Skip to main content

CHD Confirms First COVID-19 Case in Union County

Hospital news | Thursday, March 19, 2020

Contact: Mardi Ford


March 19th, 2020 at 2:00 PM
Submitted by the Center for Human Development, Inc.

George Thompson
Public Health Information Officer
Center for Human Development, Inc.

Subject: Covid-19 Virus Union County

The Center for Human Development confirms the first case of Covid-19 in Union County

La Grande, OR – “Our hearts and our support are with the individual and their family as they care for their loved one,” says Union County Public Health Administer, Carrie Brogoitti. “We knew we couldn’t stop the virus from coming to our home, and we’ve worked hard as a community to slow it down. We know that many people are concerned; it is difficult when we are dealing with uncertainty and unexpected changes to our day-to-day lives. Now more than ever, we have to band together to protect and support our family, friends, and neighbors who may be at higher risk of becoming ill and needing care and assistance.”

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Union County Public Health are working to identify and isolate any individuals who may have been in close contact with the person while they were contagious. We can assure our community that the exposure risk to Union County residents is very low. This individual had a recent history of international travel and is not considered to have acquired it from community spread. This new case is not reflected in OHA’s COVID-19 daily update totals for state or counties. This case will be reflected in tomorrow’s updates.

Health officials continue to urge all Oregonians to take steps to protect those who are most vulnerable to complications from COVID-19.

Those considered “high risk” include adults 60 and older, or anyone with a serious health condition, including lung or heart problems, kidney disease, or diabetes, or anyone who has a suppressed immune system.

People vulnerable to complications should follow federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to stay home as much as possible and avoid gatherings.

Every resident should take these basic steps to protect those most at risk:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home if you feel ill.

The COVID-19 virus spreads like the flu, when someone who is sick coughs or sneezes close to another person (close means about six feet).

After someone contracts COVID-19, illness usually develops within 14 days. Symptoms mirror those of the flu, including fever, cough, runny nose, headache, sore throat and general feelings of illness. That has made it more difficult for health officials to identify sick individuals and stop the virus from spreading.

As testing capacity increases, officials expect the number of people who test positive with COVID-19 to rise.

Communicable Disease Nurse at the Center for Human Development, Elizabeth Sieders, encourages residents who develop symptoms such as cough, fever, sore throat, headache, body aches or fatigue to stay home and to call ahead to their health care provider if they need healthcare. She urges residents to adhere to the social distancing rules put in place by health officials.

We need to take care of each other in these difficult times and stay home when we are not feeling well,” adds JB Brock, Union County Emergency Manager.

Stay informed: