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JACKSON COUNTY, OREGON
10 S OAKDALE AVE
MEDFORD, OR 97501
August 14, 2020
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COVID-19 News & Information in Jackson County, Oregon

24 July 2020

Jackson County Public Health Reports New COVID-19 Cases - July 24

New Statewide Rules & Wildfire Smoke and COVID-19

Jackson County Public Health Reports New COVID-19 Cases - July 24

 Jackson County Public Health is reporting five new COVID-19 cases, as of 12:01 am, July 24, 2020. This update brings the total reported COVID-19 cases in Jackson County to 270. To access additional data on the total COVID-19 cases, visit the Situation in Jackson County, Oregon webpage.

All Oregonians statewide are required to wear face coverings when accessing public indoor spaces; this applies to businesses and members visiting these spaces.  Face coverings are required to be worn in outdoor public spaces when six feet distance cannot be maintained. 

Governor Kate Brown announced new statewide rules that will be effective on July 24, 2020.

  • Face coverings are required for ages 5 and up
  • Face coverings are required when exercising indoors, plus outdoors when you cannot physically distance
  • Capacity limit for restaurants, gyms, venues is reduced to 100 people indoors
  • Bars and restaurants must close at 10 pm statewide, regardless of phase

The science on COVID-19 is growing and is clear that masks slow the spread of COVID-19. There is emerging evidence that masks/face coverings protect the wearer from other people by filtering out some virus particles that can cause infection.

Face coverings are an additional step to help slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with every day preventive actions and social distancing in public and social settings. It is recommended that everyone practices physical distancing (stay six feet away from people who are not in your household), practice good hand hygiene, and frequently disinfect surfaces that or touched often. 

Wildfire Smoke and COVID-19

This wildfire season, many communities will be responding to wildfires, wildfire smoke, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The overlap of the COVID-19 pandemic with wildfire season in the United States complicates public health response to wildfire smoke.

Wildfire smoke is a complex mixture of air pollutants that are harmful to human health.  Exposure to air pollutants in wildfire smoke can irritate the lungs, cause inflammation, alter immune function, and increase susceptibility to respiratory infections.  Recent scientific publications suggest that air pollutant exposure worsens COVID-19 symptoms and outcomes.

Populations known to be vulnerable to wildfire smoke exposures include:

  • Children less than 18 years;
  • Adults age 65 years or older;
  • Pregnant women;
  • People with chronic health conditions such as heart or lung disease, including asthma and diabetes;
  • Outdoor workers;
  • People of low socioeconomic status, including those who are homeless and with limited access to medical care.
  • People who have had COVID-19 and are recovering from the virus

Breathing in wildfire smoke can have immediate health effects, including:

  • ​Coughing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Asthma attacks
  • Stinging eyes
  • Scratchy through
  • Runny nose
  • Irritated sinuses
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Chest pain
  • Fast heartbeat

Respiratory symptoms such as dry cough, sore throat, and difficulty breathing are common to both wildfire smoke exposure and COVID-19. If you are experiencing symptoms unrelated to smoke exposure such as fever or chills, muscles or body aches, diarrhea, it is best to contact your medical provider and seek COVD-19 testing.

Actions you can take to minimize potential health impacts from wildfire smoke

  • Understand that your planning may be different this year because of the need to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
  • It is best to limit your exposure to smoke by staying indoors, limiting physical activity, reducing indoor air pollution sources, effectively using air conditioners and air filters or cleaners.
  • It is currently not recommended to use N95 or P100 respirators to prevent smoke exposure, because these particulate respirators are needed by healthcare workers for the COVID-19 response and are in short supply.

For more information:

The public can call 211-information with general questions

OHA Emerging Respiratory Disease page: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus    

CDC COVID-19 page: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html  

CDC Travel within the US: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html

Jackson County Health and Human Services: http://jacksoncountyor.org/hhs/COVID-19    

 

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