MEDFORD, Ore. — Jackson County Public Health reported 23 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, the highest daily total since the pandemic reached southern Oregon in March.
Friday's update brought the county total to 536 total cases, at least 157 of which are considered active infectious cases. Two deaths have been attributed to the virus, and Jackson County reports 44 total hospitalizations since the pandemic began — up from 10 at the beginning of July.
One case reported on Thursday was a "duplicate," health officials said, and has been removed from the total case count.
"The more people a person interacts with and for extended amounts of time, the higher the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19," Jackson County said. "By knowing and understanding the risk of our actions and activities, we can make informed decisions that not only impact our own health but also protect the health of everyone around us. It is important that people not treat one location safer than another and continue wearing a face covering, use physical distancing, and washing your hands."
Jackson County has been tracking its test positivity rate, which has become vital for schools looking to reopen under state COVID-19 metrics. The last available full week of testing, August 2 to 8, produced a positivity rate of 4.3 percent — an improvement over prior weeks, and good news for school officials.
The county positivity rate must be 5 percent or less for three weeks in a row for in-person classes to resume for at least grades K-3, but schools are also beholden to a case rate of fewer than 30 cases per 100,000 people in the county.
This is a developing story and will be updated with more details as they emerge.