First Coronavirus Case is Detected in Oregon, State Health Officials Say

The person is an employee of Forest Hills Elementary School in Lake Oswego.

Interstate 5 bridge and Hayden Island. (Henry Cromett)

The first case of coronavirus has been detected in the state, Oregon Health Authority announced on Friday evening.

"This afternoon, we learned that we have Oregon's first case of the COVID-19 cornavirus," Gov. Kate Brown said in a press conference.

The person with coronavirus is a Washington County resident. The person first experienced symptoms of coronavirus on Feb. 19. They are currently in isolation Kaiser Permanente Westside Medical Center in Hillsboro.

The person works at Forest Hills elementary school in the Lake Oswego School District, and state officials think it's likely that teachers and students there have been exposed to coronavirus. The school district is planning to close the school.

"With an abundance of caution and care for everyone's health, we are closing Forest Hills through Wednesday, Mar. 4," the Lake Oswego School District announced tonight. "The school will be cleaned deeply. All activities at the school are cancelled through Wednesday."

The person had not traveled overseas, and did not appear to have been in contact with anyone who was known to have coronavirus. Health officials say it is a case of "community spread," meaning the person acquired it from someone else in the community.

Health officials are working quickly to identify who the person has come into contact with recently.

Health officials said during Friday's press conference that they are currently monitoring a second person for the virus. They have not yet received test results for that individual.

"The case count may very well tick up," said Dr. Jennifer Vines, the tri-county public health officer, during Friday's press conference.

Earlier today, Brown convened the state's first coronavirus response team. At tonight's press conference, she said health officials learned of the case at 3 pm—several hours after announcing the response team.

"I want to reassure Oregonians that we are taking this very, very seriously," Brown said during the press conference Friday evening.

On Tuesday, state health officials said they were monitoring 76 people who had recently traveled to China, but the only two people who had shown symptoms had tested negative.

This FAQ offers some helpful context on coronavirus, including how quickly it spreads (very) and how deadly it is (not very).

This is a developing story, and this post has been updated.

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