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Jackson County reports COVID-19 deaths of 35 and 81-year-old men

County records 59 new COVID-19 cases Thursday

Jackson County recorded 59 new COVID-19 cases Thursday and the deaths of a 35-year-old man and an 81-year-old man.

The 35-year-old man tested positive July 29 and died Tuesday at Providence Medford Medical Center. He had underlying conditions, the Oregon Health Authority reported.

The 81-year-old man tested positive July 28 and died Wednesday at his residence. He had underlying conditions, OHA said.

Across the state, OHA reported eight new deaths of people with COVID-19. They ranged in age from 35 to 85 and lived in Jackson, Union and Lincoln counties.

Oregon recorded 1,382 new COVID-19 cases Thursday.

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 457, which is 35 more than Wednesday. Patients with COVID-19 occupy 134 intensive care unit beds, up one from Wednesday, OHA said.

As of Thursday, there are 98 coronavirus patients in Oregon’s hospital region No. 5, comprised of hospitals in Jackson and Josephine counties. Of those patients, 32 with COVID-19 are in the intensive care unit.

At hospitals in Jackson and Josephine counties, 53 of the maximum 57 ICU hospital beds are full, leaving four available, according to state data.

However, all intensive care beds are essentially full in the Rogue Valley. Some beds are temporarily empty because they are being cleaned and sanitized, and hospitals don’t always have staffing to cover all 57 beds, Asante spokeswoman Lauren Van Sickle said this week.

State data has been reporting four to five available intensive care unit beds in Jackson and Josephine counties over the past several days, along with about 40 open regular beds out of 414 regular beds.

The data comes with a disclaimer from OHA stating, “Staffing limitations are not captured in this data and may further limit bed capacity.”

Asante is holding people with serious medical problems like heart attacks in hallways and waiting rooms due to a lack of beds, Asante officials said this week.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are surging, and Rogue Valley hospitals haven’t been able to discharge patients who no longer need hospital-level care into local nursing homes ― leading to a build-up of patients.

Hospital officials are urging the public to help in the fight against COVID-19 by getting vaccinated.

For information on getting vaccinated in Jackson County, jacksoncountyor.org/hhs/COVID-19/Vaccine-Appointments.

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