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Jackson County Is Tops In COVID-19 Testing Statewide


More people per capita have been tested for COVID-19 in Jackson County than any other county in Oregon.


As of Monday, more than 2,200 COVID-19 tests had been completed in Jackson County. A higher number of people has been tested in other counties such as Multnomah and Washington, but those counties have much larger populations.

Remarkably, Jackson County also has a higher per capita rate of testing than every state in the US except New York, Washington and Louisiana; all which have experienced serious outbreaks of COVID-19.

Jim Shames, Jackson County’s Medical Director, says, "I honestly think that foresight by some of our key healthcare partners and really good coordination and collaboration is largely responsible."

Mark Orndoff, Jackson County Health and Human Services Director, adds, "Asante, Providence Medford Medical Center, La Clinica, Mercy Flights and others in the medical community have done an amazing job getting people tested. They are outstanding partners in keeping the people of Jackson County as safe as possible during this COVID-19 pandemic."

Orndoff also credits the Communicable Disease staff, the Public Health division, Health and Human Services and other county departments who have been essential to the mitigation of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Shames credits local hospitals for testing people early and promoting social distancing measures. He notes that Asante established a drive-up testing station in Medford in mid-March. The same week, Providence Health and Services announced its lab in Portland would help the state public health lab process COVID-19 tests.

Jackson County Public Health emphasizes that it is best that everyone stay at home, practice social distancing, wear an alternative mask when they are out accessing essential services, minimize the number of times they need to access essential services, refrain from hosting or attending social gatherings, and wash their hands frequently. These actions should be taken by all people during all times of the week, including the weekends.

Dave has worked in broadcasting for over 30 years as an on-air host, producer, writer, and recording engineer. He now oversees news hosts at JPR and also manages radio operations.