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Jackson County sees most new COVID-19 cases since pandemic started

Jackson County Public Health reported 36 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, the most in one day since the start of the pandemic.

It’s the second time in a week the daily record has fallen. The previous high was 28 Oct. 14.

“We are going in the wrong direction, and it is concerning,” Jackson County Medical Director Dr. Jim Shames said in a press release. “Cases are rising exponentially across Europe, states in the U.S. are reporting increases, including Oregon, and here we are in Jackson County, reporting our highest daily total since the beginning of the pandemic.

“It is a concerning time because we are entering fall and winter, (when) people are indoors more. We all must do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

The new cases raised the county’s total to 1,554, which includes a previously reported case that was removed from the list, though details as to why were not immediately available.

With the holidays approaching, health officials are encouraging residents to consider several factors when getting together with family and friends.

Indoor social gatherings, which are capped at 10 people under OHA guidelines, generally come with a higher risk of spreading the disease, and indoor spaces with poor ventilation pose more of a risk than those with good ventilation, health officials said. The length of gatherings and number of people attending should also be considered.

Gatherings with people traveling from different places pose a higher risk than ones with local attendees. Preventive measures such as masks, physical distancing and thorough, frequent hand washing should be practiced.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 331 new cases and two more deaths Wednesday, pushing the state totals to 40,443 cases and 635 deaths.

The state’s number of weekly cases has dropped slightly, according to the OHA’s weekly report. Oregon reported 2,327 new cases between Oct. 12-18. The previous week the state reported 2,418 cases.

Twenty-seven deaths were reported between Oct. 12-18, and 143 Oregonians were hospitalized, according to the report.

People between the ages of 20-49 account for 56% of the state’s cases, according to OHA’s report.