Thursday, May 28, 2020
To: All Media
From: Patricia Elliott, RN, Director
After 18 days without a positive test result, today we have two additional cases. Two residents of Hood River County have tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, three Wasco County residents, two testing positive and one that is a presumptive case have been identified. All five are employees, or household members of employees, of congregate work settings located in Hood River County. Due to a reclassification of two presumptive cases, Hood River County now has had a total of 14 cases identified. Hood River County Health Department and North Central Public Health District have investigators that are currently working with all the close contacts of these individuals in Hood River and Wasco Counties.
With the growing season now in full swing Hood River County Health Department is working with our partners to provide information to local agricultural workers and their employers. Information about work safety, personal protective equipment, worker housing, and food resources can be found at www.getreadygorge.com webpage as well as the Migrant and Seasonal Farm Worker Resources page on the county website. As always, wash all fruits and vegetables before consuming them! Questions and consumer resources about safe handling of groceries can be found at this website: https://instituteforfoodsafety.cornell.edu/coronavirus-covid-19/food-safety-recommendation-consumer/.
It is important to remember that there is no group of people who are more or less likely to pass or be infected by coronavirus. Stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate a disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region is specifically at risk for the disease. Stigma hurts everyone by creating fear or anger towards other people. Stigma affects the emotional or mental health of stigmatized groups and the communities they live in. Stopping stigma is important to making communities and community members resilient. Everyone can help stop stigma related to COVID-19 by knowing the facts and sharing them with others in your community. Don’t believe everything you see or read on social media!
Hood River County Health Department is very concerned for the vulnerable populations in our community, especially as local businesses begin to reopen, and increasing numbers of visitors are drawn to the area due to summer-like weather. It is very important that people continue to follow the governor’s guidance, https://govstatus.egov.com/or-covid-19 and:
- Stay home if they are sick;
- Practice social distancing – Stay six feet away from people who are not household members;
- Wash your hands and avoid touching your face;
- At home and work practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces
- When you visit stores or other places where social distancing is difficult wear a cloth face-cover to help protect yourself and others.
We will continue to release information as appropriate. For the protection and privacy of the individuals and businesses associated with this cluster no further information will be released per ORS 433.008(2) and 433.138 at this time. As more and more cases are identified, we may not be able to release public statements every time there is a new case.
If you feel sick, stay home, call your doctor (and/or primary care provider) and your employer. Stay home until your symptoms have fully resolved, and you have been without a fever for 72 hours (3 days) without the use of medication.
If you have difficulty breathing, or any other serious medical emergency, call 911.