Amid rise in COVID cases Southern Oregon counties could go ‘extreme’ April 30

MEDFORD, Ore. – More than a dozen Oregon counties may soon go into extreme risk, as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said she’s hoping to reopen the state by the end of June, but due to the 4th wave of COVID-19, that may not happen. The state is now considering tightening restrictions and putting many Southern Oregon counties in the extreme category, including Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath.

“We are caring for more patients with COVID in our ICUs who are sicker, younger, and without underlying medical conditions,” said Dr. Renee Edwards, OSHU.

The state said Oregon now has the 2nd fastest growth of infection spread in recent weeks. She’s hoping to reopen the state’s economy. But with the state moving backward she’s considering tightening restrictions.

“If the data indicants it’s necessary in light of this crisis I am canceling the warning week. And those counties will move into extreme risk starting next Friday, April 30,” said Gov. Kate Brown.

If case numbers don’t decrease, Southern Oregon counties, like Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath risk going back to the extreme category before the end of the month. Jackson Co. Public Health Director, Dr. Shames said less than half of the county’s residents have gotten their first dose.

“The fastest way to get back to normal to achieve a large number of vaccinated citizens,” said Dr. Shames, “If you don’t like the fact that you have to put on a mask when you go into the store, that it’s hard to travel, or people are just bugging you all the time to do something you don’t wanna do. If we can just get enough people to be vaccinated then we can get back to normal”.

The governor’s final comments to the media Friday were much the same.

“Vaccines are your best protection against the variants, they are the best way to keep you out of the hospital, and they are the quickest way for us all to get back to the people and the things we miss and love the most,” said Gov. Brown.

Both Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are offered at the Expo. The drive-thru clinic is offering vaccines 7 days a week. You don’t have to be a Jackson County resident to get vaccinated.

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