Rogue Valley News, Thursday 8/12 – Officer-Involved Shooting in Medford After Carjacking in Canyonville, Major Crimes Team Investigating Double Homicide at Azalea RV Park

The latest news stories of interest in the Rogue Valley and around the state of Oregon from the digital home of Southern Oregon, Wynne Broadcasting’s

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Rogue Valley Weather 

Today– Areas of smoke. Sunny and hot, with a high near 105. Calm wind becoming northwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Friday– Areas of smoke. Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 103. Calm wind becoming northwest 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon
Saturday– Areas of smoke. Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 97. Calm wind becoming northwest around 6 mph in the afternoon.
Sunday– Sunny and hot, with a high near 98.
Monday– Sunny, with a high near 91.

Officer-Involved Shooting in Medford After Carjacking in Canyonville

This is a joint press release from MPD and JCSO. — On Wednesday, August 11, 2021, at about 6:50 a.m., law enforcement in Jackson County was advised to be on the lookout for a vehicle that was stolen during an armed carjacking in Canyonville, Ore. During that incident it was reported the suspect was armed with a black revolver.

At 7:07 a.m., officers from the Central Point Police Department (CPPD) located the vehicle traveling south bound on I-5 near mile marker 35.

A traffic stop was attempted on the vehicle and the suspect began driving at a high rate of speed in attempts to elude the officers.

As the incident continued through numerous jurisdictions in Jackson County, officers from the Medford Police Department (MPD), Oregon State Police (OSP), CPPD, Phoenix Police Department, and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies made multiple attempts to get the suspect to pull over, to include several attempts to use spike strips. 

Due to the severity of the incident in Canyonville and the imminent risk to the public, the pursuit continued, and at 0738 hours a JCSO deputy used the Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) maneuver to stop the suspect near the intersection of Dakota and S. Columbus Avenues in Medford. At 7:39 a.m., deputies and officers on scene reported shots fired. Once the suspect was detained, law enforcement performed life saving measures until relieved by the Medford Fire Department who continued to render aid. The suspect was transported to a local hospital for further treatment and is currently in stable condition. 

Based on the initial investigation we believe the suspect, Aurelio Escobar, 25, fired a revolver, which was recovered by investigators at the scene, and JCSO deputies and an MPD officer returned fire in response. Escobar was struck during the gunfire. No officers were injured.  

Escobar is a suspect in a missing person case and wanted in conjunction with several other crimes in Yakima, Washington, to include first-degree robbery, first-degree assault, first-degree unlawful weapon possession, and drive-by shooting. He is also the suspect in several armed car-jackings in Oregon and Washington.

The incident is currently being investigated by the Jackson County Major Assault and Death Investigation Unit (MADIU). OSP is the lead agency, and is being assisted by members of the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office. 

The officer and deputies involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol in Jackson County. Once the investigation is completed, the information will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for review, which is also standard protocol. The names of the officer and deputies involved will not be released until the Grand Jury has reviewed the matter.  Medford Police Dept. 

Major Crimes Team Investigating Double Homicide at Azalea RV Park

AZALEA, Ore. – A homicide investigation is underway related to RV fire on Friday, August 6, 2021, at the Meadow Wood RV Park.

Autopsies conducted by the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office revealed the two victims, 59-year-old Brian Edward Dean and 65-year-old Maureen Anne Mathabel both of Azalea, died as a result of homicidal violence. The Douglas County Major Crimes Team has been activated and is conducting the investigation. The Sheriff’s Office remains the lead investigating agency. The Major Crimes Team consists of members of the Sheriff’s Office, Roseburg Police Department, Oregon State Police and the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office.

Investigators urge anyone who may have photo, video or surveillance footage of the incident to share them by submitting the items to a public evidence portal via the web at: Additionally, anyone who may have information which may aid investigators in solving this crime, is asked to contact the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division at 541-440-4458 or email Case #21-3532 — Douglas Co. Sheriff’s Office

ORIGINAL RELEASE 08/07/2021 3:00 PM 

AZALEA, Ore. – A fatal trailer fire at the Meadow Wood RV Park early Friday morning is currently under investigation. 

