Though there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Oregon, Democratic Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday she would convene a "Coronavirus Response Team" task force to monitor the situation. "If the coronavirus comes to Oregon, we will be ready," said Oregon Health Authority director Pat Allen via press release.
There are zero confirmed cases of coronavirus in Oregon and the risk to Oregonians of contracting it remains low. However, in an escalating global health crisis, we must make sure we are as ready and informed as we can be. https://t.co/CtzzYQTYK2— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) February 28, 2020
Prediction: the Oregon Health Authority's Twitter feed follower count is about to blow up.
With fears about the potential spread of coronavirus spiraling with every breathless news report and headline, the state's public health agency is providing level-headed, rapid-fire updates as the situation evolves, and promising regular updates on how many people in the state are being monitored for signs of the disease.
(This is probably a good place to note that despite the rising panic levels, there are exactly zero diagnosed cases of coronavirus in Oregon, though there are some in California.)
Instead, as the public health agency has reported, 76 people in Oregon are being monitored as of this week, which means they have zero symptoms of the disease but may have come into contact with someone who does, or have traveled to China, the epicenter of the outbreak. Only two people have been tested for the virus statewide, after showing symptoms, and both tested negative, according to OHA.
In the meantime, we're betting that we'll see multiple daily tweets reinforcing what we can all do to stay healthy and safe, which is what any sane person does to stay upright during cold and flu season: wash your hands a ton, cover your mouth when you sneeze, keep surfaces clean and tidy, and stay home if you aren't feeling well.
This is also a good time to consider updating your emergency preparedness kit, just in case things get bad, schools shut down, and you need to batten down the hatches.
The best way to protect yourself from #coronavirus & other respiratory illnesses:— OR Health Authority (@OHAOregon) February 28, 2020
-- Follow the CDC's travel advice
--Avoid people who are sick/stay home if you’re sick
-- Wash hands often
-- Avoid touching your mouth, eyes & nose
-- Cover your cough
-- Disinfect surfaces pic.twitter.com/6SNtSX0QO1