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State reports two new Linn County cases
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State reports two new Linn County cases

STOCK PIX: VETERANS HOME TESTING2

Edward C. Allworth Veterans' Home staff members line up for tests in back of the Lebanon facility in mid-March.

Two additional cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Linn County, the Oregon Health Authority announced Thursday morning, bringing the county’s total to 18.

Two Benton County residents have tested positive so far, but both contracted the disease while visiting relatives in Washington state and are remaining there until they recover.

All told, Oregon public health officials reported 13 news cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the statewide tally to 88. In addition to the Linn County cases, there were five new cases in Marion County, four in Multnomah and two in Washington.

So far, most of the Linn County cases have been associated with the Edward C. Allworth Veterans Home in Lebanon. There are now reportedly 14 residents and one employee of the facility who have tested positive for COVID-19, the infectious respiratory disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus.

On Wednesday, the first Albany case was reported after a health care provider at Albany Family Medicine tested positive. That facility, operated by the Corvallis Clinic, has been shut down, and people who may have come into contact with the employee are being notified.

Oregon Health Authority officials did not provide any details about the city of residence of the two new cases.

Later in the day, the Linn County Health Department announced that a health care provider from a second facility in the county had tested positive but did not provide any additional detail, including the name of the facility or the city in which it is located. 

Lt. Michelle Duncan of the Linn County Sheriff's Office, the county's chief spokesperson for COVID-19 issues, said she had no additional information.

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 the case of the second Linn County health care provider diagnosed with COVID-19, county officials said anyone believed to have come in contact with the infected person would be notified.

Reporter Bennett Hall can be contacted at bennett.hall@lee.net or 541-812-6111. Follow him on Twitter at @bennetthallgt.

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