MEDFORD, Ore. — Contact tracers from Jackson County Public Health are investigating a coronavirus outbreak linked to Joy Church in Medford, the agency said on Friday. So far, 18 cases have been associated with the outbreak.
Tracing of the outbreak has led to another county in Oregon and "possible secondary exposure" at other workplaces, Jackson County Public Health said.
The agency is working with the congregation of Joy Church, which has been posting updates on its Facebook page since the first cases emerged. Services have moved online while the public health investigation continues. The church first posted about the cases on October 7.
"Jackson County Public Health continues to see clusters and outbreaks associated with social get-togethers and gatherings. Overall, the more people someone is in contact with, and for extended periods, not wearing a mask or keeping 6 feet distance, increases the likelihood of COVID-19 spreading," the agency said.
Jackson County reported 18 new cases on Friday, bringing the running total to 1,448. At least 200 cases are still considered active, and a total of 106 people have been hospitalized since the pandemic began — up from 10 at the beginning of July.
As of last week, Jackson County's test positivity rate — the percentage of positive cases out of total tests — remained above 6 percent. At both the county and state level, test positivity must be under 5 percent to meet important benchmarks that would allow for expanded in-person schooling.