JaCo Public Health says contagious Delta variant impacting younger people

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. —Friday, Jackson County continues to see an influx in Covid-19 cases. After Thursday’s record 416, Friday there are just 84.

The county’s public health department says the unrelenting Delta variant, has shifted its focus to the younger population. While there was a drop in the number of cases Friday, public health says this battle is far from over

“There’s no doubt about it, this last week has been very scary,” said Jackson County Public Health Director, Dr. Jim Shames.

Thursday Jackson County reported 416 cases. Despite just 84 cases Friday, the county has already surpassed 1,000 cases this week.

” I would caution people from seeing great look how we solved the problem, the numbers are clearly much higher than they’ve ever been,” said Dr. Shames.

Dr. Shames says everything in terms of spread and preventing spread still holds true.

It is amplified because the d+Delta variant is much more contagious than the Covid strains we saw earlier this year.

“Instead of perhaps spreading it to one or two people while you are incubating the disease, you may spread it to 4 or 5 people who in turn spread it to 4 or 5 other people,” said Dr. Shames.

But who exactly is the main culprit? Dr. Shames says the Delta variant has shifted focus from the older more vaccinated population to the younger, less vaccinated population.

“If you are a business where people have to be in close proximity, your going to have a lot of cases, if you are hiring people who come from a category that tends to have a low vaccination rate, you’re going to have a lot of cases,” said Dr. Shames.

However, there is some good news. After dropping off significantly this summer, more people are getting vaccinated in Jackson County this past week.

“We have seen an uptick in vaccinations its nothing like the surge we’re seeing in cases but it does seem to be going in the right direction,” said Dr. Shames.

Jackson County Public Health says testing sites are backed up because of the high demand. You will still be able to get a test, it might just take longer. It’s working to make the process easier, and more available.

“This is a critical time for our county and every person that gets vaccination reduces the possibility of it spreading and the possibility of new variants,” said Dr. Shames.

County health urges those with symptoms to get tested, to avoid the hospitals unless it’s an emergency.

Where to Get Tested in Jackson County:

  •  Asante COVID-19 Specimen Collection Center: 1321 Center Dr., Medford OR.
  •  Providence Stewart Meadows Urgent Care: 70 Bower Dr. Suite 110, Medford OR.
  • Walgreens:
    -210 E Barnett Rd., Medford
    -2280 W. Main St., Medford
    -433 N Front St., Central Point
  • Valley Immediate Care:
    -1700 E. Barnett, Medford
    -1600 Delta Waters Suite 107, Medford
    -1401 Siskiyou Blvd. Suite 1, Ashland
  • Rite Aid: 636 N. Main St., Phoenix
  • La Clinica Acute Care Clinic: 616 Market St., Medford

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Jenna King
NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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