Number of confirmed COVID-19 cases now at 42 in Okanogan County

OKANOGAN – Another two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the Tuesday, May 19 update by Okanogan County Public Health bringing the total to 42.

As of 4 p.m. on Tuesday, there were 42 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Okanogan County with 32 listed as recovering. Of the 1140 samples sent for testing 1011 have returned as negative for the virus and 87 test results are pending. Two people have died from the virus, according to the agency.

Okanogan County Public Health“Okanogan County Public Health is reporting two new cases today. The new cases are from the South County area,” states the agency in the update.

Confirmed cases to date are from the following parts of Okanogan County: 11 from the Colville Indian Reservation, five from the Methow Valley, 13 from South County (Pateros to Malott), 10 from Mid-County (Malott to Riverside) and three from North County (Riverside to Oroville).

Okanogan County is moving forward with a partial Phase 2 Variance Request. Gov. Jay Inslee today announced new criteria for additional counties to apply for variances to move to Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start recovery plan.

Under the plan, smaller counties can apply for a variance from the order which would allow them to open even more businesses than allowed statewide. Counties are now eligible to apply if they have less than 10 new cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day span.

“Okanogan County Public Health has decided to move towards applying for a Partial Phase 2 Variance even though we do not currently meet the criteria. The partial variance will propose to allow some activates in Phase 2 to resume but not all of them,” said the agency. “Guidance provided by the Governor’s office would still need to be followed for any businesses allowed to operate in Phase 2.” Public Health hopes to submit the proposal before the end of the week.

“We are committed to make data-driven decisions informed by the best science available to optimize public health, public safety, and economic vitality. The Okanogan County Health Officer and Public Health staff have carefully weigh the risks associated with each of the activities in Phase 2 and feel there are some that can be restarted safely, provided appropriate precautions are taken,” states Public Health.

The agency is asking for everyone’s help in demonstrating that Okanogan County is ready to move to a partial Phase 2 and can do so safely.

This means:

• Washing your hands often,

• Social distancing – keeping six feet between yourself and others in public,

• Avoid all gatherings that include people outside of your household,

• Wearing a mask in public,

• Staying home when you are sick,

• Getting tested for COVID-19 if recommended by your healthcare provider, and

• Following isolation and quarantine guidance when necessary

“It will take us all working together towards a shared vision – together, we can do this! Stay Home, Stay Healthy,” encourages Public Health.