At approximately 4:30 a.m. on Friday, August 6, 2021, 9-1-1 dispatchers began receiving reports of a trailer on fire at the Meadow Wood RV Park on Autumn Lane in Azalea.

Fire personnel and law enforcement responded to the scene where two people, whose identity are being withheld at this time, were found deceased inside the trailer.

Detectives are currently investigating the cause of the fire. Anyone who may have photos, video or surveillance footage of the incident, is asked to share that with investigators by submitting the items to a public evidence portal via the web at: If you believe you have information which may aid investigators, please contact the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division at 541-440-4458 or email DCSO Case #21-3532

Medford Cooling Shelters

Due to the high temperatures forecasted, the City of Medford and community partners will open a cooling shelter.

The cooling shelter will be open Tuesday through Saturday (August 10th – August 14th) from 12 – 8 PM.

The cooling shelter will provide water, a cool resting area, restrooms, popsicles, snacks, and a cooling area and water for pets.

Individuals may come and go, with a facility capacity of 90 guests.

Thursday, August 12th the shelter will be operated at the Medford Senior Center, located at 510 E. Main Street.

Friday, August 13th the shelter will be operated at Jackson County Library Medford at 205 South Central Avenue.

Saturday, August 14th the shelter will be operated at the Medford Senior Center, located at 510 E. Main Street.

Anyone interested in volunteering or have resources to contribute may email for more information.

Nearly $4.7 Million Deployed for Long-Term Rebuilding of Communities Impacted by 2020 Fires in Oregon

Oregon Community Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Ford Family Foundation and American Red Cross Now Turn Attention to 2021

The 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund, a collaborative effort led by Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) in partnership with Meyer Memorial Trust, The Ford Family Foundation and American Red Cross, announced today $4,439,256 in grants to support 40 organizations throughout the eight Oregon counties ravaged by fires. OCF donors contributed an additional $235,000 this summer to support rebuilding efforts as well.

Community Rebuilding_McKenzie Valley Long Term Recovery Group of Lane County_via OCF

[Please see complete list of grantees (as of August 11, 2021) online in OCF Press Room:]

“Fire is inevitable, catastrophes are not,” said Sonia Worcel, Chief Community Impact Officer, Oregon Community Foundation. “Working together, we can reduce the risks of devastating fires now and in the future while ensuring that communities and philanthropic organizations are able to respond effectively. We will continue to be collaborative, nimble, and forward-thinking, as we support community-led solutions to address crisis in our state.”

The 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund is distributing millions of philanthropic dollars to fire-affected communities for their rebuilding efforts. “We directly engaged with communities throughout Oregon, particularly those disproportionately impacted, including communities of color, low-income and rural communities,” said Michelle J. DePass, President and CEO, Meyer Memorial Trust. “It’s important to listen and learn from community members about their needs and identify gaps in funding so that we can prioritize equitable philanthropic investments for rebuilding.”

The 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund set a goal of raising $10 million and has successfully raised $9.3 million to date from individuals, families, corporations and other foundations since September 2020. Contributions can be made online at:  Remaining funds will be awarded monthly throughout the Fall 2021.

“Community input and support is critical to address both immediate needs and the long-term rebuilding phase after the attention on the disaster wanes,” said Anne Kubisch, President, The Ford Family Foundation. “We are humbled by the level of community engagement to rebuild and help those in need over the long haul, across the state.”

Following is a snapshot of some of the community organizations supported through the Community Rebuilding Fund:

Douglas County

Glide Revitalization | $150,000.00 

Will serve a broad rural community that has high rates of poverty as well as vulnerable populations, including elderly community members and people living with disabilities.

Jackson County

Coalicion Fortaleza | $100,000.00 

Will serve Latina/o/x families impacted by the Almeda fire in the areas of Talent, Phoenix and rural Jackson County, including a diverse community of farm workers and seasonal workers. 

Lane County

McKenzie Valley Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG),| $149,600.00 

Will serve survivors of the Holiday Farm Wildfire and Straight-Line Wind Event of September 2020 who do not have adequate support from FEMA, insurance, and other assets to restore safe, secure and sanitary living conditions in the McKenzie Valley. 

