Jackson County Public Health is reporting 14 new COVID-19 cases as of 12:01 am on September 17, 2020. Through our quality assurance process, a previously reported case was identified not to be a case and was removed from the total case count. This update brings the total reported COVID-19 cases in Jackson County to 1,007. 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 Public Health is reporting the county’s fourth COVID-19 death. The patient was a 72-year-old female who tested positive on August 28 and died September 15 at Providence Medford Medical Center. The patient had underlying medical conditions.
COVID-19 Prevention During a Wildfire Disaster Response
Remaining diligent about COVID-19 prevention remains important during the wildfire disaster response, as the spread of COVID-19 is still occurring, and Jackson County Public Health is still responding to the pandemic. Here are some tips to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Ensure you are wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 remains important, especially as people who are displaced are staying with friends, family, and in shelters.
- Wash your hands frequently
- Watch your distance by trying to keep 6ft between you and others outside of your immediate household. If this cannot be maintained, wearing a mask or facial covering is critical.
- If in a shelter, avoid touching high-touch surfaces, such as handrails, as much as possible. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol immediately after you touch these surfaces.
- Keep your living area in the shelter clean and disinfect frequently touched items.
- If you feel sick when you arrive at the shelter or start to feel sick while sheltering, tell shelter staff immediately.
Wildfire Smoke and Masks
- Wearing an appropriate mask to filter out pollutants. Again, what we know to stay safe against COVID-19 is different for wildfire smoke. For COVID-19, a simple face covering offers some protection. Those facial coverings offer no protection against the PM 2.5 particles in the smoky air. A tightly fitting N-95 (or P-100) mask offers the best protection. Those may be in short supply due to our first responders and medical personnel using them for the pandemic, and a KN-95 may be a good second-best option. Here are some useful facts about masks:
- If you have an N-95 mask, try and make it fit as closely to your face as possible. Different masks are more effective for certain faces. Men with facial hair may never achieve a tight fit with these masks. Here are some directions on how to use an N-95 masks for the general public https://www3.epa.gov/airnow/smoke_fires/respiratory-protection-508.pdf.
- Put your name on your mask. You may reuse it.
- Masks that fit over your head generally fit more snugly than those that are secured behind the ear. Many KN-95 masks attach behind the ears.
- Follow disaster shelter policies and procedures designed to protect everyone in the shelter, especially those who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions.
During these uncertain times, it will be important to do your best to slow the spread of COVID-19:
- WEAR a face covering
- WATCH your distance
- WASH your hands
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