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.
NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university’s political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster’s Foundation.
Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]