A COVID-19 outbreak has been identified at the Oregon Veterans’ Home in The Dalles. Nine cases have been identified as of press time on Friday, and include staff, residents and household contacts of staff.

The initial case was confirmed on Sunday, Oct. 25 and the latest was confirmed today, Friday Oct. 30, according to the North Central Public Health District (NCPHD). None are hospitalized at this time.

All staff and residents at the facility have been tested, according to NCPHD. "Oregon Veterans’ Home responded immediately to notifications of the first case and have taken all appropriate measures to ensure the safety of their residents and staff, including isolation of positive cases," said the press release. 

All residents and staff who tested negative will be re-tested weekly until there are two consecutive weeks of all negative tests.

The agencies that have gotten involved in response to the outbreak are North Central Public Health District, which is the local public health authority; the Oregon Health Authority’s Urgent Epidemiology Response Team (UERT); and the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Unit (CRRU), a shared service between OHA and the Oregon Department of Human Services.

UERT epidemiologists serve as OHA representatives for outbreaks at long-term care facilities. They are collaborating with NCPHD to monitor the outbreak. They also provide infection control consultations and approve testing at the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory. The CRRU provides resources, coordination and support to state and local agencies in responding to an outbreak.

The regulatory agency for long term care facilities, the Oregon Department of Human Service’s Aging and People with Disabilities Safety, Oversight and Quality (SOQ) unit, has staff on site at an outbreak within 24 hours of being notified of one. The SOQ, in turn, issues an executive order with requirements that include restricting admissions and visitation to the facility, requiring staff training on infection control measures, and providing isolation of positive cases as appropriate.

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