OKANOGAN – The county’s two-week COVID-19 Incident Rate ended the month of March by dropping to just 81 in100,000 in population, according to Okanogan County Public Health’s March 30 update.
March began with an Incident Rate of nearly 450 in 100,000. The new Incident Rate, the first time it has been below 100 in many months, returns the county’s numbers to the early days of the pandemic when various state mandates first began to be applied.
In that update, there were 35 (down from 66) new cases of the virus reported in the two-week period between March 16 and March 29. There were 29 new cases in the seven days prior to the update. Total positive cases in the county since testing began stands at 8432 and 80 verified deaths. Most of the deaths from the virus in the county, 40, have taken place among those ages 60-79. The second highest is in the unreleased category at 19; next is for those ages 80+ at 12; followed by ages 40-59, six and 20-39, three. There have been no deaths reported in the 0-19 age category.
In Public Health’s cumulative totals for people testing positive, Omak has the highest number with 2025 with five new cases between March 23 and March 29. The next highest is Brewster, with 1,347 (up nine); Tonasket, 1,146 (up one); Oroville, 945 (up four); Okanogan, 898 (up two); Twisp, 383 (up two); Pateros, 255; Winthrop, 256 (up three); Nespelem, 248; Riverside, 200 (up one); Coulee Dam, 207; Malott, 175; Carlton, 69 (up one); Elmer City, 74; Loomis, 55; “unidentified,” 50 (up two); Conconully, 42; Wauconda, 26; Methow, 17 and Mazama, 15.
The greatest number of fatalities from the virus have been in Tonasket residents with 17. The next highest number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 is in Brewster, eight, followed by Omak, three and Pateros, two. The towns of Oroville, Okanogan, Malott and Carlton have had one death each. A total of 46 deaths are listed as “unidentified.”
According to Public Health, those in Elmer City have the highest completed vaccination rate at 87 percent, with Methow being the lowest at 39 percent. The vaccination rate in the Tonasket area is 47 percent, while in Oroville it is 41 percent.
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) reported a total of 1,454,772 confirmed cases as of March 29. There have been 12,478 COVID-19 deaths in Washington.
Thousands of doses of a potentially life-saving COVID-19 drug are available in the state of Washington, and could potentially benefit those at highest risk for hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
Evusheld (tixagevimab co-packaged with cilgavimab) is a monoclonal antibody treatment that can provide protection against COVID-19. Provided via injection, it can be given to adults and children 12 years and older before infection with COVID-19. At present, those eligible to receive Evusheld include people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised or have had a severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine.
Individuals interested in this treatment should talk to their health care provider to determine if they are eligible for Evusheld. If they are, they can work with their providers to find a facility where they can receive the injection.
“Statewide, our cases and hospitalizations are moving in the right direction, but there are still deaths from COVID-19 every day, and a rise in cases caused by new variants is always a possibility,” said Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett, MD, MPH, Chief Science Officer. “We want to make sure patients who are immunocompromised know about treatments like Evusheld. It could be a game-changer for those who need extra protection.”
People at high risk for severe disease from COVID-19 who are not eligible for Evusheld should ask their health care provider about other antiviral and monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 that are available by prescription only and must be given within the first few days of COVID-19 symptoms to be effective.
Evusheld was first released for use in December 2021 and was initially very difficult to access due to limited supply. More information on COVID-19 therapeutics can be found at Washington State Department of Health’s website doh.wa.gov.