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The state of emergency in Jackson County is effective March 19th and will expire on May 31st, unless rescinded or extended further.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: 314841

Reported Deaths: 3624
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah51325643
Washington35086277
Marion32748396
Clackamas26680275
Lane24145248
Jackson21050257
Deschutes16703103
Umatilla12736125
Douglas10795188
Linn1051487
Josephine8685169
Yamhill752099
Klamath651892
Polk629171
Malheur485567
Benton463728
Coos420669
Columbia325439
Jefferson315347
Lincoln277930
Union274838
Wasco242339
Crook213639
Clatsop213225
Tillamook182023
Baker176123
Morrow168621
Curry167817
Hood River163435
Harney82319
Grant7848
Lake6988
Wallowa50811
Gilliam1374
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4651497

Reported Deaths: 68087
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144634825870
Riverside3583834802
San Diego3502674021
San Bernardino3475745507
Orange3150815355
Sacramento1507202105
Santa Clara1407321841
Kern1362881521
Fresno1361631889
Alameda1164051330
Ventura978991120
San Joaquin975341615
Contra Costa95858924
Stanislaus808921235
Tulare73111896
San Mateo52311607
San Francisco52008605
Monterey49485565
Solano44247312
Santa Barbara43189500
Sonoma39476378
Merced39446536
Placer36612364
Imperial34285755
Kings30179285
San Luis Obispo28351313
Madera21749263
Butte21379231
Shasta20763279
Santa Cruz20176211
Yolo19192239
Marin17127242
El Dorado16037127
Sutter13122153
Napa1228795
Yuba928061
Nevada850185
Humboldt831988
Tehama827784
San Benito709567
Mendocino691176
Lassen637927
Tuolumne616993
Lake605887
Amador493059
Glenn399030
Siskiyou391541
Calaveras342766
Del Norte339034
Colusa291018
Inyo166739
Mono14935
Plumas12406
Mariposa100712
Trinity72610
Modoc6278
Unassigned2120
Sierra1980
Alpine1000
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