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OHA recommends wearing masks in all indoor places

Following a large jump in COVID cases and hospitalizations, and new national guidance calling for masking measures to prevent the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant, the Oregon Health Authority sent out an alert Tuesday recommending universal mask use in public indoor settings throughout the state.

OHA reported 1,032 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, including 107 in Jackson County, pushing the local cumulative total to 12,323 cases.

“Today’s reported sharp rise in cases and hospitalizations in Oregon are sobering reminders that the pandemic is not over, especially for Oregonians who remain unvaccinated,” said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, state epidemiologist and state health officer, said in the advisory.

Jackson County has averaged 43 new cases per day over the past seven days — behind only Umatilla and Washington counties, which have each averaged 45 new cases over the past week.

Jackson County’s test positivity rate over the past week was 13.5%, below Umatilla County’s 21.2% but far above Washington County’s 5.2%.

State health official repoprted five more COVID-19 deaths Tuesday, including a 90-year-old Josephine County man who tested positive July 15 and died Sunday at Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass.

Other deaths included a 58-year-old Polk County man, an 84-year-old Lane County man, an 87-year-old Lane County woman and a 85-year-old Marion County woman.

On Tuesday, 37 people in Jackson and Josephine counties were hospitalized with COVID-19, according to Jackson County Health and Human Services data.

Statewide, 259 people were hospitalized Tuesday with COVID-19, an increase of 52 from Monday, including 77 people in intensive care, 19 more than Monday.

Oregon has now reported 2,843 deaths and 216,875 cases since the pandemic began.