MEDFORD, Ore. -- Officials with Jackson County Public Health reported 15 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the highest single-day increase in the county since the outbreak reached southern Oregon.
A statement from the County did not provide many specific details surrounding the new cases, but did stress the importance of wearing face coverings and observing social distancing and sanitation requirements ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.
In a joint press conference on Monday, health officials from both Jackson and Josephine counties said that a number of the new cases have been among younger people and identified through contact tracing. Many of the most recent cases had been linked to just a handful of social gatherings.
NewsWatch 12 will be contacting the County for more information on the new cases.
Jackson County Public Health reported 15 new cases on Tuesday — and one case transferred to a different county — bringing the total to 131. As of Thursday, at least 65 people were considered recovered from the virus.
"Oregonians statewide are now required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces," the agency said. "The guidance applies to businesses and members of the public visiting indoor public spaces. Jackson County Public Health also recommends that face coverings made from cloth or paper be worn in social settings that consist of people outside the immediate household."
"Face coverings are an additional step to help slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with every day preventive actions and social distancing in public and social settings," officials continued. "Because travel increases your chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19, staying close to home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick, especially during the 4th of July holiday weekend."
At least 12,222 people have been tested for the virus in Jackson County. So far 13 people have been hospitalized for the virus, most of them in older age groups. Three of those hospitalizations were added on Thursday.
Klamath County Public Health reported one new confirmed case on Wednesday, bringing the County total to 123. County officials say that at least 52 of those cases have recovered and are no longer active.
Officials also said that one person has died due to COVID-19, the first known fatality in Klamath County and the second in southern Oregon.
"Effective today, Governor Kate Brown has indicated that fabric masks be worn in public settings," officials said. "It is vital that members of our community continue to practice all recommended personal actions at work, in public, and in social circles. It can be easy to feel more secure and protected when with family and friends, but we all must be mindful about developing a false sense of security in these settings."
"Now, more than ever, it is critically important for everyone to protect themselves and others through personal actions," Klamath County continued. "It is also important to remember that each action alone does not provide total protection, and that all recommendations must be followed to best reduce risk of exposure."
As of Wednesday, Klamath County said that it had processed 5,143 tests.
Josephine County Public Health reported one new positive cases on Thursday, bringing the county total to 42 total cases.
Public Health officials said they were notified of the case by the official medical record system provided by the Oregon Health Authority.
"Josephine County Public Health is investigating all cases to identify contacts and exposures and to isolate and monitor all individuals relevant to the cases," the agency said. "Public Health will reach out to anyone suspected of exposure to COVID-19."
Of the 42 total cases, 26 people have recovered and one person died from complications relating to a COVID-19 infection. The county marked the first death attributed to the virus in southern Oregon on April 11, an 81-year-old man.
Lake County last reported 19 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
"Continue to use face coverings and practice social distancing if you are in public," Lake Health District. "Practice regular handwashing and sanitize frequently used items. If you are sick, stay home."
Curry County last reported a total of 7 cases, all considered recovered. 627 people had tested negative for the virus as of the last report.
Siskiyou County officials last reported 31 total confirmed cases in the county. 24 of those cases have since recovered.
Officials say that Siskiyou County has tested 3,491people. 3,352 tests have been negative. There are 108 tests currently awaiting results.
Total number of cases (presumptive and confirmed) by county for the southern Oregon and Siskiyou County region:
- Jackson: 131 (65 recovered)
- Klamath: 123 (52 recovered)
- Josephine: 42 (26 recovered, 1 death)
- Lake: 19
- Curry: 7 (7 recovered)
- Siskiyou: 31 (24 recovered)
Tune into NewsWatch 12 at 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. tonight for the most up to date Coronavirus numbers and information.