PORTLAND, Ore. — As fears about the coronavirus spread, so does misinformation about the virus.
Here are three rumors our VERIFY team researched:
Has local company Biamp Systems laid off their entire workforce in Tigard because of the virus?
No. The company, which provides audio-visual products and systems, says that's not true. They use a large number of contract employees and they are always re-evaluating based on market demands. The state agency that handles layoff notices in Oregon also confirmed this isn't true.
This rumor is false.
Can you cancel a flight because you're scared of the coronavirus and get all your money back?
Multiple travel insurance companies agree: if you haven't left and you're scared of flying, you won't get your money back, unless you paid for travel insurance. Even if you did buy travel insurance, in some instances you'll only be able to get back 60 to 75 percent of what you paid for the trip.
We can Verify: if you cancel a flight because you're scared of the coronavirus, you won't get your money back.
Lastly, a Facebook post went viral in Oregon earlier this week, claiming the first case of coronavirus was found in Oregon. The poster claimed a child was taken to the Kaiser ER in Hillsboro with the virus.
Kaiser, Oregon Health Authority and Washington County Health officials say this post is not true. The first presumptive case of coronavirus in Oregon was announced on Friday, but the person believed to be infected was not a child so it's not connected to this rumor.
It's a reminder to be careful about the information you choose to share online.
Do you have something for us to verify? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.