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Jackson County reports three COVID-19-related deaths

Twenty-one more Oregonians have died of COVID-19, raising the state’s death toll to 1,304, the Oregon Health Authority reported Friday.

OHA officials also reported 1,390 new cases of the illness, which pushed the state’s total number of cases past the 100,000-mark to 100,308, according to a news release.

“COVID-19 hasn’t spread as fast as it has in most other states. But every infection, every hospitalization and every death are one too many,” OHA public health director Rachael Banks said in the release. “The safe and effective vaccines we’re distributing across the state offer real hope we can end this pandemic. But it’s too soon to drop our guard.”

Projections from the Institute for Disease Modeling showed the current level of transmission in Oregon could result in 2,200 new daily cases and 110 additional hospitalizations by Jan. 1.

Of the 21 dead, three were Jackson County residents, Jackson County Public Health reported.

The three new fatalities raised the local COVID-19 death toll to 57. They include a 76-year-old man who tested positive Nov. 19 and died Dec. 16 at Ashland Community Hospital, an 89-year-old woman who tested positive Nov. 12 and died Nov. 25, at her home, and a 76-year-old man who tested positive Nov. 20 and died Nov. 27 at his home. All three had underlying medical conditions.

County health officials also reported 76 new cases of the illness and subtracted three cases reported previously, resulting in a cumulative total of 5,191 cases. Of that number, 758 patients were still considered infectious Friday.

There were 539 COVID-19 patients hospitalized statewide Friday, a decrease of 12 from Thursday, according to OHA data. Of that number, 111 were in intensive care unit beds, two fewer than Thursday’s 113.

In Jackson and Josephine counties, 60 patients were hospitalized with the illness, an increase of five from Thursday. Of that number, 10 were in ICU beds, a decrease of two from Thursday’s 12. Of the two-county region’s 57 staffed adult ICU beds, 47 were occupied on Friday, while 390 of the region’s 445 staffed adult non-ICU beds were occupied.