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Jackson County logs 105 weekend COVID-19 cases

Public health officials offer holiday safety tips

Jackson County recorded 105 new COVID-19 cases and no COVID-19-related deaths from Friday through Sunday.

On Monday, 33 people were being treated in Jackson and Josephine county hospitals for COVID-19. Of those, eight were in intensive care, with two on ventilators.

For the week of Nov. 14-20, Jackson County Public Health reported 381 new COVID-19 cases — a 28% increase from the previous week.

Statewide, the Oregon Health Authority logged 1,753 COVID-19 cases and 103 more COVID-19-related deaths from Friday through Sunday. Clackamas and Multnomah counties in the Portland area and Yamhill County south of the metro area together accounted for 45 of those deaths.

It wasn’t clear from preliminary reports whether all the deaths were new, or if the state is still working through a backlog of past deaths that went unreported because of a computer error.

On Saturday, OHA authorized pharmacies, health clinics and other vaccine providers to begin providing COVID-19 vaccine booster shots anyone 18 or older.

The state’s orders follow actions by the federal government and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Panel to authorize expanded booster eligibility.

“The new eligibility criteria will make it easier for people to determine if they are eligible to get a booster dose,” said Tanya Phillips, health promotion and preparedness manager for Jackson County Public Health.

While booster shots are available to everyone 18 or older, they are strongly recommended for people older than 50, those 18 and older who live in long-term care facilities and anyone who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Vaccinated people are eligible for a booster shot six months after completing their initial series if they received the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or 2 months after receiving their Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“COVID-19 vaccines remain the best tool we have to make our communities safe and to end this pandemic,” said Dr. Jim Shames, health officer for Jackson County Public Health. “We are all eager to get life back to where it was before the pandemic, and getting vaccinated will help us get there. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu is important as we embark on the holiday season. Let's keep one another safe this holiday.”

With Thanksgiving coming Thursday and more holidays on the horizon, Jackson County Public Health offered tips for safer ways to celebrate:

  • Because many generations tend to gather to celebrate holidays, the best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and keep your family and friends safer is to get vaccinated if you’re eligible. Protect those not yet eligible for vaccination, such as children 4 and younger, by getting yourself and other eligible people around them vaccinated.
  • Wear a mask in public indoor settings even if you are vaccinated.
  • Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.
  • If you are sick or have symptoms, don’t host or attend a gathering.
  • Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
  • Do NOT put a mask on children younger than 2.
  • If you are gathering with a group of people from multiple households and potentially from different parts of the country, consider additional precautions such as avoiding crowded indoor spaces before traveling or taking a COVID-19 test in advance to further reduce risk.

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