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Twenty-five new positive cases, rare P.1 variant case detected in Douglas County

Written by on March 2, 2021

Corona Virus, COVID-19

Douglas County, Ore. – Douglas County health officials report, as of 12:00 pm, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, there are twenty-five people with new positive test results to report since Monday’s noon case update.

The total number of cases (people with positive test results and presumptive cases) in Douglas County is now at 2,519. Currently, there are seventeen Douglas County COVID-19 patients that are being hospitalized, thirteen locally and four out-of-the-area.

Douglas County Public Health Officer, Dr. Robert Dannenhoffer, has confirmed the death of another Douglas County resident related to the COVID-19 virus. The fifty-fifth death is a 91-year-old woman who was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Friday, February 19, 2021 and passed away on Sunday, February 28, 2021.

Currently, DPHN is supporting 196 cases in isolation, as well as another 682 contacts in quarantine in Douglas County. At the moment, there are 872 total contacts and cases in isolation or quarantine.

Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer, Douglas County Public Health Officer, has confirmed the first positive case related to the COVID-19 P.1 variant in Douglas County. This cases marks the first case of the P.1 variant in Oregon, as well as the first case on the west coast of the United States.

DPHN sent a sample of a local COVID-19 test swab to the CDC in at the end of January 2021, for a genome sequence DNA test, and they received the results back last night for the positive P.1 variant. The COVID-19 P.1 variant was first detected in people travelling from Brazil to Japan in early 2021. The P.1 variant has been seen mostly in Brazil, but there have been cases in Japan, as well as the United Kingdom. The P.1 variant has 17 mutations from the original virus and appears to be more contagious than the original COVID-19 strain.

There is concern that the current COVID-19 vaccines, and those that have contracted the previous virus will have less protection and immunity. Local Public Health shares in the worry with the CDC, OHA and the entire scientific community, that the COVID-19 variants could be more infectious, perhaps more deadly, and maybe less well controlled by our current vaccine.

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