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Josephine County moves to ‘extreme risk’ level for COVID-19 cases

Josephine County Public Health officials say the county has moved to an 'extreme risk' level for COVID-19 cases.

Posted: Nov 30, 2020 5:21 PM

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. -- Josephine County Public Health officials say the county has moved to an 'extreme risk' level for COVID-19 cases.

This means the county is seeing more than 200 case counts per 100,000 over a two-week period. 

Public health director Michael Weber says there are two things working against them right now. One of them is the cold and flu season.

"Respiratory illnesses spread more readily during this time of year," Weber said. "So, people spending more time indoors, being less likely to be at outdoor gatherings, those things just as a broad reality are going to cause -- whether it's cold, the flu or any kind of respiratory illness -- to spread more easily."

This also means when there's a spike in cases, it's not going to drop as quickly.

Weber said the other problem was Halloween.

He says following Halloween, they had a fourfold increase in cases, which resulted in a six-to-eight fold increase.

"It's not 20 to 30 people getting together from Memorial Day. It's you going out with your children, interacting with everybody on the street, going to every door -- you're interacting with hundreds of people," Weber said. "So, Halloween is really just kind of a worst case scenario for us."

Weber says they had a large spike and a decreased rate for bringing the cases back down.

"The purpose of doing something like a 'freeze' isn't to manage the illness, it's to, between events, trying to get your case rate down," Weber said.

Weber says now they're working to boost their contact tracing program.

He says they used to support other counties with their contact tracing efforts, but now they can barely keep up on the case load in Josephine County.

Weber says their goal is to get at least 20 to 30 more contact tracers.

He says contact tracing is one of the best tools they have for making sure the virus doesn't reach areas of bigger concern.

"We've actually had situations where an individual who worked at a long-term care facility went to a social gathering, was exposed to somebody -- who we were able to let them know before they took that disease back into a long-term care facility with them," Weber said. "So, avoiding that kind of exposure is really critical."

Weber says they hope people will limit the amount of social interaction and traveling that they do over the remainder of the holiday season.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 224547

Reported Deaths: 2877
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah42425618
Washington28176259
Marion24842333
Clackamas20349243
Lane15401176
Jackson13240160
Deschutes1074187
Umatilla988394
Linn644882
Yamhill515882
Klamath498279
Douglas479594
Polk440457
Josephine438076
Malheur370967
Benton354822
Jefferson252842
Coos241040
Columbia213732
Union175924
Wasco160631
Lincoln159122
Crook144724
Hood River128934
Morrow125017
Clatsop123711
Baker116018
Curry86512
Tillamook7985
Grant5657
Lake4868
Harney46611
Wallowa2486
Gilliam881
Sherman872
Wheeler491
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4003787

Reported Deaths: 64620
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles131165624721
Riverside3112424667
San Bernardino3095025265
San Diego3011003805
Orange2856205146
Santa Clara1245862183
Sacramento1178311790
Kern1143421428
Fresno1057321746
Alameda980131290
Ventura845891046
Contra Costa78084836
San Joaquin776151461
Stanislaus666191097
Tulare50731854
San Mateo45255588
Monterey44651528
San Francisco41758565
Solano36525261
Santa Barbara36106469
Sonoma33414331
Merced33321485
Imperial29333746
Placer25624307
Kings23790251
San Luis Obispo22356267
Madera17220249
Santa Cruz16779207
Yolo15149215
Marin15039243
Butte13523205
Shasta13179242
El Dorado11312121
Napa1055282
Sutter10343127
Yuba712950
San Benito632664
Tehama592766
Lassen590526
Nevada568575
Humboldt535154
Mendocino485652
Tuolumne469173
Lake440866
Amador395348
Siskiyou259640
Glenn248127
Colusa238118
Calaveras235658
Del Norte174710
Inyo148238
Mono13395
Plumas7926
Modoc5767
Mariposa5377
Trinity4696
Sierra1370
Alpine910
Unassigned810
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