MEDFORD, Ore. – Today Jackson County reported five new cases of COVID-19, bringing the county total to 65 cases.
There was early mention of some Phase 2 requirements at on the onset of Phase 1 but no official Phase 2 requirements have been released by the Oregon Health Authority of Governor Brown’s office.
At the onset of Phase 1, it was announced that counties must wait a minimum of 21 days before entering Phase 2 and that during that time there cannot be a spike in cases. However, there hasn’t been any clarification on what happens if there is a spike and what is considered to be a spike.
According to the Oregon Health Authority, seeing an increase in cases or hospitalizations does not automatically trigger a change in a county’s status. OHA says they’re looking at a number of things to make a determination of whether or not a county can move on to Phase 2.
For that reason, Jackson County Public Health says they don’t see Jackson county’s recent cases being a reason that the county cannot continue into Phase 2.
“Oregon Health Authority has definitely developed the metrics in a way that is meant to be fluid so they would definitely work with us,” said Tanya Phillips, Heath Promotion Manager for Jackson County Public Health, “Being able to do the contact tracing plays a big role in that as well and overall I think Jackson County is doing well.”
According to Phillips, an increase in cases can be expected with an increase in human contact throughout the county as we go through Phase 1.
“At the end of the day, we want people to understand that we all have a responsibility in preventing and slowing the spread of COVID-19. That’s why we talk about those preventative measures as much as we do because we don’t have a vaccine, we don’t have a medical response to prevent it,” said Phillips.
Jackson County says they are anxiously waiting to receive guidance on Phase 2.
“Currently we have not received guidance on what phase 2 prerequisites,” said John Vial, the COVID-19 Emergency Operations Center Director for Jackson County, “as soon as we receive some clear guidance Jackson County is fully committed to jumping on that as fast as we can to try to meet the prerequisites, whatever they are, submit whatever reports are needed, do whatever is necessary to try to help our economy and our community move forward.”