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Jackson County sees fewest COVID-19 cases since early August

Jackson County Public Health reported four new cases of COVID-19 Monday, the fewest since Aug. 8.

The new cases bring the county’s total to 971. Of those, 145 cases are considered active and infectious. There have been three local deaths and 73 hospitalizations from the disease.

The Oregon Health Authority cautioned that the dip in cases may be due to the fires.

“Over the past several days statewide testing numbers appear to have dipped. This is a lagging data point as tests are often reported several days after specimen collection,” OHA officials said in a Facebook post. “However, due to widespread hazardous conditions, people seeking testing may have declined. OHA will continue to monitor the situation.”

Oregon reported 151 new cases and two more deaths Monday. That brings the number of Oregon deaths to 511, with 29,484 cases.

Hazardous air from wildfires across the state closed the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory Monday, due to “indoor air quality which is too hazardous to safely use appropriate air safety equipment including hoods,” OHA said.

Specimens already received at the facility were being held at “appropriate temperatures” pending testing. The facility plans to reopen when air safety standards can be met.