. Change is hard. To preserve public health, we’ve made drastic changes to work and daily life. And now—as we’ve learned to adapt –we are asked to change our behavior again. Therapists say all this can take a toll on our mental health. In these stressful times, KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert discovered, there is help out there.

Lane County Public Health video

Lane County saw five new positive cases of COVID-19 over the weekend—putting the overall caseload at 65. Today (Tuesday,) Public Health officials say sudden upticks can be expected, given the incubation period for the virus.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Public Health officials were notified Monday of five new positive COVID-19 test results in Lane County. This puts the county at a total of 65 confirmed cases and one presumptive case.

Melorie Begay / KLCC

Officials announced Friday a new 42-bed care center in Eugene is ready to accommodate people without homes who are recovering from COVID-19. The project to transform a former veteran’s clinic on River Avenue took about a month.

UPDATE (7:07 p.m. PT) — Oregon state and local officials reported 55 new confirmed coronavirus cases Wednesday, bringing the state’s known total to 3,338.

Officials Wednesday also reported four new coronavirus-related deaths. In Oregon, 134 people are known to have died from COVID-19.

The Oregon Health Authority detailed those deaths as:

A 91-year-old man in Polk County who tested positive on May 2 and died on May 8 at Salem Hospital. He had underlying medical conditions.

Lane County Public Health video

On Friday, Lane County submitted its application to re-open and is still awaiting word back from the state. As KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert reports, the public health focus remains on COVID-19 testing and contact-tracing readiness.

Photo provided by Brian Alexander

The following is a 21-minute conversation between KLCC's Brian Bull and Brian Alexander, a 4J District parts specialist and bus driver recorded May 9, 2020. Alexander lost his wife, MaryKay, to COVID-19 and learned a few days later that he also tested positive.  His wife was the first pandemic casualty recorded in Lane County, and the second person to test positive (Alexander was the third).

Alexander describes his late wife, the first signs that he and MaryKay weren't well, and how he uses music and social media to process the loss felt in the two months since her death.

Alachua County (public domain) /

Linn County is among dozens of Oregon counties that have submitted an application to partially re-open amid the ongoing public health emergency.

Photo provided by Brian Alexander

As many states begin easing pandemic restrictions, health officials are urging caution so as not to worsen the COVID-19 outbreak. The human toll is especially real to those who’ve lost loved ones to the disease, including Brian Alexander. The 4J District employee saw his wife, MaryKay, become the first official coronavirus casualty in Lane County on March 14th.  Alexander himself would test positive three days later. KLCC’s Brian Bull spoke to Alexander, and asked what people remember most about his late wife.

UPDATE (7:35 p.m. PT) — Oregon State Parks Saturday announced more outdoor sites reopened for limited day use. 

The agency has reopened a number of sites in Central and Eastern Oregon in addition to sites in the Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon that reopened earlier this week. 

A full list of open sites is available on the Oregon State Parks website.

All Oregon State Parks sites on the coast remain closed.


More than $9 million in federal funds is being allocated to 30 health facilities and county governments in Oregon. As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, it’s to address COVID-19.

UPDATE (7:46 p.m. PT) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is facing a lawsuit challenging three executive orders intended to protect residents from the coronavirus by restricting where people can go and how they interact.

Lane Community College

As the COVID-19 pandemic ramped into high gear, Oregon hospitals and health facilities came to a troubling realization. There is a shortage of frontline workers trained in sanitation and disinfection. In response, Lane Community College is launching a program to rapidly certify people as Environmental Services Aides.

Brian Bull / KLCC

As the pandemic stretches into yet another week, health officials are reminding people that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, advice on keeping encouraged during the pandemic opened today’s  daily briefing by Lane County Public Health.

Oregon Shuts Down Portland Nursing Home

May 5, 2020

UPDATE (7:02 p.m. PT) — State officials have ordered the shutdown of a Southeast Portland nursing home following the deadliest outbreak of coronavirus at an Oregon care facility.

Officials with the Department of Human Services ordered the emergency suspension of Healthcare at Foster Creek’s state license due to inadequate infection control to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Food for Lane County

Today is Giving Tuesday. KLCC is partnering with Essex Construction and Food For Lane County for this fundraiser to help feed people in need in the community. KLCC’s Rachael McDonald spoke with Food For Lane County Executive Director Tom Mulhern.

UPDATE (12:30 p.m. PT) — For the second day in a row, the Oregon Health Authority on Monday reported no new deaths in the state from COVID-19. The death toll remains at 109.

In the same report, officials reported 65 new confirmed cases. The state total of coronavirus infections is 2,759.

Provided by Clark Walworth / Coquille Tribe

The Coquille Tribe is building Oregon’s first tribal health center that’ll be open to the general public. And as KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, its construction is purely coincidental to the COVID-19 outbreak.

UPDATE (12 p.m. PT) – Gov. Kate Brown said on Friday a new study with 100,000 randomly selected Oregonians could shed light on how far the coronavirus has spread throughout the state and will help guide the state’s decisions to reopen the economy. 

It was one month ago the governor ordered everyone to stay home to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

“But holy smokes, it feels a lot longer than that,” the governor said on Friday. 

UPDATE (8:07 p.m. PT) — PPB said calls for service initially decreased following Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s school closure order in March, but calls have begun increasing in the past few weeks. 

“Our calls for service, what we’re seeing is that they’re trending back up and we’re almost at what we would consider a kind of normal level for this time of year for a lot of our call types,” PPB Chief Jami Resch said in a press briefing Friday.

from Lane County Public Health video

With no new COVID-19 cases to announce over the last week, Lane County Public Health has shifted its focus to meeting seven  criteria for re-opening communities and making sure information reaches everyone.

Photo Courtesy of OSU (Credit:Karl Maasdam)

The Benton County Health Department is anticipating a bump in positive COVID-19 cases after expanded testing in Corvallis. New results could be the outcome of Oregon State University’s door-to-door study.

Lane County Public Health

Lane County Public Health Spokesman Jason Davis says COVID-19 testing guidelines have been broadened and local testing capacity is ready to increase. Testing numbers have yet to ramp up - likely because area doctors have been following advice to conserve resources.