Oregon expands COVID-19 testing

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Yesterday, the Oregon Health Authority announced an expansion of COVID-19 testing in Oregon. Starting this week, Oregon will receive between 60,000 and 80,000 Abbott BinaxNOW rapid point-of-care antigen tests per week through the end of the year.  

The new tests will nearly double Oregon’s testing capacity, which will help identify more people who are infected with COVID-19.
OHA also now recommends testing for anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of severity, and all close contacts of those individuals, even if they have no symptoms.
The rapid antigen tests yield quick results, in as little as 15 minutes. But there are limitations. The tests must be administered by a medical professional or at a location that meets certain lab testing standards. As in other forms of COVID-19 testing, positive results from antigen tests are considered reliable.
However, false negative results are common, even among asymptomatic individuals.  

If you test negative using any form of COVID-19 test, please continue to:

  • Wear a mask
  • Remain physically distant from other people (especially older people)
  • Avoid large gatherings and
  • Wash hands frequently

The first 15,000 tests were distributed to counties and long-term care facilities affected by recent wildfires. The communities slated to receive the next allotment of tests are those hardest hit by COVID-19:

  • Migrant and seasonal farmworkers
  • Communities of color and tribal communities
  • Residents of congregate care settings

Plans call for eventually expanding testing to students and staff at schools, colleges and universities through school-based health centers and other community partners. Some tests will be maintained as a strategic reserve to ensure a supply beyond December (when the current allocation is scheduled to end) and to help contain major outbreaks in counties.

Learn more in today’s press release and on our testing webpage.

You can watch today’s press conference on OHA’s YouTube channel (in English) or OHA en Espanol on Facebook (in Spanish).

What about false negatives?

Health care providers: Apply for new round of Provider Relief Fund payments

Starting this week, providers can apply for new Provider Relief Fund payments by Nov. 6, 2020. The federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) expects to distribute approximately $20 billion to eligible providers, including previous applicants and recipients, behavioral health providers and providers who began practicing in the first quarter of 2020. Learn more on the HHS website. 

Oregon reports 301 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, nine new deaths

COVID-19 has claimed nine more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 581, the Oregon Health Authority reported Tuesday October 6th

Oregon Health Authority reported 301 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 35,340.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported are in the following counties: Baker (1), Benton (9), Clackamas (28), Clatsop (3), Columbia (3), Coos (7), Crook (1), Deschutes (12), Douglas (3), Hood River (1), Jackson (8), Jefferson (2), Josephine (1), Klamath (1), Lane (52), Lincoln (3), Linn (7), Malheur (9), Marion (34), Morrow (1), Multnomah (51), Polk (11), Umatilla (9), Union (1), Wallowa (1), Wasco (1), Washington (30), and Yamhill (11).