Oregon State Hospital staff member tests positive for coronavirus

Oregon State Hospital staff member tests positive for coronavirus
Oregonian, April 6, 2020

A staff member at the Oregon State Hospital has tested positive for coronavirus, officials said Friday.

The Oregon Health Authority did not report at which facility the staff member worked, when the positive case was discovered or whether other staff members had been tested.

Officials said three patients at the hospital have undergone testing and all have come back negative.

The Oregon State Hospital offers in-patient psychiatric treatment for adults at facilities in Salem and Junction City. The hospital has taken several steps to slow the spread of coronavirus, including requiring staff members to wear masks, monitoring all patients for fevers or other respiratory symptoms and tracing the contacts of anyone who tests positive for the illness.

The hospital is also staggering gym and outdoor time to allow for social distancing, creating special areas for high-risk patients and admitting new patients to a special unit where they are monitored for two weeks before being allowed access to other parts of the hospital.

On Friday, the first inmate in the Oregon prison system tested positive for coronavirus at Santiam Correctional Institution in Salem, officials said. The inmate was being treated at the facility but was expected to be moved to an institution with 24-hour care.

The Department of Corrections didn’t say how many others were being tested but said those being tested or awaiting results were in “respiratory isolation.”

As of Monday morning, Oregon has 1,068 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and 27 people have died. The actual number of infected people is thought to be higher because access to testing has been low.