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416 new COVID cases in Jackson County Thursday

Jackson County set another one-day record for new COVID-19 cases Thursday — 416 — as local hospitals continued to see an unprecedented surge in patients.

The Thursday total shattered the previous record of 253 new cases set Tuesday, Aug. 3, which included cases recorded over a weekend.

The surge pushed the local total to 14,420 cases since the start of the pandemic. In that time, 1,028 Jackson County residents have been hospitalized and 166 have died.

Oregon reported 2,387 new cases and nine more deaths Thursday, including a 47-year-old woman who tested positive for COVID-19 Monday and died Tuesday at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass.

Other fatalities listed Thursday included a 19-year-old Union County woman, a 35-year-old Morrow County woman, 66- and 70-year-old Columbia County residents, 75- and 90-year-old Polk County residents, and 83- and 101-year-old Wasco County residents.

The 19-year-old Union County woman tested positive July 27 and died Aug. 10 at Providence Portland Medical Center.

The 35-year-old Morrow County woman tested positive after dying Monday at her residence.

On Thursday, 150 people were hospitalized in Jackson and Josephine counties with COVID, another in a string of record-setting days since July 31.

Statewide, hospitals also set a new record Thursday with 670 COVID-positive patients across Oregon, including 177 people in intensive care.

In a news release, Dr. David Zonies, associate chief medical officer at Oregon Health & Science University, said their hospitals were full, their ICUs were full, and patients were being cared for in emergency departments because they can’t be admitted to hospital beds.

“Our doctors and nurses are exhausted and rightfully frustrated because this crisis is avoidable,” Zonies stated. “It is like watching a train wreck coming and knowing there’s an opportunity to switch tracks, yet we feel helpless while we watch unnecessary loss of life. That is why it is essential that we all do our part to get vaccinated and wear a mask indoors.“

The most recent vaccination data for Jackson County showed a slight uptick in vaccinations compared to the last week of July.

Jackson County has averaged 378 vaccination doses per day for the past seven days. That’s a 38% increase compared to the Aug. 1 seven-day average of 273 doses per day.

Those numbers are dramatically lower than in the spring, when Jackson County recorded 1,660 vaccinations per day for the seven days prior to May 17.

As of Thursday, 107,052 out of the county’s 223,240 residents were considered fully vaccinated, according to OHA data. Of those individuals, 97,119 had completed their vaccination schedules and another 9,933 had received the first of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.