Jackson County Public Health recommends universal mask use

MEDFORD, Ore. – Local public health officials are joining the Oregon Health Authority in recommending the wearing of masks in public, regardless of vaccination status.

On the evening of July 27, the OHA called for universal mask use measures due to the spread of the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant. The recommendation came on the heels of a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in Oregon and across the nation.

The day after the warning, Jackson County Public Health “strongly” recommended that everyone who isn’t a young child wear masks in indoor public spaces, even if they’re vaccinated.

Jackson County Public Health stated, “COVID-19 vaccines are effective and a critical tool to bring the pandemic under control. However, no vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness in vaccinated people. There will be a small percentage of fully vaccinated people who still get sick, are hospitalized, or die from COVID-19. Vaccine effectiveness studies provide a growing body of evidence that mRNA; COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of COVID-19, including severe illness and hospitalizations, among people who are fully vaccinated by 90% or more.”

According to Jackson County Public Health Officer Dr. Jim Shames, wearing masks and using other prevention tools will still be necessary until more people are vaccinated and we reach herd immunity.

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