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Jackson County reports 124 new COVID-19 cases Friday

Jackson County reported 124 new cases of COVID-19 Friday, tied for the second-most cases reported in a day since the start of the pandemic.

The agency also reported 124 cases Nov. 27. The most cases reported in a day was 174 Dec. 3.

It isn’t known whether the majority of the new cases stem from a single event such as a party or another type of gathering, but health officials are investigating, said county health promotion manager Tanya Phillips.

Friday’s report followed several days when case totals were significantly lower, dipping to as low as 25. From Jan. 17 to Jan. 23, Jackson County reported 277 new cases, compared to 369 the previous week.

The new cases increased the local total to 7,418. Jackson County’s death toll remained at 98.

Josephine County had 20 new cases of the illness, raising the county’s total to 1,925, according to state data. Josephine County health officials also reported a new death from the disease, an 84-year-old man who tested positive Jan. 10 and died Jan. 11 at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass. He had underlying conditions. The death raised Josephine County’s death toll to 36.

There were eight new deaths from the illness statewide, raising Oregon’s COVID-19 death toll to 1,938. OHA officials also reported 976 new cases statewide, raising Oregon’s cumulative total number of cases to 141,729.

There were 288 Oregonians hospitalized with the disease Friday, three fewer than Thursday. Of that number, 68 were in intensive care unit beds, four fewer than Thursday.

Twenty-nine people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Jackson and Josephine counties Friday, four fewer than Thursday, with eight people in intensive care, three fewer than Thursday.

There were 63,089 Oregonians considered fully vaccinated against the disease Friday, with 251,868 others who have received the first dose, according to OHA data. In Jackson County, 2,889 residents were fully vaccinated, with 14,035 others who have received the first dose. There have been 584 full vaccinations in Josephine County, with 4,450 others who have received the first dose.

New state modeling showed a decrease in daily cases. If the state continues to wear masks, observe physical distancing and restrict gatherings to smaller numbers of people, the modeling points to cases dropping to an average of 420 per day, with hospitalizations decreasing by 13 per day.

“A 30% increase in transmission would translate to roughly 720 daily cases and 24 new hospitalizations a day, as well as 240 cases per 100,000 people by mid-February,” an OHA news release says, adding that the new modeling does not factor in the presence of the disease’s U.K. variant.