GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Public health officials in Josephine County reported the area's ninth death attributed to coronavirus on Thursday.
According to Josephine County Public Health, a 68-year-old man tested positive for COVID-19 on November 18 and died at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass on December 9.
Unlike the majority of COVID-19 deaths, which overwhelmingly affect older people or those with medical vulnerabilities, the 68-year-old had no known underlying conditions, officials said.
Josephine County reported its eighth death, a 73-year-old woman, on Wednesday. She also passed away at Asante Three RIvers.
The public health staff in Josephine County have ceased reporting daily case numbers, citing the recent surge in cases which has forced them to redirect personnel toward case outreach, contact tracing, and data entry. According to an agency official, Josephine County Public Health is working to hiring more staff.
Across Oregon, county public health agencies have had to fall back to a triage method of contact tracing after the surge overwhelmed their capacity to trace every positive case. Both Jackson and Klamath County officials have said that they are prioritizing follow-up on cases among higher-risk groups for that reason.