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Jackson County reports 68 new COVID-19 cases

County sees three more COVID-19-related deaths

Jackson County Public Health reported 68 new COVID-19 cases Friday and three COVID-19-related deaths, including a 76-year-old woman who died at Providence Medford Medical Center, a 63-year-old man who died at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center and a 63-year-old man who died at RRMC.

Statewide, the Oregon Health Authority reported 1,580 new COVID-19 cases and 23 COVID-19-related deaths, including the three in Jackson County.

OHA issued a forecast predicting the number of reported cases will fall to a range of 1,050-1,275 per day in Oregon between Oct. 13-26.

Hospitalizations will continue dropping as well, OHA predicted.

Oregon Health and Science University issued its own forecast predicting the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 will continue a steady descent into 2022.

The forecast projects hospitalizations will drop to about 200 by the new year, well below the peak of 1,178 COVID-19 hospitalizations Sept. 1.

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon was 656 Friday, which is 43 fewer than Thursday. There were 167 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit beds, six fewer than the day before, OHA said.

In Jackson and Josephine counties, there were 58 people hospitalized Friday with COVID-19, with 17 of those patients in intensive care unit beds, Jackson County Public Health reported.

Asante, which operates three of the four hospitals in the two counties, reported Friday that 94% of its hospitalized COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated, 93% of its COVID-19 patients in ICU beds are unvaccinated and 100% of its COVID-19 patients on ventilators are unvaccinated.

The three hospitals had 172 COVID-19-related deaths over the past 90 days. Of those, 87% were unvaccinated, Asante said.

Asante posted a video to its Facebook page Friday detailing the impacts on nurses and patients from the COVID-19 surge that began this summer.

Kristen, a registered nurse in the Asante Three Rivers Medical Center intensive care unit in Grants Pass, said in the video that health care workers have seen more hospitalized COVID-19 patients than they thought they would ever see. Asante did not list her last name in the video.

https://www.facebook.com/AsanteHealth/videos/901636293777400/

Patients are sicker than they’ve ever been, she said.

“We’ve all been working so hard to care for these patients. We’re doing everything. We’re working our butts off for them — and it’s not working. I have to put up this wall of separating myself from the situation so that I can make it through the shift, and it’s so hard. I don’t want to come to work and work like that. It’s real. You might not see it every day out on the street, but it’s happening in the hospitals right now,” she said.

Although COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are waning, Oregon reported a record high Thursday of 59 COVID-19-related deaths in the state.

Kristen said vaccination is very effective. She urged people to do what they can to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

For information on where to get vaccinated in Jackson County, see jacksoncountyor.org/hhs/COVID-19/Vaccine-Appointments/where-to-get-vaccinated-in-jackson-county.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com.