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Oregon logs 18,538 weekend COVID-19 cases

Jackson County records 898 new cases

Oregon logged 18,538 new COVID-19 cases Friday through Sunday, while Jackson County recorded 898 cases.

High numbers of Oregonians are getting tested for COVID-19. As of Monday, tests were coming back 22.1% positive — compared to much of the pandemic when the positivity rate was in the single digits.

Statewide, the Oregon Health Authority reported 18 more COVID-19-related deaths, including two in Jackson County — a 76-year-old woman and an 82-year-old man who both died at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford.

Across Oregon, those who died ranged in age from 41 to 96, OHA said.

The number of people in Oregon hospitals with COVID-19 rose from 649 Friday to 692 Monday, OHA reported.

Oregon officials are asking people to help ease the burden on emergency departments and hospitals by contacting their doctor or an urgent care clinic for nonurgent health issues.

The number of people with COVID-19 in hospitals continues to rise rapidly in the Portland and Salem regions. Hospitals there were 97% full Monday, according to state data.

Hospitals in Jackson and Josephine counties were 93% full Monday. The number of Rogue Valley hospital patients with COVID-19 continues to fluctuate but is slowly trending up. On Monday, local hospitals were caring for 79 people with COVID-19.

Asante, which operates three of the Rogue Valley’s four hospitals, reported Monday that unvaccinated people make up 73% of its hospitalized patients with COVID-19, 92% of COVID-19 patients in intensive care, and 100% of COVID-19 patients on ventilators.

Asante is urging people to get their initial shots against COVID-19 or to get a booster shot.

It takes two weeks for your body's immune system to produce antibodies that combat the virus after the initial vaccination series. The benefits start appearing within only two to three days after a booster shot, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With the highly contagious omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus spreading, Oregon announced a goal in mid-December for 1 million more people to get a booster shot by the end of January, when hospitalizations are expected to break all-time pandemic records.

Since the challenge began, 295,471 more Oregonians have received a booster shot, OHA said Monday.

For information on where to get COVID-19 shots 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. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.