MEDFORD, Ore. — Jackson County has done more testing for COVID-19 per capita than any other county in the state of Oregon, county officials confirmed on Monday.
More than 2,200 tests had been completed in Jackson County by Monday. Though Multnomah and Washington counties have tested a higher number of people, they also have comparatively much larger populations.
"Asante, Providence Medford Medical Center, La Clinica, Mercy Flights and others in the medical community have done an amazing job getting people tested," shares Mark Orndoff, Jackson County Health and Human Services Director. "They are outstanding partners in keeping the people of Jackson County as safe as possible during this COVID-19 pandemic."
According to a report from the Oregonian/OregonLive, Jackson County has tested more people per capita than any state in the U.S. except for New York, Washington, and Louisiana, which have each experienced serious outbreaks of COVID-19.
Orndoff attributed the high testing volume in part to an "all-hands-on-deck" approach at Jackson County, particularly from the Communicable Disease staff, Public Health division, and some other county departments.
"The tests come in via an Electronic Lab Reporting (ELR) system at all hours of the day and night," Orndoff said of the Communicable Disease program. "Many of these staff members have worked for more than two months straight processing these tests and taking appropriate actions.”
Orndoff credited healthcare providers at Asante, Providence, La Clinica, and Mercy Flights for testing people early and promoting social distancing measures.
“Having local medical providers identifying those who are most at risk or who have been exposed and subsequently recommending their patients limit their movement and exposure throughout our community has, frankly, saved lives,” Orndoff said.
Asante established a drive-up testing station in Medford by midway through March. The same week, Providence announced that its own lab in Portland would begin assisting the Oregon public health lab in processing COVID-19 tests, greatly enhancing the state's ability to quickly expand testing.