Jackson Co. reports highest Covid cases in weeks ahead of new risk level assignment

JACKSON CO., Ore.– After Covid cases in Jackson County saw a steady decline over the past few months, Jackson County Public Health says a new trend in the wrong direction, may be on the way.

“I was shocked. We’re seeing more community spread. Were not tracing as many infections back to a known source.”

This according to public health director Dr. Jim Shames. He says 73 new cases on Thursday is the most the county has seen in one day since late February. The county’s monthly numbers have been decreased since the new year.

“We’ve been down in the low teens and then we bounce up to thirty and then we go down and then we go up. Its a race between can we get enough of the population vaccinated.”

Jackson county public health says a new outbreak at Butte Creek Baptist Church in Eagle Point is responsible for 17 positive cases so far. Dr. Shames says although risk levels have been lowered recently, and vaccinations are being administered each day, some people aren’t taking the situation seriously.

“There’s a trend in outbreaks. If you get a group of people who don’t mask themselves and they don’t respect specific distances and they come together indoors, we will have outbreaks.”

To remain in the high risk category, Dr. Shames says Thursday’s case spike will need to be just that: a spike, not a lasting trend.

“The numbers add up, and 70 adds more than 30. If we want to stay in high, we would need to be below 200 cases per 100,000 and that averages around 29 cases per day.”

A move back to extreme, which the county hasn’t been in since late February, would require tighter restrictions and a strain on some businesses, including restaurants not being allowed to have indoor dining. The state will announce a new set of county risk levels next Tuesday, April 6th. They will be in effect for two weeks beginning on the 9th.

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