COOS COUNTY — The 30th positive case of coronavirus in Coos County has been recorded. The latest positive result came on Wednesday night for an individual between the ages of 30 and 50 years old. There have also been two presumptive positive cases in the area.
“We have a new case,” said Coos Health and Wellness epidemiologist Brian Leon in a press briefing on Thursday. “It’s, yet again, not a typical community case. This individual is admitted at a facility right now for medical reasons and they have been for quite a while.”
For this latest case, the individual’s permanent residence is in a different county but they have been in a Coos County hospital for multiple months. The positive test came after a routine symptom check revealed a fever which led to the test being taken.
The question then becomes how does an individual who has not left a hospital for multiple months contract this virus.
“… It could not have been anybody but a staff employee or some type of clinician that would have exposed them. So we are in the middle of a pretty significant amount of contact tracing right now to handle some interviews and working with that facility. Really just doing everything we have to do to ensure that there is a small risk of spread to other patients and other staff,” said Leon.
Leon noted that there are over 50 people on a list of people to contact to help determine the level of exposure and if individuals showed symptoms. The only known symptoms so far for the individual that tested positive was a fever.
In this hospital setting, patients also have some contact with one another.
“I think it would be called a congregate setting. It’s just that, it’s a diverse setting as far as some people might only be there for a day, some people might be there for a few days,” said Leon.
“That would be more of the congregate setting type scenario where there is intermingling in common areas and that they have but not as far as where they sleep, unlike say the dorms in Shutter Creek.”
Shutter Creek Correctional Institution was the location of an initial outbreak of the coronavirus in Coos County. Twenty-five adults in custody tested positive while two employees of the facility also recorded positive tests; one employee was a presumptive positive.
Elsewhere in the county a woman with no connection to the correctional facility tested positive while the person she lives with was considered a presumptive positive. Most recently there was a positive test for a man with underlying health conditions who experienced symptoms approximately two months before receiving a positive test.
For this latest positive test, Coos Health and Wellness is looking to limit the spread as much as possible.
“We’re going backwards to consider who may have been the one that brought the bug in to infect the patient but we’re also considering the fact that any person that’s positive, we consider them to be potentially infectious for two days before their symptoms started going forward until symptom resolution plus 72 hours,” said Leon who stated that the individual is currently in isolation.
“So we are going to be asking anybody that was around this patient and was a contact of this patient’s two days before their symptom onset or later, we’re going to be asking that they isolate outside of work.”
Despite being in a hospital, it does not appear that this particular case will count as a hospitalization.
“They’re not hospitalized because they have COVID. Their acute illness has nothing to do with COVID,” said Leon.
This latest positive came the day before Coos County was approved to enter into Phase II of the state’s reopening process. Coos Health and Wellness reminded that precautions still need to be examined as this reopening occurs.
“We’re going to stress we’re not out of the woods until probably well into the vaccine stage of it,” said Eric Gleason of Coos Health and Wellness. “We’re going to be having that as a constant reminder.”