PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – The COVID-19 coronavirus is picking up speed as the illness spreads across the United States, with more than 120 cases reported in 13 states.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says many of the illnesses are in Washington state and California.
In Washington, where Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency, nine people have died from the coronavirus: eight in King County and one in Snohomish County. Many of the victims were staying in a nursing home.
Top health officials warn the spread of the coronavirus will only get worse before it gets better. However, experts say panic isn’t necessary. Instead, health authorities urge good hygiene practices like washing hands frequently and staying home when sick.
The FDA says as many as one million coronavirus tests could be given before the end of the week.
In Oregon, so far there’s just a small handful of cases. One Washington County person tested positive for the virus and two others, one in Washington County and another in Umatilla County, are presumed to have the coronavirus.
Gov. Kate Brown says at this point, it’s not necessary to declare a state of emergency, but she did reach out to the White House Tuesday, asking for $7 million to $10 million a month to fight the spread of the illness.
“I want to make sure that our health professionals on the front line have the equipment and personnel they need to treat individuals with the coronavirus,” Brown said in a Facebook live video.
The Oregon Health Authority let FOX 12 cameras into its central operations center where health experts are tracking and responding to the coronavirus.
“There likely are many more cases in Oregon that we haven’t yet detected,” said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, a state health officer and epidemiologist.
Clackamas County declared a state of emergency Monday related to the coronavirus. The county says it’s a precautionary decision that will allow them to be as prepared as possible. There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Clackamas County, but the Washington County person who fell ill with the virus does work in Clackamas County, at a school in Lake Oswego.
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