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61 COVID-19 cases linked to outbreak at Asante

The Oregon Health Authority reported 61 COVID-19 cases have been linked to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford. Mail Tribune file photo
State reports 3,229 COVID-19 cases for weekend

The Oregon Health Authority reported 3,229 new COVID-19 cases from Friday through Sunday across the state, plus an outbreak of at least 61 cases linked to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford.

Cases linked to Asante have been reported among residents of Jackson, Josephine and Klamath counties. Jackson County Public Health is working with Asante to support the medical center as it responds to the outbreak, OHA said.

Jackson County reported 49 cases for the weekend, a relative lull compared to recent daily case counts that have topped 100 and even 200 cases.

OHA reported the COVID-19-associated death of a 79-year-old woman from Jackson County who tested positive Friday and died Saturday at Providence Medford Medical Center, and the death of a 61-year-old man from Jackson County who tested positive July 26 and died Thursday at Providence.

Statewide, Oregon recorded 14 new COVID-19 related deaths, with their ages ranging from 52 to 90.

Josephine County recorded 239 cases for the weekend, plus the deaths of a 75-year-old woman who died at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, a 77-year-old man who died at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass and a 52-year-old man who also died at the Grants Pass hospital.

Several other Oregon counties also reported hundreds of weekend cases, including Clackamas (254), Deschutes (240), Douglas (278), Lane (624) and Multnomah (538.)

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon was 575 Monday, which was 21 more than Sunday. On Monday, 148 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care, four more than Sunday, OHA reported.

On Monday, Aug. 2, 83 COVID-19-positive patients were in hospitals in Jackson and Josephine counties. This Monday, 119 COVID-19-positive patients were in local hospitals, according to OHA data.

The number of COVID-19-positive patients in intensive care unit beds in the two counties rose from 23 Aug. 2 to 34 on Monday of this week. The number of patients on ventilators went from four to nine, OHA data show.

Local hospitals said last week that patients of all types, including heart attack and stroke victims, were being treated in hallways and waiting rooms because of a lack of hospital beds.

More than 90% of COVID-19 hospital patients have not been vaccinated against the virus, Asante officials said last week.

Hospitals are seeing more COVID-19 patients now than they did in the winter, before vaccines were widely available.

Jackson County Public Health officials said the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19, including the highly infectious delta variant, is to get vaccinated and wear masks.

All three vaccines being used in the United States are helping prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death, and are effective against the delta variant, which is more contagious and often causes people to become sicker more quickly, local public health and hospital officials said.

High vaccination coverage will reduce the spread of the virus in Jackson County and elsewhere, protect the community’s health care and public health infrastructure, and help prevent new variants from emerging, Jackson County Public Health said.

For information on getting a free vaccination in Jackson County, see jacksoncountyor.org/hhs/COVID-19/Community-Resources/jackson-county-public-health-covid-19-vaccine-appointments.

The local surge in COVID-19 cases is prompting more residents to seek COVID-19 testing.

“The increase in cases also means we have an increase in the number of people seeking testing,” said Tanya Phillips, health promotion manager for Jackson County. “It is important that people know where to access testing and that they are not showing up to emergency departments just to get tested for COVID-19. We need to be sure this critical resource remains available to the people who have a health emergency.”

Places to get a COVID-19 test in Jackson County include:

  • Asante COVID-19 Specimen Collection Center, 1321 Center Dr., Medford; 541-789-2233
  • Providence Stewart Meadows Urgent Care, 70 Bower Dr., Suite 110, Medford; 541- 732-3962
  • Walgreens, 210 E. Barnett Road, and 2280 W. Main St., in Medford, and 433 N. Front St., in Central Point
  • Valley Immediate Care at 1700 E. Barnett Road in Medford, 1600 Delta Waters, Suite 107, in Medford, 1401 Siskiyou Blvd., Suite 1, in Ashland
  • Rite Aid, 636 N. Main St., Phoenix
  • La Clinica Acute Care Clinic, 616 Market St., Medford

People should still seek emergency help for signs of serious COVID-19 illness, including trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, an inability to wake up or stay awake, and pale, gray or blue-colored skin, depending on the person’s skin tone.

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility. Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

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