By TED TAYLOR
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
For the first time since early March, St. Charles does not have any patients admitted with COVID-19.
And of the 64 COVID patients in Deschutes County, 70% of them are considered recovered.
It’s two pieces of positive news for the region, but health officials again warned against a false sense of security that we’re past the worst of the pandemic.
“We did see a surge, which peaked April 5th, but thanks to our community’s social distancing efforts, we saw many fewer patients than we anticipated,” said St. Charles Public Information Officer Lisa Goodman. “However, as difficult as it is, we need to stay the course.”
The hospital released this video on social media Tuesday, reminding everyone that while less than 1% of the population here has contracted the disease, 99% of the population could still.
More testing is becoming available every day and county health officials have said they expect the numbers to continue to grow. Locally, there have been 11 new cases reported in the last seven days but none yet this week.
“We continue to prepare for a possibility of (another) surge,” Goodman said. “While we’re encouraged by our dropping hospitalization, we must continue to be vigilant.”
The hospital admitted its first COVID-19 patient on March 11th and until Tuesday morning, it had at least one patient every day. The peak in early April saw 15 admitted patients, including six in intensive care.
A person is considered recovered once they are free of fever (without medication), cough, and shortness of breath for 72 hours, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Cases without symptoms are considered recovered seven days after the last positive test.
The median time to recovery for all cases who had symptoms is 14 days while the median time to recovery for cases who were hospitalized and had symptoms is 16 days, the OHA said.
The OHA reported Tuesday of the 1,853 surviving COVID-19 cases in the state, 595 (32%), are considered recovered; 682 (37%) are not recovered and they’re assessing the status for another 576 (31%).
It’s the first time OHA has released info on recoveries.
Statewide, the OHA reports 297 patients are currently admitted with confirmed or suspected COVID-19; 70 are in the ICU and 35 are on ventilators.
At least 471 of the state’s 2,002 COVID-19 total patients have been hospitalized at some point during their illness.
As of Tuesday, 78 Oregonians have died from the disease.