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Jackson County up to 21 COVID-19 cases

A new case of COVID-19 was confirmed Tuesday in Jackson County, bringing the county’s running total to 21, according to Jackson County Public Health officials.

Eight of those infected locally are in their 70s, five are in their 60s, three are in their 50s, one is between 40 and 49, two are between 30 and 39, and two are in their 20s, according to Jackson County Public Health data.

Of those infected here, four were hospitalized, including two people in their 70s, one in their 50s and one in their 30s, data show. Eleven of the confirmed cases are women and 10 are men.

Jackson County is in the phase of rapid community spread, defined as the time where people who have not traveled outside their communities become infected, Jackson County Public Health officials said. The coronavirus is considered “widely spread” throughout Jackson County, with no “hot spots.”

“It is best that everyone be cautious and not assume that one location is safer than another,” said Jackson Baures, public health division manager. “COVID-19 is spreading in our community, and this is why practicing social distancing, which includes staying home and minimizing outings, is so critical right now.”

In Oregon, 690 people have tested positive for the virus, with 84 new cases reported Tuesday, the Oregon Health Authority reported. Eighteen people have died, though none have been from Jackson County.

So far, 13,826 coronavirus tests have been administered in Oregon, state officials said.

Dr. Jim Shames, Jackson County medical director, said some early data show that social distancing may be helping to slow the virus in the state, though he stressed that the data are preliminary and that much more is needed.

“The trends that I’m suggesting are perhaps somewhat favorable, are assuming that we are going to continue this level of social distancing and taking it seriously for many, many weeks to come,” he said.

Projections released by the White House on Tuesday point to anywhere from 100,000 to 240,000 people dying in the COVID-19 pandemic across the U.S., even if social distancing guidelines are maintained, an Associated Press report said.

Health officials continue to encourage frequent, thorough hand-washing and disinfection of surfaces.

“I think those are still very important,” Shames said. “People shouldn’t let up on it.”