MEDFORD, Ore. — With Jackson County continuing to languish under Oregon's "Extreme Risk" level coronavirus restrictions, the County Board of Commissioners announced on Tuesday that they will hold a public hearing this week to hear comment on the impact of those restrictions.
Like many Oregon counties, Jackson County went directly from a two-week "freeze" for the second half of November into Extreme Risk restrictions under the risk level system introduced in the beginning of December. But Jackson County is one of a dwindling number of counties that has yet to step down from that highest level of restrictions.
The Extreme Risk level prohibits indoor dining, and — until recently — closed indoor fitness and entertainment establishments. Later updates allowed for very limited occupancy at gyms and theaters.
Public health officials announced on Tuesday that they anticipate Jackson County will finally step down one level to High Risk on Friday.
The county risk level determinations are evaluated weekly and can be changed by the Oregon Health Authority based on several indicators depending on the county population. Those indicators include the rate of COVID-19 per 100,000 people over 14 days, the number of COVID-19 cases over 14 days in less-populated counties, and the percentage of test positivity over 14 days for especially rural counties.
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners said that it will hold a public hearing via videoconference on Thursday, beginning at 9 a.m. If needed, the hearing could spill over into Friday.
According to a statement from the commissioners, public comments are only being sought from citizens and businesses on the current sector guidance for these activities — social and at-home gathering size; eating and drinking establishments; indoor recreation and fitness establishments; indoor entertainment establishments; retail stores; indoor and outdoor shopping centers/malls; faith institutions, funeral homes, mortuaries, cemeteries; offices; outdoor recreation and fitness establishments; outdoor entertainment establishments; personal services; and long-term care.
- The meeting may be listened to on the phone by calling 253-215-8782 and entering Webinar ID No. 957-7135-9061.
- You may view this meeting on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/jacksoncountyoregon
- Anyone interested can provide oral or written testimony, the former limited to two minutes per person.
- Audio comments may be provided by emailing BoC-CAO_Admin@jacksoncounty.org, or calling 541-774-6116 to register.
- The public is encouraged to submit comments in writing, either by mail to 10 South Oakdale, Room 214, Medford OR 97501, or by email to BoC-CAO_Admin@jacksoncounty.org. All written correspondence must include the author’s name and address to be accepted into the public hearing record.