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Jackson County Hits Record High Weekly Covid-19 Count

Oregon Health & Science University nurse practitioner Shelby Freed pulls a COVID-19 test swab from its sleeve at a drive-up station in Portland, Ore., Friday, March 20, 2020.
Bradley W. Parks

About two dozen of those cases have been tied to an outbreak at the Joy Church in Medford.

Jackson County reported its highest-ever weekly total of positive coronavirus cases last week, when 138 new cases were confirmed.

In a press release, county officials say many of these cases have been tied to social gatherings.

About two-dozen cases have been tied to an outbreak at the Joy Church in Medford.

Officials say that outbreak stems from a gathering on October 10th, which also led to an outbreak in another Oregon county. Jackson County public health officials wouldn’t say which county had an outbreak linked to this incident.

The county said the initial outbreak may have led to other exposures in “other workplace locations,” but officials wouldn’t provide more information.

In a Facebook post, Joy Church announced that its pastor, Kim Schmelzer, tested positive for COVID-19. She was hospitalized due to symptoms from the illness but has since returned home.

April Ehrlich is an editor and reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Previously, she was a news host and reporter at Jefferson Public Radio.