PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Governor Kate Brown on Friday announced the formation of a statewide coronavirus response team. The team is tasked with coordinating both state and local health agencies as they prepare for the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
In a press release sent Friday morning, the governor stressed that there are currently no cases of coronavirus in Oregon and the risk of Oregonians getting the virus remains low.
“The purpose of the coronavirus response team is to ensure we are taking every precaution necessary, in coordination with local health authorities, hospitals, community health partners, and school districts, to make sure that Oregon is fully prepared to respond to any outbreaks of the coronavirus and that Oregonians know how they can keep their families safe,” Brown said.
The response team will meet regularly with the governor to coordinate preparation and response efforts, and to make public health recommendations.
Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen is one of a dozen agency directors and representatives on the response team.
Allen appeared Friday before Oregon House Democrats in a briefing on the coronavirus in Salem.
“Oregon has proven its resiliency in preparing for and responding to Ebola, H1N1 influenza, Zika, and other global public health threats,” Allen said in a news release from the governor’s office. “Each time, Oregon’s public health and health care systems and their partners have found ways to strengthen our collective response. If the coronavirus comes to Oregon, we will be ready.”
Starting next week, the OHA will begin sharing weekly updates on the number of people being monitored and investigated for possible coronavirus.
Gov. Brown stressed that public awareness and good hygiene are the keys to preventing the coronavirus from spreading.
Tips for preventing the spread of the coronavirus include:
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces people often touch.
- Consult travel advisories if you plan to travel outside of the U.S.
- Take care of your health overall. Staying current on your vaccinations, including flu vaccine, eating well and exercising all help your body stay resilient.