“Today, Jackson County has now recorded more than 300 deaths related to COVID-19,” states Tanya Phillips, Health Promotion Manager. “We send our condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one, a family member, a friend, or neighbor.”
“It is important that we do not lose sight of the fact that COVID-19 is a serious disease in Jackson County,” says Dr. Jim Shames, Health Officer for Jackson County Public Health. “Vaccine requirements and masking requirements are important tools to help prevent another 300 of our citizens from dying in the future.”
Vaccines are one of the greatest success stories in public health. Through the use of vaccines, we have eradicated smallpox and nearly eliminated wild polio virus. The number of people who experience the devastating effects of preventable infectious diseases like measles, diphtheria, and whooping cough is at an all-time low. Vaccination requirements have been in place since the early 1800s with the development and use of the smallpox vaccine. George Washington required troops to be vaccinated against smallpox, and school children were required to have smallpox vaccination before attending school. Today, school-aged children, college students, healthcare providers, and other professionals are required to receive certain vaccinations to attend school or work in a healthcare setting.
“We are in the midst of a serious worldwide pandemic that has its most serious effects on the elderly and on all ages of people that have underlying medical conditions. Requiring vaccination to provide care for those individuals in alignment with public health science to keep the public as a whole safe,” states Dr. Jim Shames.
FDA Approval of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Booster Doses
The FDA has approved booster doses for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. “The FDA approving the booster doses for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines is just one of many steps that need to occur before local COVID-19 vaccine providers can safely give the boosters doses to the those that qualify,” says Tanya Phillips. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will review the recommendations at the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting on Oct. 21 and 22. Next, the recommendations from the ACIP will be sent on to the CDC Director, who will make the official recommendation for use. The Western States Workgroup will review the final recommendations, in which then the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will adopt the recommendations. Once the OHA has adopted the new recommendations, local COVID-19 vaccine providers will need to have standing orders and other logistics such as ordering the vaccine and supplies needed for vaccinating under the new guidance.
Weekly Number of New COVID-19 Cases
For week 41 (October 10 – October 16), Jackson County Public Health reported 395 new COVID-19 cases. This is a 16% decrease from the previous week. The case rate for week 41 is 177 cases per 100,000 population.
COVID-19 Hospitalizations for Region 5 (Jackson and Josephine Counties)
As of 10:30 a.m. on October 18, 2021, the number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 is 53, and there are 13 patients with COVID-19 in the intensive care unit.
The total number of patients in hospital beds may fluctuate between report times. The numbers do not reflect admissions per day nor the length of hospital stay. Staffing limitations are not captured in this data and may further limit bed capacity.
COVID-19 Related Deaths
Jackson County Public Health reports 4 new COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total to 303 since the beginning of the pandemic.
Jackson County’s 300th COVID-19 death is a 60-year-old man who tested positive on September 23 and died on October 14 at Rogue Regional Medical Center. They had underlying health conditions.
Jackson County’s 301st COVID-19 death is a 68-year-old man who tested positive on October 11 and died on October 13 at Providence Medford Medical Center. They had underlying health conditions.
Jackson County’s 302nd COVID-19 death is a 68-year-old man who tested positive on October 12 and died on October 14 at Rogue Regional Medical Center. They had underlying health conditions.
Jackson County’s 303rd COVID-19 death is a 57-year-old man who tested positive on October 13 and died on October 13 at Providence Medford Medical Center. They had underlying health conditions.
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