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Jackson County reports 18 more cases of COVID-19 Tuesday

Jackson County Public Health reported 18 more cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, pushing the local total to 728 cases, including 229 that are still active and considered infectious.

Sixty-one hospitalizations and two deaths from the illness have been reported in the county, which remains on Gov. Kate Brown’s watch list due to a recent surge in sporadic cases, or cases that cannot be traced back to a known source.

If the increase continues, Jackson County could revert back to earlier, more restrictive reopening phases. County health officials urge residents to abide by physical distancing guidelines, wear a mask in public and wash their hands frequently and thoroughly. Limiting exposure to those you come into contact with is also key, officials said, especially with Labor Day two weeks away.

“Activities that take place outdoors that allow for enough room to maintain physical distancing and involve fewer people are lower risk activities compared to activities that take place indoors that do not allow for physical distancing and involve more people,” the county said in a press release. “This guidance will be critical to follow as we approach Labor Day weekend.”

The Oregon Health Authority reported 247 more cases and seven more deaths across the state Tuesday, pushing the number of cases to 25,391, with 427 deaths.

The state’s positive test rate for the illness has decreased, according to OHA. On Aug. 1, 6.2% of all tests came back positive. The rate dropped to 5.2% the weeks of Aug. 8 and Aug. 15, and dropped to 5.1% the week of Aug. 22.