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First death in Oregon due to COVID-19 reported

A Multnomah County resident has died due to COVID-19.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The first death in COVID-19 was reported on Saturday.

A 70-year-old man in Multnomah County died due to COVID-19. He was hospitalized at the Portland Veterans' Affairs Medical Center.

He is not connected to the cases at the Oregon Veterans' Home in Lebanon.

“While we knew we would arrive at this day at some point, it doesn’t lessen the impact,” said Oregon Health Authority director Patrick Allen. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathy are with the family of this individual who honorably served his country."

The man had underlying health issues and tested positive for COVID-19 on March 10. He is considered a community spread case as he had no contact to a confirmed case and had not traveled to a country where the virus was circulating.

“This is a sobering reminder that this virus is in our community and can be serious for older people and those with underlying conditions,” said Dr. Jennifer Vines, the health officer for Multnomah County. “This loss has motivated us to continue our efforts to minimize the impact of this virus on our community.”

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:

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

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