Benton County continues coronavirus response efforts after first county death

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Tanveer Sandhu, News Contributor

The Benton County Health Department announced the county’s first coronavirus-related death on March 30: an 88-year-old woman who was receiving medical treatment at the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis.

“It is with very heavy hearts that we announce this fatality. While we knew this was a possible outcome of this deadly virus, it does not lessen the tragedy of this unfortunate passing. We offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of this individual,” said Charlie Fautin, Interim Health Department Co-Director in a statement.

The woman was formerly a resident of a long-term care facility, the Corvallis Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and had underlying health conditions.

According to a statement released on Corvallis Manor’s website, the woman was one of three residents that tested positive. The other two residents are currently receiving treatment at the facility.

Ian Rollins, the public information officer for the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, said the hospital could not share any additional information about the patient due to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly referred to as HIPAA.

Rollins said Samaritan is currently treating four inpatients who have tested positive for coronavirus as of April 7. There are currently 21 COVID-19 cases in Benton County as of April 7, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

More information about cases statewide is available on The Barometer’s interactive Oregon COVID-19 map.

City Public Information Officer Patrick Rollens said Benton County is well underway with its COVID-19 pandemic response efforts. Rollens said the county has been working collaboratively in an Emergency Operation Center since mid-March, directing local resources on fighting the pandemic.

“Health department officials and firefighters are collecting and inventorying personal protective equipment from area laboratories and businesses (including Oregon State University) for distribution to healthcare facilities,” Rollens said. “We’re in daily contact with Good Samaritan and Corvallis Clinic about their status—number of beds, number of ventilators, and other vital resources.”

Rollens said the county has also launched Benton County Recovers, an online portal to help coordinate donations and volunteering. The Corvallis Library parking garage will be open for donation drop-offs Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with donations being safely processed by volunteers.

“We’re starting small and asking for extra masks, gloves and gowns that people might have stashed away,” Rollens said. “Our needs will likely increase over the next few weeks, so people should keep checking back at the donation site.”

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