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State reports 8 more COVID-19 deaths

Jackson County reported 247 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday — the most in the state — and the Oregon Health Authority reported eight more deaths.

In Oregon, 665 people were hospitalized with the virus Wednesday, including 172 in intensive care.

In Region 5, composed of Jackson and Josephine counties, 50 of 57 intensive care beds were occupied Wednesday.

Gov. Kate Brown announced that masks will be required in all public indoor settings starting Friday in an attempt to battle an increase in hospitalizations and a surge in cases from the delta variant of the virus.

The new numbers reported Wednesday push the Jackson County totals to 14,004 cases since the pandemic began, with 166 deaths.

The state reported 1,991 new cases and eight fatalities Wednesday, raising the statewide totals to 234,393 cases and 2,920 deaths.

Southern Oregon counties were particularly hard hit, with 129 new cases in Josephine County, and 209 new cases and three deaths in Douglas County.

As of Wednesday, 2,530,218 people in Oregon had obtained at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 2,338,390 people had completed a vaccine series.