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Jackson County reports 63 new COVID cases

Oregon reported 539 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, including 63 in Jackson County, pushing the local case count to 12,135.

Jackson County recorded the second-most cases in the state, behind the 70 recorded Thursday in Umatilla County.

Jackson County has averaged 37 new cases per day over the past seven days, according to statewide reports. The local test positivity rate this week is 18.8%, well above the statewide rate of 6.8%.

Josephine County recorded 27 new cases Thursday with a test positivity rate of 13.4%. It has averaged 19 cases per day over the past seven days.

The Oregon Health Authority estimates that the highly infectious Delta variant is now responsible for more than half of the state’s new coronavirus cases.

Only a little more than 5% of Oregon COVID cases are tested for CDC identified Variants of Concern and Variants of Interest at local hospitals, according to OHA.

In a state data dashboard maintained since April, Oregon Variants of Concern cases that health officials have found include 90 Delta cases, 2,154 Alpha cases, 180 Beta cases and 568 Gamma cases across the state.

In Jackson and Josephine counties, 10 cases were from the Delta variant, 61 were from the Alpha variant, one was the Beta variant and two were the Gamma variant.

OHA recorded one death Thursday, a 95-year-old Douglas County woman who tested positive July 13 and died Tuesday, according to a release issued Wednesday by Douglas County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Dannenhoffer.

Nine individuals working on Bootleg fire lines in south central Oregon have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a release issued Thursday by fire officials. Individuals who report symptoms — and those who worked closely with those individuals — are kept isolated until their test results come back, and those who test positive are quarantined away from the fire camp.

Because of the numbers, the incident will be reported to state health officials as a workplace outbreak. Updated numbers will be released weekly by the OHA in outbreak reports released Wednesdays.