Benton reports fifth COVID-19 case: State announces three deaths, more coronavirus cases
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Benton reports fifth COVID-19 case: State announces three deaths, more coronavirus cases

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Benton County announced a fifth case of COVID-19 Tuesday night, hours after the state of Oregon reported 18 additional cases and three new deaths from the disease.

The Beaver State now has 210 cases and eight deaths due to COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

The deaths reported on Tuesday include: a 78-year-old Clackamas County man with underlying medical conditions; a 63-year-old Multnomah County man who was not hospitalized; and a 90-year old woman from Washington County who had underlying medical conditions.

The newest Benton County case is a woman in her 20s who is not hospitalized, county health officials announced Tuesday night. She is believed to have been exposed to the disease through her job as a health care worker.

"We understand this situation is stressful, and the uncertainty and constantly evolving information around COVID-19 is distressing," said Charlie Fautin, interim co-director of the Benton County Health Department. "We empathize greatly with the members of our communities and urge everyone to practice Gov. Brown's 'stay home, save lives' recommendation to help flatten the curve of this virus outbreak."

Of the other four cases previously reported in Benton County, two contracted the illness in Washington and have remained in the Evergreen State for treatment.

Linn County remained at 20 cases of COVID-19 with one death. The death and the bulk of Linn County’s cases are associated with the Edward C. Allworth Veterans’ Home in Lebanon.

According to the veterans’ home Facebook page, 15 of its residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19. One staff member of the facility also was confirmed to have the illness.

In addition, three medical professionals have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Linn County.

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.

Local, state and federal officials have said that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is artificially low due to limited testing.

Linn County has 353 negative test results, while Benton County has 138 negative test results. The state of Oregon has had 4,350 negative tests and 4,559 tests completed total since Jan. 24.

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