MEDFORD, Ore. -- Jackson County Public Health continues to see a rise in cases. The County has already surpassed 1,000 cases for the as-yet incomplete reporting week that began Sunday, August 8.
Health officials continue to urge Jackson County residents to get vaccinated and wear masks amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
“Having 416 cases to report in one day was shocking. Last fall, weekly record-high total cases were in the 400 and 500 range; we didn’t see daily case counts reach this level,” said Tanya Phillips, Health Promotion Manager for Jackson County Public Health.
After the new record on Thursday, Jackson County reported a more modest 84 cases for Friday. But Phillips said that the number — which is still nearly as high as days during prior peaks of the virus — can vary day-to-day depending on how many people are getting tested, the presence of lab or system delays, and staffing levels.
“It doesn't change really what we report in a week, it doesn't change that COVID is spreading . . . I want to say it feels rampant in our community, but we have that high transmission in our community,” said Tanya Phillips, health promotion manager for Jackson County Public Health. "It does not change those facts."
With the overwhelming rise in cases, public health officials are asking people who test positive to self-isolate for two weeks and notify all close contacts they’ve had. Public Health staff may not be able to keep up with contact tracing on their own.
“It does not change the fact that our hospitals are at capacity that we have so many cases in a week that Jackson County Public Health can no longer investigate every single case and no longer identify all those contacts either," Phillips added.
Hospitalizations continue to rise, both in Jackson County and throughout the state. JCPH reported that there were 164 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Jackson and Josephine counties on Friday, with 39 patients in an intensive care unit. Statewide, there were 733 patients hospitalized by Friday, dozens more than the day prior, making it another in a series of record-breaking days. There were 185 patients in the ICU.
Getting vaccinated is still the most effective way to avoid getting seriously ill and reduce spread of the virus, which both public health and healthcare officials have repeatedly underlined.