MEDFORD, Ore. — Jackson County Public Health reported an unprecedented seven more people dead from coronavirus as of Thursday, bringing the county's death toll to 19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
Some of the details on those deaths were not yet available on Thursday, but only one of the cases died in a hospital. Six of them died at their residences — possibly homes, but likely several at long-term care facilities.
Public health officials gave the following information about the deaths:
- Jackson County’s 13th COVID-19 death is a 91-year-old male who tested positive on November 3 and died on November 13 at his residence. He had underlying medical conditions.
- Jackson County’s 14th COVID-19 death is a 74-year-old female who tested positive on November 4 and died on November 17 at Providence Medford Medical Center. The patient had underlying medical conditions.
- Jackson County’s 15th COVID-19 death is a 77-year-old female who tested positive on November 6 and died on November 18 at her residence. The presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed.
- Jackson County’s 16th COVID-19 death is an 89-year-old male who tested positive on November 9 and died on November 11 at his residence. The presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed.
- Jackson County’s 17th COVID-19 death is a 94-year-old female who tested positive on November 9 and died on November 16 at her residence. The presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed.
- Jackson County’s 18th COVID-19 death is an 86-year-old male who tested positive on November 10 and died on November 14 at his residence. The presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed.
- Jackson County’s 19th COVID-19 death is an 81-year-old female who tested positive on November 10 and died on November 16 at her residence. The presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed.
Based on Jackson County Public Health's data, outbreaks at long-term care facilities have spurred many of the recent deaths. As of Thursday, officials reported six deaths from Avamere at Three Fountains, one from Avamere Health Services of Rogue Valley, and four from Table Rock Memory Care — all three facilities with dozens of cases among both residents and staff.
Jackson County also marked 89 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the running total to 3,157.
The vast majority of cases have long been concentrated among younger adults, between the ages of 20 and 50. But deaths and hospitalizations overwhelmingly occur in people over the age of 50. The risk, then, of uncontrolled and untraceable community spread becomes evident when spread reaches older or more vulnerable adults, as it has in local long-term care centers.
“Thanksgiving will be different this year. Please do not bring others into your family unit. Please do not travel out of your community. We don’t want a large Thanksgiving celebration to result in a small Christmas funeral,” said Dr. Jim Shames, Jackson County's Health Officer.
Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household (who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19) poses the lowest risk for spread, officials said. Your household is anyone who currently lives and shares common spaces in your housing unit (such as your house or apartment). This can include family members, as well as roommates or people who are unrelated to you.
People who do not currently live in your housing unit, such as college students who are returning home from school for the holidays, should be considered part of different households. In-person gatherings that bring together family members or friends from different households — including college students returning home — pose varying levels of risk, Jackson County Public Health said.