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COVID-19 News & Information in Jackson County, Oregon

9 November 2020

Jackson County Public Health Reports 41 New COVID-19 Cases - NOV 9

Reported COVID-19 cases in Jackson County now 2,382

Jackson County Public Health Reports 41 New COVID-19 Cases - NOV 9

Jackson County Public Health reports 41 new COVID-19 cases as of 12:01 am on November 9, 2020. Additionally, a case was transferred to Jackson County from another jurisdiction based on residency. These updates bring the total reported COVID-19 cases in Jackson County to 2,382. To access additional data on the total COVID-19 cases, visit the Situation in Jackson County, Oregon webpage, or the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard website.

Jackson County is mirroring a trend seen statewide. Social gatherings of various sizes (often multi-generational) continue to play a significant role in our sharply increasing case counts. Reports of birthday parties, get-togethers with friends, weddings, etc. continue to occur. Attendees at these events then spread the virus to their homes, workplaces, schools, places of worship, etc.

Jackson County specifically sees these social gatherings play a significant role in the increase of COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities.  Jackson County Public Health is currently investigating nine outbreaks in long-term care facilities; these facilities have three or more staff and/or residents that have tested positive for COVID-19.  Jackson County Public Health began investigating an outbreak at Avamere Three Fountains on November 3, 2020, that currently has a total of 54 cases (8 staff and 46 residents) and one COVID-19 related fatality. Avamere has been a collaborative partner with Jackson County Public Health.

“The increase of outbreaks in long-term care facilities is a serious concern; these are our most vulnerable populations in these facilities. We must think about how our actions outside of work can have serious consequences for other people, especially when it is your job to care for vulnerable populations,” says Dr. Jim Shames, Jackson County Health Officer.

Among adults, the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age. For example, people in their 50s are at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 40s. Similarly, people in their 60s or 70s are, in general, at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 50s. The greatest risk for severe illness from COVID-19 is among those aged 85 or older. There are also other factors that can increase your risk for severe illness, such as having underlying medical conditions.

Fall and Winter Gatherings

The colder weather and holidays bring people indoors, which increases the risk of COVID-19 spreading. If you are holding a family/friend gathering, consider implementing the following steps to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19:

  • Gatherings are for well people: people who are sick, have COVID-19, are a close contact to a confirmed case, have a pending COVID-19 test should not attend the gathering
  • Increase indoor ventilation: ensuring proper ventilation can reduce airborne contaminants, including viruses, indoors.  Open window, use HVAC system, consider upgrading filters, turn bathroom fans on and run them continuously, or use a portable air cleaner or purifier. Indoor gathers with poor ventilation pose more risk than those with good ventilation. For more information, visit the EPA Indoor Air in Homes and Coronavirus.
  • Wear a mask- despite being with family and friends, wearing a mask continues to be an effective way of reducing the spread of COVID-19.
  • Limit the number of guests- it is best to limit the number of people indoors; the Governor of Oregon has an indoor gathering limit of 10 or fewer people with physical distancing.
  • Practice physical distancing- space out chairs at the table and consider not staying with family and friends in their home.

For more information on how to celebrate Fall and Winter holidays safely, visit the CDC COVID-19 Holiday Celebrations webpage. 

Jackson County on Pause

Governor Kate Brown announced new measures pausing social activities to help stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 in counties where community transmission is on the rise. These pause measures will be in effect for two weeks, from Nov. 11 through Nov. 25, for Jackson County.

 The Two-Week Pause measures include:

  • Urging all businesses to mandate work from home to the greatest extent possible.
  • Pausing long-term care facility visits that take place indoors to protect staff and residents.
  • Reducing maximum restaurant capacity to 50 people (including customers and staff) for indoor dining, with a maximum party size of six. Continuing to encourage outdoor dining and take out.
  • Reducing the maximum capacity of other indoor activities to 50 people (includes gyms, fitness organizations/studios, bowling alleys, ice rinks, indoor sports, pools, and museums).
  • Limiting social gatherings to your household, or no more than six people if the gathering includes those from outside your household, reducing the frequency of those social gatherings (significantly in a two-week period), and keeping the same six people in your social gathering circle.

Take these everyday preventative actions to stop the spread of germs like the flu and COVID-19:

  • Get vaccinated for flu
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Limit your contact with others if you are sick
  • Wear a mask
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Wash your hands
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched
  • Watch your distance (stay at least 6 ft. away from others)

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