MEDFORD, Ore. — Jackson County Public Health reported 54 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, shattering the last single-day high set last week.
The agency said that last week's 177 new cases marked a 31 percent increase over the week prior, and the highest number of new cases reported in a week. The test positivity rate — or the ratio of positive tests out of total tests performed — shot up to 8.1 percent, from 6.5 percent the week prior. The benchmark for in-person learning at local schools remains 5 percent.
"Jackson County continues to see spread occur from indoor social gatherings and within a household or multiple households," health officials said. "The colder weather and holidays bring people indoors, which increases the risk of COVID-19 spreading."
Thursday's report brought the County's total cases to 1,796 since the beginning of the pandemic. At least 231 cases are still considered active infections. Hospitalizations are at 124 since the pandemic began — up from 10 at the beginning of July, after Jackson County transitioned to Phase II of reopening.
Jackson County had the following input for social gatherings to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
- Gatherings are for well people: people who are sick, have COVID-19, are a close contact to a confirmed case, have a pending COVID-19 test should not attend the gathering
- Increase indoor ventilation: ensuring proper ventilation can reduce airborne contaminants, including viruses, indoors. Open window, use HVAC system, consider upgrading filters, turn bathroom fans on and run them continuously, or use a portable air cleaner or purifier. Indoor gathers with poor ventilation pose more risk than those with good ventilation. For more information, visit the EPA Indoor Air in Homes and Coronavirus.
- Wear a mask- despite being with family and friends, wearing a mask continues to be an effective way of reducing the spread of COVID-19.
- Limit the number of guests- it is best to limit the number of people indoors; the Governor of Oregon has an indoor gathering limit of 10 or fewer people with physical distancing.
- Practice physical distancing- space out chairs at the table and consider not staying with family and friends in their home.
This is a developing story and will be updated with more details as they emerge.