Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, Health Officials To Hold Event Answering Coronavirus Questions . News

Oregon’s count of novel coronavirus cases still stands at three as of Wednesday morning, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

Gov. Kate Brown and Oregon public health officials will hold a Facebook Live question and answer session about the virus Wednesday at 12:15 p.m.

In Washington, officials have reported a ninth death from coronavirus. All of the COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. so far has been in Washington, mostly in the Seattle area.

Seattle and King County Public Health has identified 21 confirmed cases of the illness.

The COVID-19 virus, a relative of other viruses like SARS, was first identified in Wuhan, China, late last year.

Asking For Help

Brown sent a letter to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence Tuesday, requesting more resources to combat the spread of the virus, including hundreds of thousands of respirators, gowns and gloves, and federal funding.

“We currently estimate our financial need at between $7 million and $10 million per month to support the additional resource needs for state and local public health, in addition to reimbursing the costs already incurred,” Brown wrote.

Brown has also requested flexibility on the testing criteria for the COVID-19 virus “to better assess the burden of the disease in Oregon resulting from community spread within the state.”

That request is already underway, according to reporting from The New York Times that states Pence will release new guidelines to fast-track testing for people who fear they might’ve contracted the disease.

Two of Oregon’s three cases are classified as “community spread,” meaning neither person had recently traveled nor interacted closely with someone who had traveled to an area where the virus is circulating.

Currently, people are only being tested if they have traveled to a country where the virus is present, if they’ve had contact with someone who has traveled or if they’ve been hospitalized with a serious respiratory illness with no other connection.

There are currently 18 pending COVID-19 tests in Oregon and 115 people who are being monitored for symptoms.

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