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: 175121

Reported Deaths: 2460
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah34937568
Washington23491229
Marion20195299
Clackamas15386204
Lane11591144
Jackson9923127
Umatilla796883
Deschutes712972
Linn416063
Yamhill410175
Klamath349059
Polk344252
Malheur342858
Josephine306362
Douglas304765
Benton273218
Jefferson207032
Coos197531
Columbia154526
Union141624
Lincoln130220
Wasco129128
Hood River112529
Morrow107915
Clatsop8958
Crook88019
Baker85814
Curry5959
Tillamook5813
Lake4137
Grant4124
Harney3066
Wallowa1575
Sherman570
Gilliam561
Wheeler251
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3718210

Reported Deaths: 61038
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122899723653
Riverside2972154525
San Bernardino2947794555
San Diego2749603674
Orange2689624896
Santa Clara1170812013
Kern1078591322
Sacramento1011721646
Fresno1005621646
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Ventura802301000
San Joaquin714311334
Contra Costa67019782
Stanislaus603831028
Tulare49383829
Monterey43267357
San Mateo41157560
San Francisco36032523
Santa Barbara33896446
Solano31875239
Merced31196452
Sonoma29696311
Imperial27987719
Kings22774245
Placer21751283
San Luis Obispo20917256
Madera16260239
Santa Cruz15571204
Marin13861226
Yolo13580200
Shasta11677217
Butte11573196
El Dorado9719109
Napa966679
Sutter9268109
Yuba609844
San Benito598663
Lassen566924
Tehama543056
Nevada445775
Tuolumne406664
Mendocino398747
Amador362551
Humboldt358737
Lake340943
Glenn235725
Colusa219816
Calaveras205551
Siskiyou194021
Inyo141738
Del Norte12747
Mono12734
Plumas6906
Modoc4884
Mariposa4247
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned610
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