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Benton County reports fourth death from COVID-19
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Benton County reports fourth death from COVID-19

Benton County reported on Wednesday morning its fourth death from COVID-19, that of a female in her 70s who had been hospitalized.

That death was not reflected in state figures collected earlier in the day.

The Oregon Health Authority announced on Wednesday that there were 33 new cases of COVID-19 in the state, including one in Linn County and one in Benton County.

The new case in Benton County is that of a female in her 50s who is not hospitalized, according to the county website.

Oregon also had three additional deaths from the illness, according to the agency.

As of Wednesday morning, the state now has 58 deaths due to COVID-19 and 1,663 cases of the illness, according to state data.

Linn County has 53 cases and four deaths, according to the most recent statistics from the OHA. The Edward C. Allworth Veterans’ Home in Lebanon announced on Tuesday that it had its fourth death from the illness on April 4. That individual had been classified as recovered by the facility on April 3.

Benton County has 25 cases and four deaths, according to a combination of OHA and Benton County data.

Oregon has had 31,688 negative tests for COVID-19, including 1,183 in Linn County and 573 in Benton County.

The three deaths reported by the OHA on Wednesday were of individuals who all had underlying medical conditions: an 82-year-old man in Marion County who died on Friday at Santiam Hospital; an 84-year-old woman in Multnomah County who died on Sunday at Adventist Medical Center; and a 92-year-old woman from Multnomah County who died on Sunday at her residence.

The United States has 24,582 deaths from COVID-19 and 605,390 cases of the illness, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday afternoon.

The numbers of COVID-19 cases may need a bit of a disclaimer, however.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Oregon and the United States may be artificially low due to a few factors, including a lack of widespread testing, public health officials have said.

Oregon, however, has ramped up testing in recent weeks. Through March 29, Oregon had tested a total of 11,426 people. The next week, it tested 9,146 people. Last week, it tested 9,134 individuals for COVID-19.

People also can have COVID-19 without showing significant signs of the disease and can spread the illness while they are asymptomatic.

Public health officials are not releasing the names of individuals who test positive for the disease because of privacy restrictions and out of concern that disclosing names could discourage people who may be infected from getting tested or seeking medical help.

Instead of publicizing the names of infected individuals, public health workers interview them to determine who else may have been exposed to the virus and contact those people about getting tested and taking protective measures.

In general, people diagnosed with COVID-19 are instructed to self-isolate until they are symptom-free for at least 72 hours. People with severe cases are treated in a hospital setting.

Kyle Odegard can be contacted at 541-812-6077 or kyle.odegard@lee.net.

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