Jackson County now in 'rapid community spread' as confirmed COVID-19 cases rise to seven

Jackson County Public Health announced the new cases of COVID-19 in a press release on Friday morning.

Posted: Mar 24, 2020 9:55 AM
Updated: Mar 27, 2020 2:54 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — Public health officials in Jackson County say that three more positive cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus have been found in the county, bringing the total to seven. Officials also released more details about the demographics of the cases they have seen so far.

"Of the three new cases, one is between the ages of 30-39 and two are between the ages of 70 to 79," Jackson County said. "All cases are believed to be community-acquired. Jackson County Public Health is working to identify and isolate/quarantine any individuals who may have been in close contact with the cases."

Three of the known cases in Jackson County are between the ages of 50-59, three are between the ages of 70-79, and one between the ages of 30-39, officials said. Fifty-seven percent are male and 43 percent are female. Two of the six cases acquired the infection through travel, but all of the latest five are from community spread.

“Jackson County has entered the phase of rapid community spread of Covid-19,” says Dr. Jim Shames, Jackson County Health Officer. “What we are seeing now reflects how well we accomplished personal distancing a week ago. How well we isolate ourselves now will determine how much illness we have next week.”

Previous statements from Jackson County have given few identifying features about the cases, which has been typical for public health authorities in southern Oregon up to this point. In past interviews, officials have cited privacy concerns as the reason for keeping these details confidential. In smaller communities, the risk of a COVID-19 patient being "outed" are much higher, likely to be accompanied by an unwarranted level of stigma.

Officials in southern Oregon have preferred to use back-tracking investigations to quietly contact any people who have been in close quarters with the individual, followed by quarantine and monitoring for symptoms.

On Tuesday Jackson County Public Health announced its third case — believed to be a result of community spread, the first case in the area not found to be travel-related.

"There is no known travel-related exposure or contact with a known case. Therefore, this is believed to be community-acquired," officials said on Tuesday. "Jackson County Public Health is working to identify and isolate/quarantine any individuals who may have been in close contact with the person in the last 14 days."

The first two cases were announced on March 7. Jackson County officials said that both were individuals that had traveled to areas with more active spread of the virus, and both were being isolated at home.


RELATED: Fifth person tests positive for COVID-19 in Josephine County


With the latest test results in Oregon and across the United States, there is more evidence of active community spread of COVID-19, and Jackson County said that this is something they have expected to see in Oregon and in Jackson County.

Governor Kate Brown released new executive orders that take additional steps to ensure that Oregonians stay home in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 on Monday.

Under the new executive orders are directives for individuals to maintain social distancing. These directives state during the ongoing state of emergency that, to the maximum extent possible, individuals are to stay home or at their place of residence.

"We understand the difficulties of practicing social distancing, this is not something we are used to doing, and we miss being close to family and friends," Jackson County said in a statement. "But, by practicing social distancing and staying home, we are slowing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting those who are more likely to suffer severe complications from COVID-19. Those most vulnerable are include adults 60 and older, or anyone with a serious health condition, including lung or heart disease, diabetes, or anyone who has a suppressed immune system."

Here are what individuals should and shouldn’t do:

Do:

  • Stay home as much as possible; this includes kids
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others any time you are out
  • Go out only for essentials (groceries and medical care)
  • Exercise outside (hiking, biking) only if you can be 6 feet apart from others
  • Have video and phone chats
  • Drop food off to neighbors who can’t go out

Don’t:

  • Gather in groups
  • Get together with friends (no drinks or dinners)
  • Have playdates for kids
  • Make unnecessary trips

"Social distancing is the most critical action Jackson County residents need to take right now in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of the community," health officals said. "By slowing the spread of COVID-19, we are flattening the curve. The curve is the number of people projected to contract COVID-19. The faster the infection curve rises, the quicker the local healthcare system gets overloaded beyond its capacity to treat people. By slowing the infection rate, the infection curve flattens, allowing our healthcare system to operate and care for those who need it. Stay home and save a life."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 3967

Reported Deaths: 148
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah105258
Marion91425
Washington69817
Clackamas29610
Deschutes1200
Linn1159
Umatilla1123
Polk9610
Lane672
Yamhill667
Jackson600
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath410
Coos310
Malheur280
Josephine251
Douglas250
Jefferson240
Wasco181
Columbia160
Hood River120
Morrow120
Lincoln90
Tillamook60
Crook60
Curry60
Union60
Wallowa20
Sherman10
Grant10
Harney10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 99387

Reported Deaths: 3819
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles478452145
Riverside7139303
San Diego6797249
Orange5578131
San Bernardino4567176
Alameda298693
Santa Clara2675139
San Francisco239940
San Mateo190482
Kern187629
Tulare177179
Santa Barbara155112
Fresno148222
Contra Costa135337
Imperial135224
Sacramento131056
Ventura91230
San Joaquin77133
Kings6882
Stanislaus65928
Sonoma5154
Solano45520
Monterey4298
Marin41714
Merced2687
San Luis Obispo2631
Santa Cruz2002
Yolo19822
Placer1889
Napa1093
Humboldt942
Madera852
El Dorado780
San Benito762
Sutter422
Nevada411
Butte400
Del Norte400
Shasta364
Mono341
Yuba281
Mendocino220
Inyo191
Mariposa161
Lake140
Calaveras140
Glenn120
Amador100
Siskiyou61
Colusa50
Plumas40
Lassen40
Tuolumne30
Tehama31
Alpine20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
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