Antibody Testing a No for Now; No New Deaths to Report; Gas Prices Start to Increase; Food Banks Offered More Emergency Funding

Antibody Testing a No for Now

Peace Harbor officials say now is not the time to begin anti-body testing for patients that may have had the coronavirus.  Dr. William Foster, director of the Peace Harbor Emergency department says the PeaceHealth system is not ready to choose one of the over 100 manufacturers of antibody tests because the data is not sufficient enough to determine a reliable outcome.

“Because COVID is so new we don’t really know for sure what a antibody test will mean.”

Dr. Foster says an antibody test can validate a person for having had the virus, but whether that person will now be immune is not information that can be reliably attained.

“We want to be careful about how we roll out antibody tests.  Somebody says ‘Oh, I have antibodies, I can’t get it again’ we don’t know that yet.”

Additionally, Incoming Medical director Heather McArthur says new testing procedures for covid-19 have been in place for about a week now.  She says that everyone who shows symptoms, getting a procedure, or is to be admitted into the hospital can get a COVID-19 test with results in about an hour.  Outpatients can also get tested, but those tests have about a 48 hour turn around.  She says the hospital on average is testing about 40 people a day.  30 of which are outpatient tests.

No New Deaths to Report

No new deaths have been reported for the COVID-19 pandemic in Oregon.  The latest update from the Oregon Health Authority listed 61 new confirmed cases with 11 presumptive cases.  Of the 130 deaths reported almost half of them are in the 80 and above age category and 62 deaths have been in the 60 – 79 age range.  For Lane County administered testing has now topped the 6 thousand mark with the number of positive tests remaining at 60.  This as the county prepares for the possibility of reopening some business on Friday.  Word on which counties can open should be coming out of Salem today.

Gas Prices Start to Increase

The national gas reserves are starting to lower as states around the US are beginning to open for business.  Prices are beginning to reflect the increase in usage as some states jump 7 cents this past week, but still the average price per gallon around most of the country is $1.85.  here in Oregon it is still steady around $2.38 a gallon.  Florence is averaging $2.25 a gallon for regular gas.

Food Banks Offered More Emergency Funding

The state of Oregon has approved additional emergency funding for regional food banks.  Food banks will also be allowed to purchase from smaller growers that qualify after filling out an application with Oregon Food Bank.  Supplies of food locally have been pretty steady, but opening up purchasing to more vendors will be a help in providing fresh foods like grains, meats and vegetables.