Representatives from Lane County Public Health and the cities of Eugene and Springfield addressed issues arising from or exacerbated by COVID-19 at a press conference via Facebook video Tuesday morning.
LCPH spokesperson Jason Davis said LCPH has conducted a total of 203 tests for the coronavirus as of Tuesday morning, with four tests returning positive results.
He continued to say that health care providers expect more positive results in the following days as a result of household transmission.
Davis noted that the figure of four cases reflected testing, not reality, because only the most severe cases are currently being tested for in Lane County. “Unfortunately, we’re still in the same position in terms of not being able to do widespread testing throughout the county,” Davis said.
Davis requested that employers stop requiring a doctor’s note for workers to return to work after being sick. He said though that might seem counterintuitive, the requirement burdens health care workers. Instead, Davis asked that people stay home for 72 hours after their fever or cough subsides without the aid of medicine.
LCPH is working with the city of Eugene to work with the unhoused community to identify what services and resources they need. These resources include emergency shelters with medical screenings, food and emergency care. There is also a program in place to provide shelter in hotels for people experiencing homelessness who are recovering from illness but don’t need to be hospitalized.
Laura Hammond and Amber Fossen, spokespeople for Eugene and Springfield respectively, encouraged people to follow Gov. Kate Brown’s March 23 executive order to “stay home, save lives.”
The Oregon Health Authority reported 18 new cases of COVID-19 on March 24, bringing the total known cases in the state to 209. Three more Oregonians died from COVID-19, for a total of eight.