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How to get from 'high' to 'moderate' COVID-19 risk?

Jackson County finally made it from “extreme” COVID-19 restrictions to “high.” I am ready to get back to normal, so how are we doing case-wise to reaching “moderate” COVID-19 spread?

— Anonymous via email

Everyone at SYA Headquarters breathed a sigh of relief as Jackson County qualified for reduced restrictions starting Friday. We have two weeks to keep improving, and we should know March 9 if we’ve made it to “moderate.”

From Feb. 7 to Feb. 20, Jackson County had 174.4 cases per 100,000 residents, sneaking below the threshold of 200. But in order to get to “moderate” risk, we’d have to drop 74.5 cases per 100,000, or around 150-160 cases during the two-week period.

So far, we’re not off to a great start. Since Tuesday, Feb. 22, Jackson County Public Health has reported 147 new COVID-19 cases, meaning we’d need about 73 or fewer to reach the “moderate” risk category, and we need fewer than about 290 to stay in the “high” risk category.

If Jackson County were to reach “moderate” risk levels, indoor dining capacity could increase to 100 people or 50% of capacity, gyms could allow 100 patrons, and churches could allow a maximum 50% occupancy or 150 people total.

We hope to get there soon, and it will only happen if people continue to get vaccinated and follow the recommendations to keep social distancing, wear a face covering, and wash their hands frequently.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.