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Multnomah County Coronavirus Patient Dies, 1st In Oregon

<p>The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Portland, Ore., is pictured Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019.</p>

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Portland, Ore., is pictured Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019.

The Oregon Health Authority Saturday night announced the first death from the COVID-19 virus in the state.

The deceased person is a 70-year-old man in Multnomah County who was being hospitalized at the Portland Veterans' Affairs Medical Center.

He was a Multnomah County resident and not connected to the cases at the Oregon Veterans' Home in Lebanon.

"While we knew we would arrive at this day at some point, it doesn’t lessen the impact," OHA director Patrick Allen said in a statement. "Our thoughts and deepest sympathy are with the family of this individual who honorably served his country."

OHA said the man had underlying health conditions. He tested positive for COVID-19 on March 10. He had no contact with any confirmed cases and had not traveled to any countries outside of the U.S. where the virus is circulating.

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting

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Meerah Powell is a general assignment and breaking news reporter for OPB. She previously worked as a news reporter and podcast producer for Eugene Weekly in her hometown of Eugene, Oregon. Along with writing and audio work, Meerah also has experience with photography and videography. She graduated from the University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communication.