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An Oregon resident who is the first known case of the novel coronavirus in the state has officially been released from the hospital following a more than two-month-long battle with COVID-19.
On Monday, Hector Calderon, a custodian at Forest Hills Elementary School in Lake Oswego, was transferred from Kaiser Permanente Westside Medical Center in Hillsboro to a skilled nursing facility, The Oregonian reported.
Calderon, 46, fell ill in late February and was listed as the state's first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus on Feb. 28. At the time, he was thought to be only the second patient in the U.S. to contract the novel virus via community spread, local outlets reported.
Local news station KATU-2 reported Calderon was sedated and intubated at one point during his hospital stay. The Oregonian also reported he was one of the first patients to be treated with Remdesivir, Gilead Science's experimental antiviral drug that early results of a clinical study indicated can help speed recovery in COVID-19 patients.
An ICU nurse identified as Chad Cabe helped Calderon during his stay, and promised the man a mariachi band send-off upon his discharge from the hospital. That promise was fulfilled on Monday when a mariachi band played outside as Calderon was released. Staff, cheering and clapping for Calderon, lined the hallways to celebrate.
“This has been a remarkable journey. His courage, strength, and resilience throughout has been an inspiration,” Dr. Katie Sharff, an infectious disease specialist at Kaiser Permanente, told KATU-2. “It was such a joy to see his clinical improvement and hear him asking about students and teachers at the school.”
“I would just like to let you know I miss you so much,” Calderon said to the Forest Hills Elementary community, according to The Oregonian. “Thank you for your support of me and my family. God bless you and I will see you soon.”