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The state of emergency in Jackson County is effective March 19th and will expire on May 31st, unless rescinded or extended further.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

Confirmed Cases: 19699

Reported Deaths: 333
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah455393
Washington287723
Marion271368
Umatilla212224
Clackamas144337
Malheur70812
Deschutes5488
Lane5353
Jackson4111
Yamhill39912
Lincoln3959
Union3922
Jefferson3243
Morrow3162
Polk30012
Linn25510
Klamath1981
Hood River1740
Wasco1713
Benton1606
Douglas1391
Josephine1071
Coos880
Columbia840
Clatsop820
Crook431
Baker350
Lake320
Tillamook320
Wallowa191
Curry140
Sherman140
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant20
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 526685

Reported Deaths: 9684
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1958054760
Riverside38487738
Orange38066653
San Bernardino34017477
San Diego30516568
Kern21228151
Fresno15759138
San Joaquin11958180
Alameda11909192
Santa Clara11030192
Sacramento10174148
Tulare9990193
Imperial9513232
Stanislaus9308135
Contra Costa8176131
Ventura787777
San Francisco698961
Santa Barbara652663
San Mateo5744120
Marin518076
Monterey496634
Merced458351
Kings445356
Solano380638
Sonoma311339
Madera211432
Placer195318
San Luis Obispo192616
Yolo161442
Santa Cruz11964
Butte10128
Napa9809
Sutter8406
San Benito6894
El Dorado6681
Lassen6320
Yuba5334
Shasta3979
Colusa3574
Mendocino3419
Glenn3321
Nevada3161
Tehama2461
Humboldt2454
Lake2111
Mono1451
Tuolumne1442
Amador1370
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou880
Inyo641
Mariposa592
Plumas330
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
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Brookings
Broken Clouds
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Crater Lake
Broken Clouds
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Hi: 86° Lo: 51°
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Grants Pass
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 86°
Klamath Falls
Few Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 84°
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