Jackson County Public Health is reporting 18 new COVID-19 cases as of 12:01 am, on August 21, 2020. This update brings the total reported COVID-19 cases in Jackson County to 654. 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.
Governor Kate Brown has added Jackson County to the COVID-19 “Watch List.” This watch list identifies counties where cases are growing at the fastest rate and where there is an alarming rate of community spread. This list is not punitive for counties, and it does not indicate that a county will be moved back a phase in reopening.
Counties are placed on the watch list when there is a sporadic case rate of equal to or greater than 50 cases per 100,000 population and have 5 or more sporadic cases in the last two weeks. Jackson County has had 53.3 sporadic cases per 100,000 population and 118 sporadic cases in the last two weeks.
Sporadic cases are those cases that cannot be traced to a source, such as in a workplace outbreak, a family cluster, or a group of cases connected to a birthday party or a social event. When local public health departments can identify the source of an outbreak, it is easier to contain that outbreak. Sporadic cases also indicate community spread. “We worry about community spread because it means the virus is circulating more widely and undetected and makes it harder to suppress,” says Dr. Jim Shames, Jackson County Health Officer.
“Jackson County will remain on the watch list for a minimum of three weeks and until our sporadic case rate drops below 50 cases per 100,000 population, or less than 5 cases in the previous two weeks,” says Tanya Phillips, Health Promotion Manager for Jackson County Public Health.
Actions to Take
The Oregon Health Authority is increasing its communication with Jackson County Public Health and will be providing technical assistance and resources. This support can range from epidemiological support, assistance with case investigation or contact tracing, training for workers, and testing resources.
“The residents of Jackson County have the most effect on COVID-19 transmission rates. Everyone has a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19. It will take all of us to help remove Jackson County from the watch list; to reduce the risks to our children and teachers so they can return to the classrooms this fall. It is a community’s responsibility to protect our elders and those at risk from getting this virus. We can keep Jackson County safe,” says Dr. Jim Shames, Jackson County Health Officer.
The more people a person interacts with and for extended amounts of time, the higher the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. By knowing and understanding the risk of our actions and activities, we can make informed decisions that not only impact our own health but also protect the health of everyone around us. It is important that people not treat one location safer than another and continue wearing a face covering, use physical distancing, and washing your hands.
Activities that take place outdoors that allow for enough room to maintain physical distancing and involve fewer people are lower risk activities compared to activities that take place indoors that do not allow for physical distancing and involve more people. Below are some extra tips for enjoying the summer weather:
- Stay home if you’re sick, have a pending COVID-19 test, or if you have an underlying medical condition that puts you at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
- If you host a gathering, provide hand sanitizer or give people easy access to places where they can frequently wash their hands.
- Adjust your food offerings to avoid sharing utensils and offer individual servings. Don’t share drinks.
- During and afterward, thoroughly clean all frequently touched areas your guest had access to.
- Wear a face covering if you cannot maintain 6 feet of physical distance.
Overall, people in Oregon should follow the three W’s:
- WEAR a face covering
- WATCH your distance
- WASH your hands
Wear your Face Covering Correctly:
- Wash your hands before putting on your face covering
- Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
- Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
- Make sure you can breathe easily
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