KPTV: Oregon Health Authority says 76 people being monitored for coronavirus
Author: Fox 12 Staff
Posted: February 25, 2020

To read the original story, visit KPTV.

Hiro Ito, Economics Department Chair, Portland State UniversityThe Oregon Health Authority on Monday said they’ve been monitoring hundreds of people in the state since the coronavirus outbreak began in January.

But they want to stress there are no confirmed cases in Oregon and they believe the risk remains very low.

State health officials assure no one in the state has tested positive for the virus, but more than 200 people have been monitored for it since the outbreak began.  

Right now, 76 people are being monitored by health officials for coronavirus. None of them have shown any symptoms, though.

Those are people who have come in contact with an infected person or who have recently traveled to mainland China. Health officials are asking them to self-quarantine for two weeks.

“Stay at home, don’t go out but monitor yourself for any symptoms. Take your temperature and let us know if you do experience any symptoms,” said Jonathan Modie with the Oregon Health Authority.

Modie says two people in Oregon have shown symptoms of the virus, but their tests came back negative.

“Because we don’t have a case here in Oregon, we don’t have that person-to-person transmission, that community transmission and that means that the risk for the general public is low here in Oregon. It remains low,” he said.

But across the globe, fears are high, as indicated by Monday’s stock market plunge.

“Now people are thinking this is a global issue we have to deal with, so that means the impact on the economy can be quite strong as well,” said Portland State University economics professor Hiro Ito.

Ito says some of the countries hit hardest by the virus like China, South Korea, and Japan are big buyers of things like manufactured goods and timber from Oregon.

“So if those economies slow down, then we are not going to be able to sell as many Oregonian products as we used to be able to,” he said.

Ito says the severity of that impact will depend on just how long these coronavirus concerns last.

As for those being monitored here in Oregon, OHA says they will update those numbers weekly.

They want to remind everyone that the best precautions against this virus are similar to what you’d do to avoid the flu: washing your hands, covering your cough, avoiding people who are sick and staying home if you’re sick.