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COVID hospitalizations put reopening at risk

Jackson County could be pushed back into extreme risk restrictions

The number of people hospitalized in Oregon with COVID-19 has surpassed 300 patients, putting Jackson County at risk of being pushed back into the extreme risk category, which brings restrictions such as no indoor restaurant dining.

Oregon reported 319 hospitalized people with COVID-19 Monday, which was 28 more than Sunday. Seventy-seven COVID-19 patients were in intensive care, 11 more than Sunday, the Oregon Health Authority reported.

State officials say they will reimpose restrictions on counties with a high number of COVID-19 cases if two conditions are met. First, if the peak daily number of beds occupied by COVID-19-positive patients from the previous seven days equals or surpasses 300 statewide.

The second condition is if the number of hospitalization days is 15% or more when comparing the most recent seven-day period to the previous second-day period in Oregon.

As of Monday, OHA was reporting a 37% increase in hospitalizations compared to the previous seven-day period.

On April 20, the state said the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Jackson County pushed the county into the extreme category. However, Jackson County and a number of other counties were allowed to stay in the less restrictive high risk category because statewide hospitalizations were below 300 COVID-19 patients.

On Monday, Jackson and Josephine counties had a combined total of 27 COVID-19-positive patients in hospitals, with seven of those in intensive care, according to OHA data.

Jackson County reported 55 new COVID-19 cases Monday, while Josephine County had eight.

Oregon reported 630 new COVID-19 cases Monday and the death of an 80-year-old woman from Douglas County.

Amid a rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, OHA continues to recommend that people practice physical distancing, wear face coverings, restrict gatherings and wash their hands frequently.

OHA recommends that all eligible Oregonians make a plan to get vaccinated. Everyone 16 and older is eligible.

As of Monday, 1,175,540 people in Oregon had completed a COVID-19 vaccine series. At least 1,738,540 people had received at least one shot.

Oregon’s population is approximately 4.3 million.

In Jackson County, 75,103 people had been vaccinated as of Monday, out of a population of 221,290, according to OHA data. That represents a 34% vaccination rate.

To schedule an appointment for a free COVID-19 vaccination at The Expo near Central Point, visit jacksoncountyor.org/hhs/COVID-19/Community-Resources/jackson-county-public-health-covid-19-vaccine-appointments.

For more information on county risk metrics, visit www.oregon.gov/oha/covid19/Documents/DataReports/Weekly-County-Metrics.pdf.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.