“Oregon communities were not prepared for the devastation that those high winds and fires caused.  Too many people didn’t have warning. They escaped with the clothes on their backs,” said Melissa Freeman, Director of Strategic Projects, Oregon Community Foundation. “Communities came together, seeking safety, cleared the debris and started focusing on how to rebuild better.”

Oregon Community Foundation received more than 100 applications for funding, requesting over $16 million in support. The 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund partners recruited an advisory team of 11 people who survived the fires with diverse backgrounds to determine how funds would be awarded. OCF expects to deploy all recovery, rebuilding and resiliency grant awards by November 2021. `

With the 2021 fire season already well underway, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations throughout Oregon, including Oregon Community Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Ford Family Foundation and American Red Cross are convening and planning for what lies ahead. Each organization is planning to have their own resources ready for immediate response to natural disasters and are discussing the criteria and context for determining when it makes sense to pool resources. 

About the 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund

The 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund launched in response to Oregon’s devastating 2020 wildfire season which forever changed many of Oregon’s vibrant rural communities. Recognizing equitable, inclusive and resiliency-based rebuilding is essential, the 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund centers the needs of Oregon’s vulnerable residents most impacted – including Latino/a/x, Tribal and rural community members. The Fund supports community-led rebuilding that engages residents in shaping the future of the diverse and dynamic places they call home. The 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund is led by Oregon Community Foundation, in partnership with Meyer Memorial Trust, The Ford Family Foundation and American Red Cross and in addition to each partner, is primarily funded through individual, corporate and foundation support. To learn more, please visit: Community Rebuilding Fund

About Oregon Community Foundation

Oregon Community Foundation puts donated money to work in Oregon – more than $100 million in grants and scholarships annually. Since 1973, OCF grantmaking, research, advocacy and community-advised solutions have helped individuals, families, businesses, and organizations create charitable funds to improve lives for all Oregonians. Impactful giving–time, talent, and resources from many generous Oregonians–creates measurable change. Throughout 2020, OCF responded quickly and urgently – distributing a record-setting $220 million in charitable dollars to more than 3,000 nonprofits throughout Oregon working to address urgent needs, stabilize communities and prepare for long-term recovery in Oregon. OCF donors responded to the magnitude of need, as reflected in a 44% increase in donor advised fund grantmaking from the previous year. For more information, please visit:

About Meyer Memorial Trust

Meyer Memorial Trust, established in 1982, is among the largest private foundations in Oregon, with current assets of roughly $1.1 billion. Today, Meyer focuses on work in Oregon, in four areas Oregonians have identified as crucial to making the state better for all of its residents: housing, education, the environment and building community. Learn more at

About The Ford Family Foundation

The Ford Family Foundation was established in 1957 by Kenneth W. and Hallie E. Ford. Its mission is “successful citizens and vital rural communities” in Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. The Foundation is located in Roseburg, Oregon, with a Scholarship office in Eugene. To learn more, please visit:

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The American Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit or

The 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund, a collaborative effort led by Oregon Community Foundation in partnership with Meyer Memorial Trust, The Ford Family Foundation and American Red Cross to support Oregon counties ravaged by 2020 Labor Day fires.

Upper-level high pressure remains over the region today into the weekend, continuing the hot, dry and unstable
conditions. High temperatures will approach daily records today through Saturday. Relative humidity will stay low though the same period with weak overnight recoveries. Breezy northerly winds will continue to channel through the Okanogan Valley into this evening. Central and eastern Oregon could also get a little breezy this afternoon.

Moisture approaching from the south brings dry thunderstorm potential Thursday through Saturday, with the strongest chances Friday. Westerly winds will pick up starting Saturday afternoon as an upper-level trough starts across the region, bringing cooler, moister air into the region to start next week.

Potential for new significant fire development will be elevated for most of the region as fire danger indices rise with the hot, dry and unstable weather. Poor overnight recoveries will extend burn periods and increase fire behavior. The return of lightning after a few days of heating could bring a high risk for development of new significant fires for portions of southern Oregon this afternoon through Saturday.

