MEDFORD, Ore. — Jackson County Public Health reported on Wednesday that two more people died over the weekend as a result of coronavirus, bringing the county death toll to 37.
Public health officials said that a 79-year-old man tested positive on October 23 and died on November 28. A 74-year-old woman tested positive on November 15 and died on November 29. Both passed away at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. While the man had underlying health conditions, the presence of underlying conditions for the woman are still being confirmed.
Jackson County also reported 65 new cases of the virus on Wednesday, bringing the county total since the beginning of the pandemic to 4,018. Based on county data, nearly 700 of those cases are still considered active infections.
While daily case counts in Jackson County have been gradually dropping over the past week — suggesting that the after-Halloween surge has begun to abate somewhat — health officials are still overwhelmed by the existing case loads and have been bracing for anticipated spread from Thanksgiving gatherings.
"Due to the surge in cases and depending on when test results are reported to the local public health authority, cases and close contacts may not hear from local health departments in a timely fashion," Jackson County Public Health warned in a statement. "Also, if a case is reluctant to name people they may have exposed while they were infectious during the interview process or refuse to answer calls from public health departments, contact tracers will not be able to notify close contacts of cases."
If you test positive or are a close contact of a someone who has, Jackson County says it has information to "address some of these obstacles" — directing people to the county's COVID-19 web page. The page has details on what to do if you test positive, including notification of your close contacts, and what to do if you've been around someone with the virus.
The County's ongoing assessment of outbreaks at local long-term care facilities found no new deaths and relatively flat case rates between Tuesday and Wednesday. As of Tuesday's report, just three of those outbreaks had resulted in a total of 23 deaths.