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Jackson County returns to high COVID risk

After one week downgraded to medium, Jackson County's COVID Community Level is back to high.

Citing a new case rate that crosses a key threshold, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention escalated the risk level for Jackson County, bringing with it recommendations that Southern Oregonians mask indoors in public and on public transportation.

This week, Jackson County’s case rate crossed the 200 mark to 200.05 per 100,000 population over the past seven days, with 17.9 new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 and 6.3% of the local hospital system’s staffed beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, according to the CDC website.

Last week’s numbers narrowly fell below the 200-case threshold to 190.55.

In order for Jackson County to return the risk level to medium next week while at or above 200 cases, new COVID admissions need to be 10 or fewer per 100,000 population over the past seven days. In contrast, below the 200-case mark, new COVID admissions need to at or below 20 per 100,000.

Jackson and Klamath County are among 11 Oregon counties at the highest risk level. Josephine County remains at medium risk after being downgraded last week.

Southern Oregon hospitalizations are trending upward after a brief decline in the latter half of July.

On Friday, there were 60 coronavirus patients in Oregon’s hospital region No. 5, which combines hospitals in Jackson and Josephine counties. The record for July was 64 hospitalizations recorded July 17, but that number fell to 37 hospitalizations recorded July 22.

Jackson County Health and Human Services recorded 72 new cases Friday, bringing the latest case count to 48,680. That’s an increase of 402 cases from the county’s July 22 case log.

Jackson County's death toll is up to 560, which is three more than it was last Friday.

Reach web editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTwebeditor.