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Jackson County at 23 COVID-19 deaths

Public health officials have announced four more deaths related to the coronavirus — including three linked to outbreaks at assisted living facilities in Medford — bringing the county’s death toll to 23.

Men ages 83 and 84, and women ages 85 and 77, comprise the deaths recorded Saturday, according to a release issued by Jackson County Health & Human Services. One death was linked to Avamere at Three Fountains in Medford, another to Avamere Health Services of Rogue Valley in Medford and another to Table Rock Memory Care in Medford.

The deaths bring the number of COVID-19 related fatalities stemming from Southern Oregon care home outbreaks to 14, according to Jackson County Public Health numbers, including nine coronavirus deaths of assisted living patients recorded just this week.

There were 332 COVID-19 cases linked to outbreaks at eight care homes as of Saturday — a 22% increase in the number of coronavirus cases at care homes compared to Nov. 14 numbers.

Broken down by facility, there were 118 COVID-19 cases and seven fatalities linked to Avamere at Three Fountains in Medford in an outbreak first reported Nov. 2; 77 cases and two fatalities at an outbreak at Avamere Health Services of Rogue Valley since Oct. 4; 96 cases and five fatalities at Table Rock Memory Care in Medford; 11 cases at Linda Vista in Ashland since Oct. 16; 10 cases at Orchard Assisted Living in Medford since Oct. 5; four cases at Avamere at Waterford in Medford since Nov. 4; and 16 cases at Rogue Valley Manor since Oct. 6.

County health officials recorded 63 new cases Saturday — 29 linked to assisted living home outbreaks — bringing the case count to 3,303. Of those 3,303 cases, 875 are considered active or infectious, meaning that the patient is shedding the virus at a rate likely to infect another person.

Oregon Health Authority data showed that hospitals in Jackson and Josephine counties were nearing capacity.

More than 85 percent of the 447 non intensive care unit hospital beds were occupied Friday, according to Oregon Health Authority data, showing just 66 beds available.

More than 87 percent of the hospital region’s 57 intensive care hospital beds were in use as of Friday, according to state health officials, with only seven vacant beds.

Of the 431 patients Friday in the hospital region, there were 54 coronavirus patients, according to the state. The number was one lower than Thursday’s peak of 55 patients in hospital Region 5 — which includes hospitals in Jackson and Josephine County.

Those coronavirus hospitalization numbers are quadruple the number of hospitalizations in the region at the start of the month. On Nov. 2, there were 14 COVID-19 positive patients in local hospitals and matching the record set on Aug. 5 and Oct. 5, 15 and 16.

The region’s hospitalizations jumped to 27 patients on Nov. 7, rose to 34 on Nov. 10, reached 39 on Nov. 15, 53 on Wednesday and 55 on Thursday, according to th Oregon Health Authority.

Statewide, the Oregon Health Authority recorded 1,509 new coronavirus cases Saturday, shattering Friday’s record by more than 200 cases.

Broken down by county, the cases reported Saturday included 414 cases in Multnomah, 224 in Washington, 124 in Marion, 122 in Clackamas, 87 in Lane, 60 in Yamhill, 45 in Linn, 42 in Polk, 40 in Umatilla, 37 in Douglas, 35 in Deschutes, 31 in Union, 22 in Benton, 20 in Klamath, 16 in Josephine, 14 in Wasco, 11 in Grant, 10 in Columbia and Morrow counties, nine in Baker, eight in Jefferson, seven in Lake, six in Coos and Hood River, five in Clatsop, four in Curry and Lincoln counties, three in Crook and Harney counties and one case in Wheeler County.

State health officials recorded seven deaths — including the four recorded in Jackson County. The other three fatalities were a 76-year-old Douglas County man, a 75-year-old Columbia County woman and an 86-year-old Washington County man. The Douglas County, Columbia County and Washington County patients each had underlying conditions, according to health officials. Three of the four Jackson County health officials say that three of the four local patients had underlying conditions, and are still determining presence of underlying conditions on a fourth patient.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.