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News Release
03-20-20 Daily Local Update COVID-19 - Second Drive Through Tests Collects 35 Samples - 03/20/20

DAILY LOCAL UPDATE COVID-19

Joint Release from Douglas County Board of Commissioners and Douglas Public Health Network

SECOND DRIVE THROUGH TEST COLLECTS 35 SAMPLES FOR COVID-19 IN DOUGLAS COUNTY

(Douglas County, Ore.) Douglas Public Health Network conducted their second COVID-19 drive-through test today, Friday, March 20, 2020.  The drive-through clinic was the second successful testing clinic this week after the pilot was run on Tuesday, March 17.  Residents that were tested were identified by their health care provider, as a patient that was symptomatic, and needed to be tested.  The clinic was sponsored by Douglas County Public Health Network. (DPHN) and modeled after three years of successful flu-vaccine clinics. 

Up until this week, tests were collected sporadically at clinics and sent to the Oregon State Public Health lab and then the CDC.  Local physicians, including Dr. Robert Dannenhoffer and Dr. Brad Seely, collected the specimens at the drive-through clinic and the lab tests were then flown to an out of state Quest lab for processing.  The results of the tests should be known in two to four days. Test results will be sent from the laboratory back to the health care provider that ordered the test.  The results from tests taken during the pilot on Tuesday March 17th have not yet been received. 

Successfully implementing two COVID-19 drive through testing clinics is a big win for our community,” said Tim Freeman, Douglas County Commissioner.  “We have garnered statewide and national attention for our ability to get this up and running in such a short period of time, both for our preparedness, by running three years of flu vaccine clinics to develop the process, and for our ability to collaborate locally to find testing materials and PPE (personal protection equipment) when they are both in short supply worldwide.  It is important that DPHN staff and volunteers be recognized for the success of these clinics, they have done an outstanding job.”

The drive through process allows for multiple people to be seen in a manner that is safe for the patient and the provider. Doing several tests consecutively also helps to conserve valuable high-tech masks, which providers need to wear and are in short supply nationwide.  Such protective equipment is already in short supply during the pandemic.  Most of the protective equipment used in hospitals is disposable and is single use only.  The drive-thru clinic allowed the use of powered personal respirators that could be used for multiple patients while providing maximal protection for the health care providers doing the tests.

“We at DPHN have been preparing for a pandemic such as this for years,” said Dr. Dannenhoffer.  “We have had three successful flu-vaccine clinics over the last three years.  The first flu clinic took approximately six weeks to organize and plan, this second drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic took us 48 hours to plan, because we have the system down now and the collaborative partners in the health care community to make it work smoothly.”

The drive through testing clinic saw 35 residents. All were referred by their physician. The hope is to gather enough testing materials and PPE to do these clinics twice weekly for several weeks.  We do not have a third clinic scheduled yet, but are aiming for next week.  Assisting at the drive through testing clinic were staff and volunteers from Douglas Public Health Network, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas County Emergency Management and Douglas County Search and Rescue. 

Oregon’s confirmed COVID-19 count has risen to 114 cases, spanning 16 counties.  The breakdown of cases: Washington County has 31 cases; Linn County has 19 cases; Marion County has 17 cases, Multnomah County 12 cases; Clackamas County 10 cases; Deschutes County 8 cases; Yamhill County 4 cases; Benton, Jackson, Lane and Umatilla County have 2 cases each; and Douglas, Grants, Klamath, Union and Polk County have 1 case each.  Oregon remains at 3 deaths related to COVID-19.

As a reminder, your blood donations are desperately needed by the American Red Cross.  Disruptions to blood donations can lead to shortages and cause delays in essential medical care. As of 3/18/2020, about 4,500 blood drives, representing approximately 150,000 fewer blood donations, have been canceled in the U.S. due to COVID-19 concerns.  

Like a hospital, grocery store, or pharmacy, a blood drive is vital to ensuring the health of the community, and blood drives are continuing to be held during this challenging time to help meet patient needs. We recommend people leave home only for necessities—be they health care, groceries, or blood donation.

To help overcome some of the concerns about collecting blood, the Red Cross has also taken additional steps to ensure the safety of staff and donors at each Red Cross blood drive. These steps and more can be found in What to Know About Coronavirus Disease 2019 and Blood Donation Safety at RedCrossBlood.org.   Those who are healthy, feeling well and eligible to give blood or platelets, are urged to make an appointment to donate as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).?

There are several upcoming blood drives scheduled in Douglas County next week:

Red Cross Donor Center – 1176 NW Garden Valley Blvd in Roseburg

  • Friday, March 20th from 9am to 3:30pm
  • Monday, March 23rd from 11:30am to 6:30pm
  • Friday, March 27th from 9am to 3pm
  • Monday, March 30th from 12:30pm to 6:30pm

Community Blood Drives

  • Friday, March 27th between 1pm to 6pm, Grocery Outlet, 130 Petite Street, Myrtle Creek
  • Tuesday, March 31st from 9am to 3pm, First Presbyterian Church, 823 SW Lane Ave, Roseburg

Your Douglas County Board of Commissioners, Douglas County Public Health Official, Dr. Robert Dannenhoffer, officials from Douglas Public Health Network (DPHN), Douglas County Emergency Management, Aviva Health, Mercy Medical Center, Evergreen Family Medicine and Umpqua Health Alliance have been working hard to cooperatively provide accurate and timely COVID-19 information and response to Douglas County residents.  If you have questions about resources available, call the COVID-19 hotline, staffed by local volunteers at 541-464-6550.  Stay up to date on COVID-19 in Douglas County on the DPHN website at www.douglaspublichealthnetwork.org

View more news releases from Douglas Co. Government.