Looking for an interactive map of the fires? The National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) offers an interactive map that allows users to track the progression of the fires using satellite heat detection. To explore it for yourself visit

Bootleg, Walrus, Yainax Fires 

Firefighters continue to monitor and patrol the perimeter of the Bootleg Fire while demobilizing equipment to make it available for other wildfires in the region. With continued progress made, the Walrus Fire was put into patrol status today and incident managers anticipate the Yainax Fire will be put into patrol status tomorrow.

The Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team continues their assessment of the impacts caused by the Bootleg Fire suppression activities. It is anticipated that the BAER  assessments will be completed by late August 2021 with the stabilization plan implemented by the Fremont-Winema National Forest shortly after.

With the continued hot, dry weather in the coming days, vegetation on the interior of the fire perimeter may continue to burn and put up smoke. Smoke or fire seen within the containment line does not need to be reported to authorities. For any new fire starts outside of containment lines, local firefighting resources will provide initial attack with support from the Bootleg Fire personnel.

Skyline Ridge Complex– 5 mi E of Canyonville, OR. Start 8/1. The complex includes 18 fires.

Crews patrolling several of the smaller fires in the western part of the complex report that although the fires continue to hold heat, they remained inside the fire lines throughout the day. Most of the fires around the complex are in mop-up and patrol status. Fire hose is being left in place as a precaution.

Last night, crews on the northwest end of the Poole Creek Fire completed operations to bring the active edge of the fire against an area of burnt fuel. Crews in that area today were able to focus on patrol and mop-up. Burn operations have also been underway along the eastern flanks to stop the fire’s spread. With fire behavior expected to increase between 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., and reports from day shift of fire near the lines in some locations, night crews will evaluate the situation on the ground and respond accordingly.

The Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal has sent structural firefighters and equipment to protect residences and other buildings near the Poole Creek Fire. Crews are evaluating structures along Ferguson Lane and Moore Ranch Road. If needed, they will improve defensible space around homes and outbuildings.

The fire area remains under a Red Flag Warning through 11:00 p.m. for dry and unstable conditions. Elevations of 3,000 feet and lower are likely to remain smoked in, and areas over 3,000 feet can expect clearer air and increased fire activity. Evening gusts will reach up to 15 mph and begin to taper after 11 p.m. Later in the week, after Saturday, cooler than average temperatures are expected to aid firefighting efforts.A Level 1 “Be Ready” evacuation advisory is in effect for residences in the area north of the Poole Creek Fire. For the latest evacuation information go to

Skyline Ridge Complex Firefighters Involved in Minor Injury Vehicle Crash

Four firefighters assigned to the Skyline Ridge Complex were transported by ambulance Wednesday morning after a rollover crash. 

On Wednesday, August 11, 2021, at approximately 9:53 am, 9-1-1 dispatchers were alerted to a reported single vehicle rollover crash in the 15000-block of Tiller Trail Highway. 

Deputies arrived on scene to learn that a crew vehicle transporting fire personnel from their night shift work assignment on the Skyline Ridge Complex had struck approximately 60-70 feet of guardrail before driving up a hillside and rolling over.  The crash resulted in non-life threatening injuries to the involved firefighters. The injured personnel are part of a 20-person crew assigned to the fire. The other members of the crew traveling in two additional vehicles were not involved in the accident. 

Fire and EMS crews responded, including medical personnel assigned to the fire. Four (4) of the crew members were transported by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg, Oregon where they were treated and later released.

Deputies determined the driver, a 38-year-old wildland firefighter from Salem, Oregon fell asleep at the wheel while returning to fire camp. Alcohol and speed were not contributing factors in the crash.  No citations or arrests were made. Douglas Co. Sheriff’s Office

Devils Knob Complex. 30 mi SE of Roseburg, OR.

An Excessive Heat Warning has been posted starting today through Saturday for all of southwest Oregon Complex Total Acreage: 4,650 Complex Total Containment: 5% General Updates: 

Significant progress was made on mopping up of small fires, and portions of larger fires, as well as containment actions on larger fires within the Complex. Eight smaller fires within the Complex are considered either controlled or out.   The priority continues to be taking suppression actions on larger fires that are on or near private property and homes. 

