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Letters, May 2

Risk category fact check

The “Numbers don’t justify new shutdown” editorial states that “This means restaurants and gyms have to shut down again.” This statement is false. Brown’s most recent guidelines for extreme risk allow restaurants to offer takeout and outdoor dining, and gyms can stay open but are limited to six patrons at any given time (high risk allows nine). The editorial also criticizes the current risk tier criteria, stating that it should be based not on statewide numbers, but on county numbers.

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The editorial board should be reminded that the current statewide average numbers risk category criteria was requested by our county commissioners in a letter to the governor. She agreed and revised the criteria accordingly. So now the board is suggesting that we ask her to change it back to by-county-numbers criteria again? Seriously?

Now, we can bounce around trying to figure out how to tweak risk category criteria to Jackson County’s advantage until hell freezes over, but the bottom line is that we are where we are because of all of the stubborn people who refuse to wear masks when and where required, and/or refuse to be vaccinated. Period.

Kate Thomas


Re-elect Kinsella, Messer

As the parent of four children in the Medford School District, ages 13, 10, 8 and 5, please join me in voting to re-elect Jeff Kinsella and Suzanne Messer to the School Board.

Both Jeff and Suzanne have served on the board since 2017. During that time the academic metrics have improved steadily, culminating in amongst the best improvement for graduation rates in the state. They have advocated for and implemented a reopening plan to allow our children to return to school. Their outstanding support for marginalized communities has resulted in Medford taking the lead in safety and equity for every student.

Even if you do not have children in the Medford School District, please make sure to vote before May 18, 2021. A vote for Jeff and Suzanne shows that you care about education. Our future depends upon our children.

Laura Lindley-Gutierrez


No, I don’t get it

Currently, the MT reports 339 COVID hospitalizations in Oregon. Of the state’s 4,032,000 residents, hospitalizations are 0.0084% of the entire population.

Peter Anastos struck out with his April 30 question, “What size Louisville Slugger is needed to whack some sense into your heads?” While I share Anastos’s anger and frustration with COVID restrictions, I fail to see the connection that unmasked Oregonians resulted in Gov. Kate Brown’s mandate to deny restaurant owners and patrons the right to dine indoors.

Our local restaurants and cafes are compliant with mandates for sanitization, use of partitions and distancing of tables. Whose peer-reviewed, scientific research has attributed virus transmission specifically to indoor dining?

Marylata Elton