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Health and Medicine

Jackson County Spikes Another New High For Daily Coronavirus Cases

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National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Oregon broke its record for the highest number of coronavirus cases confirmed in a single day on Friday with 600 cases. The surge is coming from all over the state, including in Southern Oregon.

UPDATE: Friday, Oct. 30, 1:45 p.m. ... Jackson County reported 69 coronavirus cases on Friday. It's the fourth time this month that the county broke its highest daily case count.

In mid-October, the county recorded 28 cases in a single day. Later, it jumped to 36. On Thursday, the county reported 54 cases. Today the daily count jumped to 69.

While the COVID case count has been rising across the state, neighboring counties haven't seen as sharp a spike in new cases as Jackson County has. On Thursday, Klamath County reported 10 new cases; Josephine County had one.

Some incidents have been tied to outbreaks in Medford involving Costco, Harry & David, and a local church. But county medical director Jim Shames says the main culprit is social gatherings.

“I think we have a fair number of people who are taking protection against COVID more casually than they should,” Shames says. “Not always wearing masks, and thinking when they’re with their friends that they don't need to do that protection and they kind of let their guard down when they’re at work, or at break or bringing into their houses for celebrations.”

Although cases may be increasing, Shames says the county — and the state — still have an opportunity to change course.

“Turning this around is completely within our hands,” Shames says. “I think people are just getting tired. And they’re also getting mixed messages from leadership, so you’re left with believing what you want to believe.”

Still, Shames says the science around preventing the spread of the virus remains the same: and that is, people need to wear masks, and they need to practice social distancing.