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COVID-19 case in Union County

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LA GRANDE — The Center for Human Development in La Grande confirmed Thursday afternoon the first case of COVID-19 in Union County. 

The center in a news release stated the Oregon Health Authority and Union County Public Health are working to identify and isolate any individuals who may have been in close contact with the person while they were contagious.

"We can assure our community that the exposure risk to Union County residents is very low," according to the center’s news release. "This individual had a recent history of international travel and is not considered to have acquired it from community spread."

The OHA has yet to include the Union County case of coronavirus in the daily totals of cases for the state or counties. The Center for Human Development reported the case will be reflected in Friday's updates.

"Our hearts and our support are with the individual and their family as they care for their loved one," said Union County Public Health Administer Carrie Brogoitti. "We knew we couldn’t stop the virus from coming to our home, and we’ve worked hard as a community to slow it down. We know that many people are concerned; it is difficult when we are dealing with uncertainty and unexpected changes to our day-to-day lives. Now more than ever, we have to band together to protect and support our family, friends, and neighbors who may be at higher risk of becoming ill and needing care and assistance."

Officials with Grande Ronde Hospital, La Grande, the center and Union County said they are in the information gathering and crisis control stages and did not have many answers Thursday but would have more information Friday.

This is breaking news. The Observer will update as we gather more information.

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Coronavirus FAQ

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Can I get COVID-19 from my pets or other animals?

There is no reason at this time to think that any animals, including pets, in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States.

Pets have other types of coronaviruses that can make them sick, like canine and feline coronaviruses. These other coronaviruses cannot infect people and are not related to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals, such as washing your hands and maintaining good hygiene.

Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick with COVID-19?

You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the new coronavirus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets.

What about imported animals or animal products?

CDC does not have any evidence to suggest that imported animals or animal products pose a risk for spreading COVID-19 in the United States.

What precautions should be taken for animals that have recently been imported from outside the United States?

At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets and service animals, can spread COVID-19. As with any animal introduced to a new environment, animals recently imported should be observed daily for signs of illness. If an animal becomes ill, the animal should be examined by a veterinarian. Call your local veterinary clinic before bringing the animal into the clinic and let them know that the animal was recently imported from another country.