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Southern Oregon hospitalizations continue downward trend

Southern Oregon hospitals this week marked the lowest number of COVID-positive patient hospitalizations since November, pointing to a downward — albeit fluctuating — trend in the number of coronavirus hospitalizations.

On Thursday, there were 12 hospitalizations in Oregon hospital Region 5, comprised of hospitals in Jackson and Josephine counties, according to Oregon Health Authority data. The following day, the number increased by one case to 13 hospitalizations in Rogue Valley hospitals, which is still below the 16 hospitalizations recorded last week and is similar to numbers last seen in the first week of November.

The last time hospital Region 5 saw fewer than 12 hospitalizations was Nov. 4, when there were 11 hospitalized patients, according to state data showing the date as the base of what became a months long spike in hospitalizations before ultimately peaking on Jan. 2 with 69 cases.

As of Friday, the latest state data available, 384 non-intensive care unit beds were occupied in Jackson and Josephine County hospitals out of a maximum capacity of 445. On that same date, 49 out of 57 ICU beds were occupied.

Statewide, there were 104 in Oregon hospitals with COVID-19 Saturday, a decrease of 19 hospitalizations from Friday, according to the Oregon Health Authority. The 23 patients in ICUs around the state, however, was unchanged between Friday and Saturday.

State health officials recorded 365 new coronavirus cases Saturday — including 30 new cases in Jackson County.

The latest new local cases brought Jackson County’s case count to 8,764. There have been 588 Jackson County residents hospitalized and 120 local deaths from coronavirus related complications since the start of the pandemic.

Broken down by age, the local hospitalizations include eight children younger than nine years old, four youths between the ages of 10 and 19, 31 people in their 20s, 44 people in their 30s, 36 people in their 40s, 96 people in their 50s, 118 people in their 60s, 123 people in their 70s, 126 people in their 80s and two people whose ages were not available.

The state also recorded three deaths around the state including an 89-year-old Clackamas County man, a 68-year-old Lane County man and a 95-year-old Multnomah County man. Health officials say that the 89-year-old Clackamas County man had underlying health conditions that contributed to the fatality, while the presence of health conditions was still being determined in the latter two fatal cases.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.