Jackson County Public Health on Tuesday reported two more deaths attributed to coronavirus, bringing the county death toll to 52 since the pandemic began.
According to the agency, an 88-year-old woman tested positive on November 9 and died December 3 at Providence Medford Medical Center. The presence of underlying conditions is still being confirmed.
An 89-year-old woman tested positive on November 6 and died at her residence on December 9. She had underlying conditions, officials said.
Jackson County also reported 86 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, one of the higher daily case counts for the past several days, though cases have been gradually trending downward.
A statement from Governor Kate Brown’s office Tuesday morning made clear that Jackson County — along with neighboring Josephine and Klamath counties — will remain on the state’s “Extreme Risk” restrictions for at least two more weeks, through the end of December.
Josephine County officials reported the county’s twelfth coronavirus-related death on Tuesday. According to public health officials, a 94-year-old man tested positive for COVID-19 on December 3 and died December 14 at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass. He had underlying conditions.
Jackson County provided the following information on the coronavirus vaccine, which landed in Oregon on Monday:
How the COVID-19 Vaccine Will Be Distributed
COVID-19 vaccines are 95% effective and have undergone rigorous safety testing. Vaccination gives us hope that the pandemic will end, but in the meantime, we need to continue safety measures to keep the virus from spreading: Wear a mask, physically distance from others, wash your hands, avoid gatherings, and stay home when you’re sick.
- As COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will ensure the distribution process is based on community involvement that will provide an equitable system challenging the roles of power, privilege, and racism — informed by a newly assembled Vaccine Advisory Committee (VAC).
- Using an equity framework, OHA will distribute the COVID-19 vaccine in line with CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) recommended a phased approach:
- 1A. Health care workers, with first distribution to those with direct exposure to COVID-19 in their work (such as hospital paid and unpaid workers, from clinicians to maintenance), EMS, long-term care facilities (LTCF) employees, and residents.
- 1B. Essential workers such as teachers, bus drivers, food processors, and other people who keep our society open and the economy moving. The OHA Vaccine Advisory Committee, representing community perspectives, will identify and prioritize this group.
- 1C. People with underlying health conditions, and people over the age of 65. (B and C completed in late spring, depending on vaccine availability).
Timeline for Vaccine Delivery
OHA is ready to receive and distribute COVID-19 vaccines. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are reportedly about 95% effective after two doses, one month apart. After FDA approval in December, the Pfizer vaccine will arrive in Oregon on December 15, and Moderna the following week, for immediate distribution to hospitals across the state. The total shipment will be around 197,000 doses in December. This is enough to immunize about 100,000 people. This number could change.