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State and Jefferson County coronavirus cases trend up slightly after July 4 holiday

Vaccinations definitely slowed the spread of the coronavirus, but apparently, the pandemic isn't completely over.

Oregon Health Authority graphs show a slight but steady rise in infections since the July 4 holiday.

Jefferson County Public Health reported 34 cases of COVID so far for the month of July, which compares favorably with the month of June, which had 87 cases reported.

A closer look at the numbers shows that 20 of those cases came in since July 11, and of those 20 case, 14 came in over the past weekend, July 16 through July 19.

"The majority of our cases are random," says Michael Baker, Jefferson County Public Health director. "The individual doesn't know, and we can't identify where this happened."

The majority of the new infections are in unvaccinated people, three of whom are hospitalized.

"We're seeing individuals who started out with mild symptoms," says Baker, "and near the end of when they would usually be released from quarantine ended up hospitalized." Baker says he doesn't have enough data to tell whether these incidents are a trend or a statistical blip.

Baker says there are a few, three to four, breakthrough cases in fully vaccinated people, but those people experience mild symptoms.

The uptick in cases follows a pattern Baker has noticed throughout the last 18 months, case numbers swell about a week after family-centered holidays.

With the Jefferson County Fair opening this week, and children under age 12 still unvaccinated, Baker recommends caution.

"I plan on going to the fair," says Baker, "but I will be wearing my mask knowing full well that I'm fully vaccinated."

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