MEDFORD, Ore. — Public health officials in Jackson County say that one more positive case of the COVID-19 coronavirus has been found in the county as of Tuesday morning, bringing the total to 21.
Over the past few days, Jackson County Public Health has said that the area is now in the phase of "rapid community spread" of coronavirus.
In a statement on Tuesday, officials said that these cases did not indicate any hot spots in the county — rather they are equally distributed throughout, demonstrating "spread that is widespread."
“It is best that everyone be cautious and not assume that one location is safer than another,” said Jackson Baures, Jackson County Public Health Division Manager. “COVID-19 is spreading in our community, and this is why practicing social distancing, that includes staying home and minimizing outings, is so critical right now.”
In some cases, the County has released demographic information about the diagnosed individuals. While cases have skewed toward people age 50 or above, there have been several cases of people in their 30s.
Officials in southern Oregon have preferred to use back-tracking investigations to quietly contact any people who have been in close quarters with the individual, followed by quarantine and monitoring for symptoms.
With the latest test results in Oregon and across the United States, there is more evidence of active community spread of COVID-19, and Jackson County said that this is something they have expected to see in Oregon and in Jackson County.
Governor Kate Brown issued executive orders that take additional steps to ensure that Oregonians stay home in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 on March 23.
Under the new executive orders are directives for individuals to maintain social distancing. These directives state during the ongoing state of emergency that, to the maximum extent possible, individuals are to stay home or at their place of residence.
“We have to come together as a community, as one team, and actively practice social distancing and staying home, this is how we are going to protect our community, our healthcare system and healthcare workers,” said Dr. Jim Shames, Jackson County Health Officer. “This whole community approach is the only way we are going to get through this, and we will get through this.”
- Stay home as much as possible; this includes kids
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others any time you are out
- Go out only for essentials (groceries and medical care)
- Exercise outside (hiking, biking) only if you can be 6 feet apart from others
- Have video and phone chats
- Drop food off to neighbors who can’t go out
- Gather in groups
- Get together with friends (no drinks or dinners)
- Have playdates for kids
- Make unnecessary trips
"Social distancing is the most critical action Jackson County residents need to take right now in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of the community," health officals said. "By slowing the spread of COVID-19, we are flattening the curve. The curve is the number of people projected to contract COVID-19. The faster the infection curve rises, the quicker the local healthcare system gets overloaded beyond its capacity to treat people. By slowing the infection rate, the infection curve flattens, allowing our healthcare system to operate and care for those who need it. Stay home and save a life."