As high priority fires become contained and mopped up in the southern portion of the Complex, resources will be moved to the central and northern portions of the Complex to other priority fires. Fire behavior will continue to be very active due to high temperatures, low humidity, and low fuel moisture. Firefighters were very vigilant watching for spot fires and other extreme fire behavior.

Jack Fire and Rough Patch Complex–  

Ground resources are putting the final touches on primary, alternate and contingency lines today in preparation for ignition operations Thursday, on both the Rough Patch Complex and Jack Fire.

“With the uptick in fire weather, it’s likely we will need to take action to secure portions of our containment lines,” said John Spencer, operations section chief for Northwest 13 Incident Management Team. “We will meet the fire where it pushes us with ignition operations if needed.”

Umpqua National Forest’s Wolf Creek Hotshots and other local resources will assist with firing operations. If fire activity remains moderate, burnout operations will proceed according to priority, based on values at risk.

In addition to line prep, crews have worked to create defensible space around forest infrastructure, such as bridges, lookouts, and trail shelters, by removing excess fuels from the surrounding ground and applying protective structural wrapping to deflect flame impingement and embers.

Black Butte- 25 mi S of Unity, OR. Start 8/3. Cause: Lightning.

Good progress is being made along the northeast section of the fire. Crews will hold and mop-up to secure the fire’s edge, showing containment along dozer lines. Along the western edge, firefighters and heavy equipment will prep primary line off the 16 and 1635 roads, taking advantage of past fuel treatment and more favorable topography. Mop-up will begin on primary lines and crews will patrol and secure spots across containment lines. On the eastern edge of the fire, crews will scout primary and alternative lines to North Fork Malheur River.

On the southern edge of the fire, firefighters limited the fire spread into Bear Creek and continue scouting for primary and alternative lines to the south east of the fire edge. Crews plan to construct additional primary and alternative lines, and will begin mop-up along secure control lines from the south, moving north along the western perimeter. Protecting private lands and structures at Flag Prairie is a priority.

Middle Fork Complex and Knoll Fire

Kwis Fire: Fire growth is generally at the southern and western perimeter in the steep slopes of the Salmon Creek drainage. Firefighters are working to secure the line directly at the fire’s edge, using strategic burnout to add depth and strengthen fire lines while also using dozers and hand crews to establish indirect fire lines to the southwest of the fire. Containment lines on most of the western, northern, and eastern side are identified or in place. Last night crews installed hose lines to assist with containment efforts and night operations for the Kwis Fire are ongoing. Smoke and poor visibility continue to limit the use of aircraft until later in the day.

The Middle Fork Complex has been declared a conflagration.  The Oregon State Fire Marshal Red Incident Management Team arrived on 8/10/21 and established Unified Command with PNW Team 3.  Task Forces from Linn County, Marion County, Clackamas County and Lane County began surveying homes in the City of Oakridge and homes in the Level 2 Evacuation area.  Today, structure crews will begin hands on prepping of homes using the defensible space model and continue surveying neighborhoods. Home owners may find a green “Firefighter Risk Assessment Placard” left at their home.  The placards display critical information to responding first responders, such as: fire engine access, propane on the property and whether your home has been assessed by firefighters.  Please leave all green placards in place.  

Knoll Fire: Crews are using a combination of constructed line, existing roads, and natural features such as Deer Creek to contain the fire. Strategic firing operations to reinforce the fire line are progressing well and will continue today if conditions allow. Recreation sites near McKenzie Bridge are closed and the Oregon State Marine Board has temporarily closed the McKenzie River to recreational boating from Trail Bridge Reservoir Dam (River Mile 81.9) downstream to the Frissel Boat Ramp (River Mile 76.1).

Gales and Ninemile Fires: Yesterday, crews successfully used heavy equipment to establish containment line and secure a control point at the northwest edge of the fire to limit fire spread to the west and north. Burn-out operations to consume vegetation between the line and the active fire are being used strategically to extend the fire line to the south and reduce potential for the Gales Fire to spread to the west.  

