PORTLAND — The Veterans Affairs Hospital in Portland is making changes after a recent outbreak of coronavirus.

A doctor tells KATU News a patient came in for another issue, and two days later was determined to be positive for COVID-19. Officials say 28 employees and at least six others became infected.

The hospital is now testing every patient who comes into the hospital. They are also testing staff and patients who have longer stays every three to seven days.

Staff said increasing the number of tests has become easier as resources become available.

“We thought we had done a good job before the outbreak and then in retrospect you can always find something that you wish you would have been doing better,” said Dr. Chris Pfeiffer, an epidemiologist with the Portland Veterans Affairs Hospital. “So we really took a close look at the nursing station. How can we do nursing huddles with physical distancing?”

The hospital is also changing cleaning efforts and increasing supplies of personal protective equipment.


Dr. Pfeiffer said this level of personal protection and testing was not available even a month ago.

The statewide total for COVID-19 is 3,927, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

Oregon’s 148th COVID-19 death was a 93-year-old woman in Clackamas County, who tested positive on April 23 and died on May 10 at her residence, health officials said Sunday. She had underlying medical conditions.