[Medford, Oregon] — April 2, 2020, Jackson County Public Health is reporting five new COVID-19 cases. There is now a total of 27 COVID-19 cases in Jackson County. There are no fatalities from COVID-19 in Jackson County at this time.
Cases in Jackson County are largely distributed throughout the county, which demonstrates community spread, and spread that is widespread. Therefore, one city is not safer than another. It is best that everyone practice social distancing when they are out accessing essential services, minimize the number of times they need to access essential services, stay at home, avoid having home social gatherings, and wash their hands frequently. These actions should be taken by all people, of all ages.
Jackson County Public Health recently released information that they believe it may be beneficial for people to wear alternative masks, such as a homemade cloth mask, while being out in public accessing essential services. This is based on recent information that people with COVID-19, who are asymptomatic, may be spreading the virus to people and not know it and that the virus can be transmitted from droplets produced by talking as well as coughing.
The goal of wearing alternative masks is to create a physical barrier that prevents droplets from landing on others and help prevent the wearer from touching their faces. Do-it-yourself masks can provide protection to the public without impacting the supply of manufactured masks needed for healthcare workers. According to Dr. Jim Shames, “when we both wear a face mask, I protect you and you protect me.”
Wearing an alternative mask does not mean that you no longer have to practice social distancing, frequent hand washing, staying home, or avoiding people when you are ill. Wearing an alternative mask can be in conjunction with the continuation of these important prevention activities. Jackson County Public Health is NOT recommending that you purchase manufactured surgical masks. Please save them for the healthcare workers that rely on them for protection.
Here are what individuals should and shouldn’t do under Governor Kate Brown’s executive orders that are in place to flatten the curve:
- Stay home as much as possible; this includes kids and teens
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others any time you are out
- Go out only for essentials (groceries and medical care), drop food off to neighbors who can’t go out
- Exercise outside and remain 6 feet apart from other people
- Have video and phone chats
- Gather in groups
- Get together with friends and family outside your immediate household (no drinks or dinners)
- Have playdates for kids
- Make unnecessary trips
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
Jackson County Health and Human Services: http://jacksoncountyor.org/hhs/COVID-19
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