Josephine, Jackson counties declare state of emergency due to coronavirus

Both counties announced that they had declared a state of emergency on Thursday to streamline the public health response.

Posted: Mar 19, 2020 9:20 AM
Updated: Mar 19, 2020 3:58 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — Josephine County has joined neighboring Jackson County in declaring a state of emergency as a precaution due to the coronavirus, the Commissioners announced on Thursday.

The vote passed 2-0 with Commissioner Dan DeYoung not present.


Jackson County Public Health officials hold a press conference after two local residents test positive for COVID-19.

“We do not take the step of declaring an emergency lightly,” said Commissioner Darin Fowler, chair of the Board of County Commissioners. “Doing so affords our emergency services manager and local public health director greater ability to respond to COVID-19. We appreciate everything that is being done to keep everyone in our community safe.”

While there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Josephine County, public health officials have consistently said that the disease is likely either already present or soon will be. 88 cases of COVID-19 were reported in the state by Thursday morning, with 10,442 cases confirmed nationwide.

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners announced their declaration of a state of emergency in the county earlier in the day "in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, prevent the overwhelming of health care providers, and otherwise minimize the risk to public health."

The state of emergency in Jackson County is effective March 19th and will expire on May 31st, unless rescinded or extended further.

“The Jackson County Board of Commissioners have shown leadership and taken an important step to ensure we are ready for whatever comes before us,” said County administrator Danny Jordan. “This is not designed to cause any panic for the citizens of Jackson County. It is part of the process in preparing.”

The City of Medford similarly declared a local state of emergency on Monday.

The state of emergency authorizes Jackson County to perform several actions, including the following:

  • Emergency procurement of goods and services.
  • Entering into mutual aid agreements between the County and cities within the County or neighboring counties.
  • Enforcing emergency measures to protect the public.
  • Modifying relevant personnel leave, personnel processes or policies, and workplace requirements, assignments, or designations of County employees.
  • Requesting assistance and potential reimbursements from the State of Oregon and any appropriate Federal agency for response and recovery.

All rules and orders have "the full force and effect of law" during a declared state of emergency.


RELATED: Jackson County employees near strike amid public health vigil for coronavirus


“The Board of Commissioners is committed to following the steps needed to keep the people of Jackson County safe,” said Jackson County board chair Colleen Roberts. “We do not know what is ahead but we are in this together. We all need to follow the steps that create a community with a desire to have the least people possible contract the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).”

As of Thursday morning, Jackson County still had only two confirmed cases of COVID-19, which public health officials said were travel-related exposures. Both people were self-quarantining at home and reportedly had not been hospitalized.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 191774

Reported Deaths: 2533
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah38030585
Washington25362229
Marion21859306
Clackamas17262209
Lane12861146
Jackson10739135
Deschutes875974
Umatilla814084
Linn485267
Yamhill442875
Klamath433061
Polk371352
Malheur350461
Josephine331669
Douglas323170
Benton306019
Jefferson217434
Coos205033
Columbia172726
Union144423
Lincoln137120
Wasco137128
Hood River118330
Morrow110115
Crook107620
Clatsop9768
Baker94714
Curry6459
Tillamook6423
Grant5065
Lake4447
Harney3418
Wallowa1825
Gilliam621
Sherman581
Wheeler281
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3760303

Reported Deaths: 62334
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123582824026
Riverside2991734588
San Bernardino2966554707
San Diego2781823725
Orange2708005008
Santa Clara1189322086
Kern1090521373
Sacramento1044911676
Fresno1017291682
Alameda876371546
Ventura809051011
San Joaquin731741391
Contra Costa68638806
Stanislaus620081056
Tulare49579839
Monterey43595382
San Mateo41903568
San Francisco36669543
Santa Barbara34323456
Solano32864250
Merced31821459
Sonoma30002318
Imperial28388722
Kings22977246
Placer22610291
San Luis Obispo21293260
Madera16444242
Santa Cruz16238206
Marin14040228
Yolo13897209
Shasta12110226
Butte11985199
El Dorado10141113
Napa985781
Sutter9421111
Yuba625346
San Benito605663
Lassen570124
Tehama556362
Nevada473675
Tuolumne412966
Mendocino407249
Humboldt398040
Amador365547
Lake347143
Glenn238225
Colusa223216
Siskiyou220523
Calaveras212553
Inyo142838
Del Norte13808
Mono12804
Plumas7106
Modoc4984
Mariposa4477
Trinity4005
Sierra1120
Alpine880
Unassigned390
Medford
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Brookings
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Klamath Falls
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