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Two more Jackson County residents die of COVID-19

One day after setting a record for the number of coronavirus related fatalities, the Oregon Health Authority recorded another near record-breaking addition to the death toll.

Health officials Wednesday recorded 48 new COVID-19 related deaths across the state, according to an Oregon Health Authority release, which combined with Tuesday’s 54 fatalities represents the state’s highest two-day death toll yet, and bring the number of fatalities in Oregon since the start of the pandemic to 1,262.

Jackson County Public Health reported two more COVID-19 deaths Wednesday, one of which was included in Wednesday’s Oregon Health Authority death toll and another that has not yet been counted by the state.

A 54-year-old man died Aug. 4 at his home, with his death certificate listing “COVID-19 disease or SARS-CoV-2 as a cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death,” according to a Jackson County news release. The Oregon Health Authority states that the man had underlying conditions.

“The counting of deaths from death certificates may take additional time to process because they are determined by physicians and then sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for further review and confirmation. The information is then reported back to states,” the OHA release states.

A 92-year-old woman died Dec. 14 at her home after testing positive Nov. 10, according to the county. The woman had underlying health conditions.

The deaths raised the local death toll to 54.

The OHA also recorded 1,562 new cases across Oregon — including 63 new cases in Jackson County — bringing the statewide count to 97,622 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Jackson County health officials recorded 63 new cases and removed three Wednesday, pushing the cumulative total to 5,038, with 736 patients still considered infectious.

Jackson County is one of 29 Oregon counties in the “extreme” risk category due to rapid community spread of COVID-19. The state will reassess after Dec. 31. Jackson County has been in the “extreme” category since late November.

Under state guidelines, a county of more than 30,000 people is considered in the “extreme” category if the rate of COVID-19 cases during a 14-day period is more than 200 per 100,000 people. From Nov. 29 to Dec. 12, the county had 1,029 cases of the disease, or 465 cases per 100,000 residents. The county also had an 8.4% test positivity rate.