MEDFORD, Or.- A new Covid-19 outbreak is being reported in Jackson County after 18 people tested positive.
A Medford church is at the center of the outbreak and it’s working with public health officials to contain it.
Joy Church of Medford is being investigated by the health department for a recent outbreak of coronavirus. Jackson County has directly linked 18 cases to the congregation but the investigation is on-going.
Jackson County Public Health says it started investigating the outbreak on October 10th just days after Joy Church posted on Facebook about some of their members having positive cases.
The church notified its congregation on October 7th, in a Facebook post. It said there were three known cases and canceled their Wednesday service.
A week ago today it announced on Facebook that all in-person groups and their Sunday service were moving online in the wake of more positive cases in their congregation.
This Tuesday the church posted that it was continuing online services to allow time for members to self quarantine.
Right now the biggest concern for health officials is tracking the spread.
“We always get concerned when the number of cases rises rapidly, as in this case, and when it looks like it’s spreading to other parts of the community,” said Dr. Jim Shames, Health Officer for Jackson County Health and Human Services.
Jackson County Public Health says it has linked the outbreak to another Oregon county. It is working right now on contact tracing to see if others in the community could possibly be at risk.
Grace Smith is a reporter for NBC5 News. The Chicago native is a recent graduate of the University of Miami with a Communication Honors degree specializing in Broadcast Journalism. She minored in Creative Writing and focused her senior thesis on social media usage and engagement. During her time at the University of Miami, she anchored multiple award-winning student television programs, covering everything from music festivals to the Super Bowl.
Though she loved Miami's beaches, she's thrilled to be in the Pacific Northwest where she can experience all four seasons and have a real Christmas tree! When she’s not at work, you can find Grace glued to any television showing live sports (especially if it’s the Chicago Bears) or attempting a new recipe as she learns to cook.