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Jackson County reports 67 new COVID-19 cases

Medford mass vaccination site to shorten hours

The Oregon Health Authority reported 67 new COVID-19 cases for Jackson County Friday and five more COVID-19-related deaths.

A 59-year-old man died Feb. 1 at his residence, a 97-year-old man died Feb. 16 at his residence, a 94-year-old man died Feb. 18 at his residence, a 67-year-old woman died Feb. 22 at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, and a 30-year-old woman died at Asante in Medford.

OHA reported 12 new COVID-19 cases in Josephine County Friday and no deaths.

Statewide, OHA reported 741 new COVID-19 cases and 23 more deaths. The deaths included people who passed away in January, February and this month.

The state is starting to scale back operations at its mass-vaccination clinics around Oregon.

Starting Monday, The Merrick walk-thru vaccination site at 200 N. Riverside Ave., in Medford, will be open for vaccinations Thursday through Sunday only. Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays, according to OHA.

For updates on mass vaccination sites, see covidblog.oregon.gov/looking-for-a-covid-19-vaccine-or-booster-check-out-these-updated-vaccination-sites.

The number of Oregon hospital patients with the virus fell to 375 Friday, 29 fewer than Thursday.

Hospitals in Jackson and Josephine counties were caring for 48 COVID-19 patients Friday, down one from Thursday.

Unvaccinated people make up the minority in the Rogue Valley, but they made up 61% of COVID-19 patients in Asante’s three hospitals Friday. Vaccinated people made up 25% of COVID-19 patients, and people who were vaccinated and got a booster shot represented 14%, Asante reported.

Three COVID-19 patients in intensive care were unvaccinated, two were vaccinated and one was vaccinated with a booster shot. The one COVID-19 patient on a ventilator was unvaccinated, Asante said.

Over the last 90 days, 79% of COVID-19-related deaths among Asante patients involved unvaccinated people.

On Friday, Asante posted a social media message of gratitude to Oregon National Guard members mobilized by the state to help struggling hospitals during the most recent surge.

“As your time at Asante comes to an end, we wish to express our immense gratitude to the Air National Guard men and women who served,” Asante said. “Your support came during a time of need, and while working alongside our employees, you helped fill critical gaps. Please accept our deepest appreciation for serving Asante, our patients and our community.”

The state mobilized National Guard members to aid with nonmedical tasks. National Guard members with civilian jobs in the medical field weren’t mobilized because they couldn’t be spared from their communities.

As Rogue Valley hospitals cared for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients Friday, they were at 89.1% capacity, according to statewide hospitalization data.

Hospital capacity Friday was at 94.4% in the Portland region, 97.1% in the Salem region, 90.2% in the Roseburg and Eugene region, 82.1% in Central Oregon, 75% in the Hood River region and 66% in far Eastern Oregon.

In normal times, Oregon hospitals run at about 60%-70% capacity, health experts say.

Few people in the state who have taken a COVID-19 test lately have had the virus. The test positivity rate stood at 3.2% Friday, down from about 25% during the worst of the recent surge triggered by the omicron variant, according to OHA data.

Omicron remains the dominant strain in Oregon, according to OHA sampling.

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