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Coronavirus Watch: Josephine County Commissioners encourage community to consult doctors on 'personal approach' to COVID-19

Healthcare providers approached the Josephine County Board of Commissioners more than two weeks ago, asking them to support masking, social distancing, and looking into getting vaccinated.

Posted: Sep 3, 2021 4:27 PM
Updated: Sep 3, 2021 5:47 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The Josephine County Board of Commissioners on Friday issued a statement encouraging members of the local community to "consult with a trusted health care provider about their personal approach to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass has been over-capacity and overwhelmed with the influx of COVID-19 patients for weeks now, and hospitalizations have yet to abate since the surge began to ramp up in the first half of August.

Win Howard, CEO and senior vice-president at Asante Three RIvers, joined with a group of five other healthcare professionals on August 17 in a presentation to the Board of Commissioners. Howard said that they asked the Board to support masking, support social distancing, and encourage constituents to talk to their medical providers about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

"That was our ask, and we asked them to be 'a voice of one' around that," Howard told NewsWatch 12 later that day. "That was the purpose of meeting with them, and for them to understand the seriousness of where we are as a community at this point. So, I think it was clear — we got the message across, I think they heard us, and we'll see how they respond."

Now, more than two weeks later, the Board has indeed issued a response in conjunction with Josephine County Public Health.

“COVID-19 is spreading in our community, and it is likely that our residents may be exposed to the virus as they go about their daily activities,” Commissioner Darin Fowler said. “It is therefore necessary for each member of our community to make a choice about what is best for their personal health in that circumstance.”

The Board's statement acknowledges that choices can include vaccination, noting that three vaccines are currently authorized to slow the spread of COVID-19. To make an appointment or learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations, Josephine County residents can visit the County's website or call (541) 916-7030.

"Of concern is the Delta variant of COVID-19, which is the dominant strain in Oregon and has been confirmed as present in Josephine County," Josephine County said in its statement. "A mutation of the original COVID-19 virus, the Delta variant spreads more easily between individuals than other variants."

As of September 3, Josephine County has logged a total of 7,673 cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. There have been 140 deaths attributed to COVID-19, 607 hospitalizations, and 449 total outbreaks.

Josephine County's vaccination rate among adults is 54.2 percent, or 38,512 people who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Neighboring Jackson County, which along with Josephine County comprises the Oregon Health Authority’s Hospital Region 5, has a vaccination rate of 60.4 percent among adults.

“We encourage residents to wear a face covering while in public indoor spaces and in crowded outdoor areas,” said Mike Weber, Josephine County Public Health director. “A mask that covers both the nose and mouth and keeping a distance of six feet from others can reduce the potential for transmission of the virus.”

This week, hundreds of Rogue Valley healthcare professionals signed onto a brief statement urging members of the community to trust their advice and get the COVID-19 vaccine. By Friday evening, the number of names endorsing the same statement had reached nearly 500:

“You trust us to care for you. You trust us to care for your parents and your children. Please trust us when we encourage you to get vaccinated against Covid-19. It is safe, effective, and may save your life or the life of someone you love. We’ve been vaccinated, and hope you will too.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 345344

Reported Deaths: 4084
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54651678
Washington37724310
Marion35705439
Clackamas28835298
Lane26661291
Jackson22465297
Deschutes19252122
Umatilla14081139
Linn12200114
Douglas11664238
Josephine9174191
Yamhill8438108
Klamath7549106
Polk707380
Malheur542374
Benton521531
Coos481591
Columbia368143
Jefferson355650
Union309944
Lincoln306033
Wasco275839
Crook263643
Clatsop238027
Baker195628
Tillamook191926
Hood River186036
Morrow180223
Curry177019
Harney106424
Grant96512
Lake86910
Wallowa65712
Gilliam1484
Sherman1453
Wheeler941
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4802761

Reported Deaths: 70456
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147341026379
Riverside3689534978
San Diego3631694151
San Bernardino3558485562
Orange3224975513
Sacramento1574982273
Santa Clara1443001886
Fresno1437452048
Kern1437161600
Alameda1197741365
San Joaquin1016431696
Ventura1004421162
Contra Costa99102969
Stanislaus849231310
Tulare78753945
San Francisco53974644
San Mateo53781618
Monterey50676582
Solano45734334
Santa Barbara44770518
Merced41680577
Sonoma40638400
Placer38813412
Imperial35591762
Kings32197312
San Luis Obispo29590330
Madera23420281
Butte23298257
Shasta23230334
Santa Cruz20830217
Yolo20092247
Marin17570243
El Dorado16947149
Sutter13762169
Napa12797100
Yuba992780
Tehama9240103
Humboldt9085108
Nevada902590
Mendocino751686
Lassen743743
San Benito735972
Tuolumne671793
Lake6499103
Amador536763
Siskiyou442742
Glenn429930
Calaveras380279
Del Norte355739
Colusa301618
Inyo194239
Mono16285
Plumas15476
Mariposa126215
Trinity85811
Modoc6678
Sierra1710
Unassigned1480
Alpine1020
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