Tests in Vale, Nyssa produce no new local cases of COVID-19 virus

No Malheur County residents tested positive for the COVID-19 virus in results from two events held in Nyssa and Vale earlier this month. (CDC file art)

VALE – Fifty Malheur County residents tested negative for the COVID-19 virus in the wake of two events held earlier this month in Vale and Nyssa.

However, tests on two Idaho residents showed they were positive for the COVID-19 virus, according to Malheur County Health Director Sarah Poe.

Poe said Tuesday that 52 people were tested at the two events.

The results from the two testing sites arrived Monday and in the shadow of a sudden spike of COVID-19 cases in the county last week.

May 21, the health department confirmed seven new cases of the virus, pushing the total cases for the county to 28 and representing nine new cases in a week.

The lack of positive tests from the two events is encouraging, said Poe.

“We have tried to make testing accessible with a lower threshold for the requirements. And as we have been averaging between a three and five percent positive rate, we would have anticipated one or two positives out those groups. So, this is a great sign,” said Poe.

The health department’s new strategy to battle the virus outbreak centers on tracking down, and isolating, positive cases and increased in testing across the county.

As of Wednesday, May 27, there have been 28 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Malheur County dating back to March 29. Of those 28 cases, 19 people have recovered. None of the local COVID- 19 cases have been hospitalized. The health department has completed 645 tests so far.

The county held its first COVID-19 testing event April 29 in Ontario. The Nyssa testing site was held May 12 and the testing session in Vale was on May 14.

Poe said the health department will hold it fourth testing site in Ontario at the Malheur County Fairgrounds Wednesday, June 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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