This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (round blue objects) emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. SARS-CoV-2, also known as 2019-nCoV, is the virus that causes COVID-19. The virus shown was isolated from a patient in the U.S. Credit: NIAID-RML

First Presumptive Positive COVID-19 Case in Lane County

The Eugene-Springfield man began exhibiting symptoms March 1

Lane County Public Health (LCPH) was notified today, Tuesday, March 17, that a 69-year-old resident in the Eugene-Springfield area has tested presumptive positive for COVID-19. The test, which was submitted by a local provider, confirms the first case in Lane County, LCPH says.

The unidentified man is at his home and is medically stable. LCPH is currently investigating the situation, but states in a press release the case is thought to be an example of community transmission. LCPH is reaching out to individuals who were in contact with the resident so that those people can follow the proper procedures in getting tested.

The county also says that if a point of public exposure is identified, they will notify the public. This story will be updated if that happens.

The individual began experiencing symptoms on March 1 with a fever, body aches, chills and a light cough. He was tested on March 13.

“We understand this is a difficult time for the community and that each one of us is impacted in a different way,” Public Health Officer Dr. Patrick Luedke said in the press release from the county. “A positive test result does not alter our response, we will continue to monitor all potential cases, do contact investigations and work to reduce the spread of COVID-19 across Lane County.”

Oregon Health Authority had also announced 18 new cases in Clackamas, Linn, Marion, Multnomah and Washington counties. The Lane County novel coronavirus case was announced after OHA’s update. This brings the total number of cases to 66. A Multnomah County veteran is the only confirmed death in Oregon associated with COVID-19.

Lane County had announced earlier today that a total of 97 tests (including testing from private labs) have been ordered for county residents (8 pending).

 This article was originally published by Eugene Weekly, which like dozens of news organizations throughout the state is sharing its coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak to help inform Oregonians about this evolving heath issue.