PORTLAND, Oregon -- The Oregon Health Authority will begin weekly updates on persons under monitoring and persons under investigation for novel coronavirus, COVID-19, as state epidemiologists, local public health officials and federal partners continue their investigation of the disease that has sickened tens of thousands of people worldwide.
Still no cases in Oregon and risk remains low as state's investigation continues
Starting today, and continuing every Tuesday beginning March 3, OHA will post data on persons under monitoring (PUMs) and persons under investigation (PUI) on its website, http://healthoregon.org/coronavirus. PUMs are individuals who do not have COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing, but who may have been exposed through a close contact with a confirmed case or travel to mainland China. PUIs are individuals with COVID-19 symptoms -- but not necessarily the virus -- who have had one of these exposures.
"We recognize people are very worried about COVID-19, particularly given that we don't know everything we wish we could know about how it's transmitted," said Lillian Shirley, director of the OHA Public Health Division. "People need to understand their real risks and feel confident the state and their local health departments are working hard to protect their health. We hope sharing these PUM and PUI data will help do that."
Shirley emphasizes there still are no cases of COVID-19 in Oregon. Because there are no cases, risk to the public remains low.
The posted data will include current numbers of Oregon PUMs, as well as cumulative numbers of PUMs who have been monitored since the outbreak began. It also will include numbers of persons for whom test results are pending, positive, and negative, and total tests performed.
If a person under investigation tests positive for COVID-19, OHA will notify the public through a statewide press release along with the person's county of residence.
There are everyday actions people can take to prevent the spread of many respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19 and influenza: