Official facts, information about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

The following is a list of links and information related to COVID-19 as provided by county, state and national health organizations (Lane County Public Health, Oregon Health Authority, Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.) Siuslaw News will update this page as it receives new information related to the coronavirus, so check back frequently to find the latest updates.  

Links to county, state, national and global health organizations:


Community Call Center

MARCH 10 — Lane County has opened a call center to answer community questions regarding the Novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.  The call center, which can be reached by calling 541-682-1380, is part of the Joint Information Center (JIC) established March 9, 2020 by Lane County Health & Human Services to get the most accurate information out to community members. — From Lane County Public Health

Facts and frequently asked questions —


Lane County: (As of April 1, 4 p.m.)

Lane County Public Health (LCPH) was notified this afternoon of additional positive test results for COVID-19.  This makes a total of twenty (20) positive tests in Lane County. 

The new cases include:

  • A male in his 20s from Eugene-Springfield (private residence) who is was hospitalized and is now at home
  • A female in her 50s from outside Eugene-Springfield (private residence) who was hospitalized and is now at home

Oregon: (as of April 1, 4 p.m.)

From the OHA — COVID-19 has claimed one more life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 19, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority also reported 47 new cases of COVID-19 as of 8 a.m. today. The new COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (1), Clackamas (6), Deschutes (3), Douglas (1), Jackson (1), Lane (2), Lincoln (1), Marion (10), Multnomah (18), Washington (3), and Yamhill (1). One case previously reported in Hood River County was identified as a resident of another state; thus, today’s statewide case count is 736. Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website:

Oregon’s nineteenth COVID-19 death is a 70-year-old woman in Multnomah County, who tested positive on March 27, 2020, and died on March 29, 2020 at her residence. She had underlying medical conditions.

Lane County Public Health information

(March 12, 2020)


  • Lane County Public Health is encouraging residents to practice social distancing wherever possible.
  • Social distancing means:
  • Cover your cough. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw the tissue away. If you don't have a tissue, cough into your elbow.
  • Don't shake hands. Avoid unnecessary contact by not shaking hands, hugging or kissing as greetings. Find other, non-contact ways to say hello.
  • Leave space. Maintain a 6-foot radius between yourself and others in public spaces. (Droplets that may carry influenza and COVID-19 can commonly travel up to 6 feet.)
  • Think it through. If you would normally reconsider attending an event during flu season, reconsider it now. People over 60 and those with pre-existing respiratory, cardiac conditions, or who are immuno-compromised should avoid all large gatherings.

Seniors and At-Risk Populations

People over 60 and those with pre-existing cardio and respiratory conditions, as well as those who are immunocompromised are urged to avoid large gatherings.

Large gatherings are those voluntary activities that do not allow people the option to maintain a distance of 6 feet from others. Large gatherings may include church services, movies, concerts and performances or similar events. We urge residents who meet the criteria above to be cautious about attending any event that brings large groups of people together in a confined area.

We encourage everyone to make use of technology (FaceTime, video calls, and other tools) to stay in touch with senior community members. Isolation can be unhealthy, especially for elderly community members who live alone. Staying in touch can help people remain connected to their loved ones and their communities.

• A list of primary immune deficiencies is available from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.:

• A list of cardiovascular conditions is available from the Centers for Disease Control:

Common respiratory illnesses include: asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, emphysema, lung cancer, cystic fibrosis, pneumonia, pleural effusion. Other factors that increase risk include: smoking, allergies and other respiratory illness.

Large Events

On March 11, 2020, posted that Governor Kate Brown announced the following measures to slow the spread of COVID-19: 

  1. Large gatherings: All large gatherings over 250 people will be canceled statewide effective immediately for four weeks. A gathering is defined as any event in a space in which appropriate social distancing of a minimum of three feet cannot be maintained.
  1. Schools: In addition to previous guidance issued on March 8, 2020 to keep schools open, all non-essential school-associated gatherings and group activities should be canceled — such as group parent meetings, field trips, and competitions:
  1. Workplace: Recommended implementation of distancing measures including an increased physical space between employees in offices and worksites, limited in-person meetings, limited travel, and staggered work schedules where possible.
  1. Long-Term Care and Assisted Living: Strict limitations announced this week by the Oregon Health Authority and Department of Human Services remain in place:

Oregon Health Authority information

(March 12, 2020)

What is novel coronavirus?

Novel coronavirus is a virus strain that has only spread in people since December 2019. Health experts are concerned because little is known about the new virus. It has the potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia in some people and there is not a treatment.

How does novel coronavirus spread?

Health experts are still learning the details about how this new coronavirus spreads. Other coronaviruses spread from an infected person to others through:

  • The air by coughing and sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

How severe is novel coronavirus?

Experts are still learning about the range of illness from novel coronavirus. Reported cases have ranged from mild illness (similar to a common cold) to severe pneumonia that requires hospitalization. So far, death have been reported mainly in older adults who had other health conditions.

What are the symptoms?

People who have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus have reported symptoms that may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus:



Difficulty breathing

What should I do if I have symptoms?

Call your healthcare provider to identify the safest way to receive care. Let them know if you have traveled to an affected area within the last 14 days.

Who is at risk for novel coronavirus?

Currently the risk to the general public is low. At this time, there are a small number of individual cases in the US. To minimize the risk of spread, health officials are working with healthcare providers to promptly identify and evaluate any suspected cases.

Travelers to and from certain areas of the world may be at increased risk. See for the latest travel guidance from the CDC.

How is novel coronavirus treated?

There are no medications specifically approved for coronavirus. Most people with mild coronavirus illness will recover on their own by drinking plenty of fluids, resting and taking pain and fever medications. However, some cases develop pneumonia and require medical care of hospitalization.

How can I prevent from getting novel coronavirus?

If you are traveling overseas (to China but also other places) follow the CDC’s guidance:

Right now, the novel coronavirus has not been spreading widely in the United States, so there are no additional precautions recommended for the general public. Steps you can take to prevent spread of flu and the common cold will also help prevent coronavirus:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Currently, there are no vaccines available to prevent novel coronavirus infections.


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