COVID-19For the most up-to-date data on COVID-19 in Josephine County, please see the COVID-19 Dashboard.
This page contains the latest information on the COVID-19 from the Josephine County Public Health Department. Information is current as of 8:30 a.m. Sept. 18.
What is COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others circulating among animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people.
In December 2019, an outbreak of a new respiratory infection was reported in China. The virus has since been named “SARSCoV-2,” and the disease it causes is named COVID-19.
COVID-19 is a new disease. We are still learning how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread.
The virus appears to spread mainly from person-to-person. It is most commonly spread by an infected person who coughs or sneezes, and people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). While people appear to be most contagious when they have symptoms, some spread might be possible before people show any symptoms. While there have been reports of this happening, this is not the main way the virus spreads.
The illness related to COVID-19 has ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness, and in some cases death. Symptoms commonly appear 2 to 14 days after being infected with the virus. Common symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
While we are still learning about how COVID-19 affects people, those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others do. Currently, there are no antiviral medications or vaccines available to treat or prevent the infection.
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. However, everyday actions can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. These actions include:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home, stay safe.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then dispose of the tissue in the trash can.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
In addition to washing your hands, covering your cough and maintaining physical distancing whenever possible, Josephine County Public Health recommends that you wear a mask or face covering in the following situations:
- You are in a public space where you may come within six feet of others
- You are sick and going to see your health care provider in person
- Someone in your home is sick and self-isolating
- If they can’t wear a mask because it makes their breathing worse, you should wear one when you enter their room
Never put a mask or face covering on an infant or an adult who cannot adjust or remove the mask themselves. Do not tie a mask around a small child’s head or neck such that it can become a strangling hazard.
People who think they might have been exposed to COVID-19 should call
their local healthcare provider or local hospital immediately.
On May 18, the Oregon Supreme Court stayed a lower court ruling that invalidated Gov. Kate Brown’s recent stay at home executive orders, which have prevented more than 70,000 COVID-19 infections across the state and averted approximately 1,500 hospitalizations. As a result, the governor’s executive orders remain in place until further consideration by the court. These orders impose certain requirements and limitations aimed at slowing the spread of the disease.
Earlier in the day, a Baker County circuit court judge blocked Brown’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” orders. In response to today’s earlier lower court ruling, Brown had issued a statement that said in part: “The science behind these executive orders hasn’t changed one bit. Ongoing physical distancing, staying home as much as possible and wearing face coverings will save lives across Oregon. Together Oregonians have turned the tide on the spread of COVID-19, allowing us to only now begin the process of gradually and safely reopening parts of our communities and our economies.”
The Baker County court ruling is now on hold and Brown’s emergency declaration and executive orders remain in place pending further arguments.
"Regardless of the status of the governor's Executive Orders, there is still an ongoing public health emergency as a result of COVID-19," said Mike Weber, Josephine County Public Health director. "We ask everyone to please take the appropriate actions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, and we thank you for your patience."