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The Jefferson County Health Department reported 862 new COVID-19 cases since its last report on Nov. 25, bringing the total number of cases in the county to 12,132 since the first ones were reported in March, according to the Health Department.

Of those cases, there were 266 more from Nov. 25, another 77 cases from Nov. 26, 119 cases from Nov. 27, 164 from Nov. 28 and 184 from Sunday (Nov. 29), the Health Department reported.

Nov. 26 was the first say since Oct. 30 with fewer than 100 cases in one day reported, according to the Health Department.

The county currently has 4,222 active cases, the Health Department reported.

In addition, the county has had 103 COVID-19-related deaths since the pandemic started.

As of midnight Sunday, 840 people were quarantined, which means they had a confirmed exposure to the virus and were in the process of completing a 14-day quarantine period.

A total of 7,782 people had been released from isolation since the start of the pandemic, according to the Health Department.

Of the county’s total coronavirus cases, 893 have been at long-term care facilities, which includes residents and staff members who live in Jefferson County.

Of the total COVID-19 deaths in the county, 55 have been from long-term care facilities.

Mask order

Jefferson County now has a face mask order requiring residents to wear face masks while in public spaces when social distancing cannot be maintained, although there are no fines or penalties for violators.

The joint order was issued by the Health Department and the County government and went into effect 12:01 a.m. Friday, Nov. 27, and ends 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21.

It requires residents 10 and older to wear masks in public when they cannot keep 6 feet away from others.

According to the order, face masks must be cloth, fabric or another permeable material without any holes or one-way valves. The mask must cover a person's nose and mouth.

The order includes several exceptions: A mask is not required for people outdoors at least 6 feet from others; people who are exercising at least 6 feet from others; people who are engaging in a sporting activity; people inside a vehicle; people who are eating and drinking at a restaurant or other dining establishment; and people with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks.

Health Department officials stress the importance of taking steps other to prevent the spread of the virus, including avoiding crowds, social distancing, good hand-washing and staying home if you are sick.

Officials say they are especially worried about the spread of the virus over the holiday season, when people tend to gather with family and friends. Those kinds of gatherings, the Health Department has warned, can lead to the spread of COVID-19, which is particularly dangerous for older people and those with pre-existing health conditions.

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