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The state of emergency in Jackson County is effective March 19th and will expire on May 31st, unless rescinded or extended further.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: 133851

Reported Deaths: 1803
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28467459
Washington18734171
Marion16247239
Clackamas11698138
Lane8353109
Jackson693085
Umatilla679368
Deschutes499936
Yamhill319045
Malheur313552
Linn311646
Polk245540
Klamath242838
Josephine174333
Benton170514
Jefferson170525
Douglas168743
Union111416
Wasco108123
Columbia104918
Lincoln99617
Hood River95421
Coos93815
Morrow93810
Clatsop6865
Crook62110
Baker5685
Tillamook3652
Curry3245
Lake2305
Grant2131
Harney1754
Wallowa963
Gilliam511
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3015644

Reported Deaths: 33724
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles102419013936
San Bernardino2540941560
Riverside2422062517
Orange2123892367
San Diego2117872103
Santa Clara935571076
Kern85362565
Fresno82039932
Sacramento801541080
Alameda67375764
Ventura61257412
San Joaquin57094748
Contra Costa52146449
Stanislaus42548749
Tulare41016501
Monterey35418250
San Mateo32186294
San Francisco29139262
Imperial25253463
Solano25216105
Santa Barbara24481231
Sonoma23871240
Merced23800296
Kings19254133
Placer17194173
San Luis Obispo15658128
Madera13328130
Santa Cruz12196113
Marin11569154
Yolo10519131
Shasta9594117
Butte9411121
El Dorado765944
Sutter760477
Napa752139
Lassen509413
San Benito494143
Yuba481827
Tehama397142
Tuolumne330438
Nevada317673
Mendocino311432
Amador300129
Lake257228
Humboldt232224
Glenn192419
Colusa16919
Calaveras160823
Siskiyou140813
Mono10914
Inyo92429
Del Norte8572
Plumas5735
Modoc3793
Mariposa3464
Trinity3024
Alpine730
Sierra700
Unassigned00
Medford
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