Weather and Smoke: Warmer, drier and more unstable conditions are expected through the week, resulting in increased fire activity and potential for vertical plumes of smoke. There is a slight chance of dry thunderstorms on Friday, including possible lightning. For current air quality information, visit or the Oregon Smoke Blog

Bull Complex. OR-MHF-000738. IMT3. 13 mi NE of Detroit, OR. Start 8/3. Yesterday crews continued to make good progress in constructing fire line along Forest Roads 6370 and 4698. Janus, Kola, and Ridge Fires continued to grow marginally, slowly backing down the slopes.

Firefighters have completed line construction in the high priority areas.  These areas are where the Janus and Kola Fires are predicted to move towards the control line first.
The Round Lake and Ogre Fires are in patrol status and have been contained since August 7.

The photo above shows the Cascade Type 2 Initial Attack Crew constructing handline. Like many firefighters out on fires this summer, many of these crew members have left their trail, fisheries or engineering jobs to support the wildfire efforts. This crew is made up of employees from National Parks and National Forests in Washington state.  

Wednesday temperatures on the fire are forecasted to be 90-94F with relative humidity in the 22-26%.  Nighttime humidity forecasted to be around 45%. Winds will be primarily out of the northwest.  Ridgetop wind speed 1-4 mph, becoming 5-9 mph with gusts to 17.  Increased fire behavior is expected Wednesday 

Oregon reports 1,991 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 8 new deaths

There are eight new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 2,920, the Oregon Health Authority reported 1,991 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 234,393.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (25), Benton (12), Clackamas (143), Clatsop (40), Columbia (80), Coos (23), Crook (10), Curry (15), Deschutes (46), Douglas (209), Gilliam (2), Harney (2), Hood River (6), Jackson (247), Jefferson (8), Josephine (129), Klamath (8), Lane (144), Lincoln (24), Linn (38), Malheur (16), Marion (116), Morrow (21), Multnomah (157), Polk (48), Tillamook (13), Umatilla (121), Union (16), Wallowa (2), Wasco (18), Washington (199), Wheeler (3), and Yamhill (50). 

COVID-19 weekly cases and hospitalizations rise sharply

The Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 Weekly Report, released today, showed continued steep increases in daily cases and hospitalizations. 

OHA reported 8,304 new daily cases of COVID-19 during the week of Monday, Aug. 2, through Sunday, Aug. 8. That represents a 40% increase over the previous week.

There were 322 new COVID-19 hospitalizations, up from 256 last week. That marked the fifth consecutive week of increases.  

There were 40 reported COVID-19 related deaths, up from 25 reported the previous week.

There were 119,416 tests for COVID-19 for the week of Aug. 1 through Aug. 7.  The percentage of positive tests increased to 9.5%.

Today’s COVID-19 Weekly Outbreak Report shows 53 active COVID-19 outbreaks in senior living communities and congregate living settings, with three or more confirmed cases and one or more COVID-19 related deaths.

Governor Brown announces indoor mask mandate at press conference

Governor Kate Brown today announced a statewide indoor mask mandate to help curb the rising tide of COVID-19 in Oregon. OHA Director Patrick Allen and State Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger highlighted the alarming spike in hospitalizations and the surging cases of the Delta variant. Both strongly urged people who have not yet done so, to please get vaccinated. 

COVID-19 wastewater monitoring data dashboard 

Today, OHA is updating the wastewater dashboard to display quantitative and sequencing data related to our statewide COVID-19 wastewater monitoring project. Wastewater sample values have also been categorized into trend groups on this dashboard. These categories will help local public health departments track the changes of viral concentration in their community’s wastewater. The viral concentration data is displayed alongside daily case rates to show any relationships between the two measures. If a wastewater sample was sequenced, variants of concern detected in the wastewater are provided. 

Currently there are 40 wastewater treatment facilities with quantitative information displayed on the dashboard. These locations are displayed on a map of Oregon on the left of the dashboard with trend-colored dots. Information will be updated every Wednesday. 

The monitoring serves as an “early warning” system to inform local public officials if COVID-19 is increasing in communities in addition to which variants are circulating. OHA launched the project in August 2020 in collaboration with Oregon State University and with funding from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

OHA thanks the more than 40 communities that have participated in wastewater monitoring during this pandemic. These local partners truly go above and beyond to help inform their communities and OHA is grateful for their collaboration.

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