Jackson County Public Health reports 84 new COVID-19 cases as of 12:01 am on November 6, 2020. Today’s daily case report marks another new record for the number of daily cases reported in a day. This update brings the total reported COVID-19 cases in Jackson County to 2,198. 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.
“The total number of cases in Jackson County are rising quickly, and our death rate is at eight and destined to go higher as well, says Dr. Jim Shames, Jackson County Health Officer. “It is time for each of us to do some soul searching concerning our personal behaviors which put others at risk.”
“When you attend a birthday party, or a public gathering, or hang out with friends at a bar, the consequences are often tragic, even if you don’t see the results yourself. We at Public Health do see those results. We can connect the dots from one infected person to others,” says Tanya Phillips, Health Promotion Manager at Jackson County Public Health.
Jackson County is mirroring a trend seen statewide. Social gatherings of various sizes (often multi-generational) continue to play a significant role in our sharply increasing case counts. Reports of birthday parties, get-togethers with friends, weddings, etc. continue to occur. Attendees at these events then spread the virus to their homes, workplaces, schools, places of worship, etc.
Here are examples of what we see in our own community:
- A multi-generational family has a birthday party. Everyone is so happy to get together and celebrate this special event. Within the week, over a dozen family members are infected with COVID-19. Those people then go about their daily routines, attending work that includes working with vulnerable populations at nursing homes in the valley, and sending kids to daycare facilities. Soon you have outbreaks at these facilities. Some of those cases end up in the hospital, some are desperately ill, and at least one person has died from COVID-19.
- A church holds prayer events and attends out of area conclaves. Parishioners get infected and go back to their households and workplaces. The disease spreads all over the State. “Contact tracing is limited because of distrust of Public Health, and the actual number of affected individuals remains unknown, but dozens of cases are tracked to one or two individuals,” says Dr. Jim Shames.
“We are in this together. Your actions affect all of us, whether you see it or not, and frankly, whether you believe it or not. Please wear a mask. Please keep your distance. Please avoid indoor gatherings. Let’s do our part to keep our loved ones, our neighbors, and ourselves, safe,” says Dr. Jim Shames.
The colder weather and holidays bring people indoors, which increases the risk of COVID-19 spreading. If you are holding a family/friend gathering, consider implementing the following steps to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19:
- Gatherings are for well people: people who are sick, have COVID-19, are a close contact to a confirmed case, have a pending COVID-19 test should not attend the gathering
- Increase indoor ventilation: ensuring proper ventilation can reduce airborne contaminants, including viruses, indoors. Open window, use HVAC system, consider upgrading filters, turn bathroom fans on and run them continuously, or use a portable air cleaner or purifier. Indoor gathers with poor ventilation pose more risk than those with good ventilation. For more information, visit the EPA Indoor Air in Homes and Coronavirus.
- Wear a mask- despite being with family and friends, wearing a mask continues to be an effective way of reducing the spread of COVID-19.
- Limit the number of guests- it is best to limit the number of people indoors; the Governor of Oregon has an indoor gathering limit of 10 or fewer people with physical distancing.
- Practice physical distancing- space out chairs at the table and consider not staying with family and friends in their home.
For more information on how to celebrate Fall and Winter holidays safely, visit the CDC COVID-19 Holiday Celebrations webpage.
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: