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Two more COVID-19 deaths reported in Jackson County

A 69-year-old woman and 65-year-old man, both of Jackson County, were among 20 new COVID-19 fatalities in Oregon reported Wednesday.

Jackson County reported 614 new cases of the virus, raising the local total to 17,218 cases since the pandemic started.

In Jackson and Josephine counties, 221 patients were hospitalized Wednesday with COVID-19, and 60 were in intensive care. The virus has claimed 192 lives in Jackson County.

As of Wednesday, 52.8% of Jackson County adults had completed a vaccine series, and another 6.1% had received at least one dose.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Monday for people 16 and older. The vaccine will be marketed as “Comirnaty.“ Moderna announced its submission to the FDA for approval this week.

Beginning Friday, masks are required in public outdoor settings where physical distancing cannot be achieved, regardless of vaccination status.

“While the rule does not apply to outdoor gatherings at private residences, masks are still strongly recommended when individuals from different households cannot maintain physical distance,” according to Jackson County Public Health.

The state reported 2,777 new cases and 20 new fatalities Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 263,164 cases with 3,086 deaths to date. More than 1,000 people in Oregon were hospitalized with the virus, and 295 were in intensive care. Statewide, 44 adult ICU beds were available Wednesday.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 11,462 new vaccine doses entered into the COVID-19 vaccine registry Tuesday. About 2.4 million people in Oregon have completed a vaccine series and 2.6 million people have obtained one dose.

Oregon’s goal is to reach a statewide vaccination rate of 80%. In Jackson County as of Wednesday, 37,786 would still need to be vaccinated to reach the 80% goal, according to OHA data.