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: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5060666

Reported Deaths: 74152
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152491227121
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581504
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
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