UMATILLA COUNTY, Ore. — The Umatilla County Public Health Department reported Friday morning that they received results back from the Washington State Health Lab on the three samples sent for testing earlier this week from those with close contact with the presumptive positive case of the coronavirus.
All three test results returned were negative for COVID-19 and no further testing will be conducted on those samples.
UCo Health says they are still waiting for official confirmation from CDC on the presumptive positive case reported by the Oregon Health Authority on March 2. That individual is reportedly recovering.
UCo Health is continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation as it evolves and is checking in daily with those being monitored due to close contact with the presumptive case. Those placed under monitoring or investigation with the UCo Health who receive a negative lab test result will remain under monitoring in accordance with CDC guidelines.
UCo Heath also touched on reports of prejudice against people of Asian descent and against members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. UCo Health addressed the issue by reminding residents that you are not at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 based on where you live, recreate or work.
In response to this stigma, UCo Health director Joseph Fiumara stated, “Respiratory viruses like COVID-19 spread when carried through tiny droplets from an infected person to tire nose, mouth, or eyes of someone else. From what we know, transmission requires prolonged close contact with an infected individual, so merely being in tire same room as someone carrying tire virus is not enough. It is imperative to understand that COVID-19 does not target people of any certain race, ethnicity or country of origin, and people should not make assumptions about someone's health status based on those factors.”