About COVID-19

Last updated on February 28, 2021

The Coronavirus

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), also called just “the coronavirus,” causes the disease called COVID-19. This coronavirus is highly contagious. It spreads from person to person through liquid droplets that are produced when you cough, sneeze, laugh, breathe, sing or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or be inhaled into their lungs. The coronavirus can also live in the air and on surfaces for an unknown period of time. It can then be spread when you inhale infected air or touch an infected surface and then touch your face.

If you have the coronavirus, you can spread it to others even if you don’t feel sick or have any COVID-19 symptoms. This is called asymptomatic spread.

COVID-19 Symptoms

COVID-19 symptoms may be mild to severe and include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you experience any of the above symptoms, stay away from other people so you don’t get them sick. Call your healthcare provider or a clinic right away. They can help you determine whether you need medical evaluation, including testing.

The following are emergency warning signs of COVID-19:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

If someone is showing any of these signs, seek immediate medical attention. If you are unable to reach your doctor promptly, call 911.

These are the most common symptoms of COVID-19; this list does not include ALL possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

COVID-19 Prevention

One step you can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community is to get a COVID-19 vaccine when you are eligible.

Everyone can follow the 3 C’s and the 4 Pillars to avoid getting or spreading COVID-19:
[3 C’s and 4 Pillars graphics]

It’s also important to wear, take care of and store masks properly.

Please follow these practices and do your part to keep Hood River County safe and healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of someone for 15 minutes or more over the course of 1 day with or without a mask or face covering. If you have had close contact with a person with confirmed or presumptive COVID-19, call your medical provider and stay home and away from others.

Contact tracers working with local public or tribal health authorities will call to let you know that you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19. They will ask you to quarantine.

Quarantine means:

  • You stay home or at the location provided by local public or tribal health.
  • When in quarantine, stay at least 6 feet away from everyone you live with.
  • Even if you don’t have symptoms or feel sick, stay home and quarantine for 14 days. Quarantine lasts for 14 days after you were exposed to COVID-19. After 14 days, the danger of becoming sick will have passed.

During your quarantine, contact tracers will:

  • Call or text you daily to see how you are feeling.
  • Encourage you to get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms and feel sick.
  • Connect you with resources in your local community if needed.

If you do not experience any symptoms or get sick after your 14 days of quarantine, you may end your quarantine and resume your normal activities.

The Oregon Health Authority and the Hood River County Health Department count positive and presumptive cases together because many presumptive cases become positive cases and isolation protocols are the same for both groups.

Presumptive cases are those that do not have a positive result on a COVID-19 test but may have COVID-19-like symptoms and may have had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed case within 14 days of symptoms. These people may be contagious while presumptive. Presumptive cases may be waiting for test results, or experiencing a delay in test turnaround time. There is also the potential for false negative test results. Once these individuals receive a positive test result, they are then considered “positive.”

To protect the privacy of those who have tested positive for COVID-19, the Hood River County Health Department does not release any personal or potentially identifying information about those individuals. Please remember that the coronavirus is widespread in our community and is not limited to those who have tested positive. 

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) releases information about long-term-care facility outbreaks in its COVID-19 Weekly Outbreak Report. This report lists cases and deaths in the state’s care facilities, senior living communities and congregate living settings that have three or more confirmed COVID-19 cases or one or more deaths.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) releases information about workplace outbreaks in its COVID-19 Weekly Outbreak Report. To protect privacy, OHA is only reporting workplace outbreaks with five or more cases and only for workplaces with at least 30 workers. Case counts include all persons linked to the outbreak, which may include household members and other close contacts.

The Oregon Health Authority publishes hospitalization data by region and by hospital here. Note that the region refers to the location of the hospital, not the residence of the patient. These data do not reflect the specific number of Hood River County residents hospitalized for COVID-19.

The Hood River County Health Department does not report recovered cases because it is not an indicator of disease resolution. People with COVID-19 (positive and presumptive cases) are released from isolation after remaining away from others for at least 10 days after illness onset. Recovery refers to those who have left isolation and are alive for 60 days. This does not mean that their symptoms have completely resolved or that they will not become infected with COVID-19 again.

To protect the privacy of people who have died and their families, the Hood River County Health Department releases only the age of the person who died in decile (e.g., 20s, 70s, 80s). Additional information, such as place of residence or place of employment, will not be released.

The Oregon Health Authority reports school health metrics that help schools make reopening decisions. The health department consults with schools in the county to review health and safety protocols. Please direct questions about the decision-making process on reopening schools to the specific school district or private school your child attends.