Jackson County Public Health reports 36 new COVID-19 cases as of 12:01 am on October 21, 2020. During the quality assurance process, it was identified that a previously reported case had been removed from the total reported cases. Jackson County Public Health is investigating this and will report our findings tomorrow. These updates bring the total reported COVID-19 cases in Jackson County to 1,554. 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.
Today is the highest reported number of daily COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic in Jackson County. Within the last week, Jackson County Public Health has announced two of the highest daily COVID-19 cases and a weekly high record.
“We are going in the wrong direction, and it is concerning,” says Dr. Jim Shames, Jackson County Health Officer. “Cases are rising exponentially across Europe, states in the U.S. are reporting increases, including Oregon, and here we are in Jackson County, reporting our highest daily total since the beginning of the pandemic. It is a concerning time because we are entering fall and winter, where people are indoors more, we all must do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Fall and Winter Gatherings
The holidays are approaching, with COVID-19 still spreading in our community and clusters and outbreaks of COVID-19 occurring from indoor gatherings, we will need to rethink how we get together with friends and family this season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides considerations to help protect individuals, their families, friends, and communities from COVID-19 (CDC COVID-19 and Holiday Celebrations).
Several factors contribute to the risk of getting infected or infecting others with the virus that causes COVID-19 at a holiday celebration. In combination, these factors will create various amounts of risk, so it is important to consider them individually and together:
- Community levels of COVID-19 - Higher levels of COVID-19 cases and community spread in the gathering location, as well as where attendees are coming from, increase the risk of infection and spread among attendees.
- The location of gathering - Indoor gatherings generally pose more risk than outdoor gatherings. Indoor gatherings with poor ventilation pose more risk than those with good ventilation, such as those with open windows or doors.
- The duration of the gathering - Gatherings that last longer pose more risk than shorter gatherings.
- The number of people at the gathering - Gatherings with more people pose more risk than gatherings with fewer people. CDC does not have a limit or recommend a specific number of attendees for gatherings. The size of a holiday gathering should be determined based on the ability to reduce or limit contact between attendees, the risk of spread between attendees.
- The locations attendees are traveling from - Gatherings with attendees who are traveling from different places pose a higher risk than gatherings with attendees who live in the same area. Higher levels of COVID-19 cases and community spread in the gathering location, or where attendees are coming from, increase the risk of infection and spread among attendees.
- The behaviors of attendees prior to the gathering - Gatherings with attendees who are not adhering to social distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart), mask-wearing, hand washing, and other prevention behaviors pose more risk than gatherings with attendees who are engaging in these preventative behaviors.
- The behaviors of the attendees during the gathering - Gatherings with more preventive measures, such as mask-wearing, social distancing, and handwashing, in place pose less risk than gatherings where fewer or no preventive measures are being implemented.
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)
For more information on COVID-19:
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
Oregon COVID-19 Testing Location Finder: https://govstatus.egov.com/or-oha-covid-19-testing