October ends with COVID-19 Incident Rate on a downward trajectory

State releases report on COVID-19 in schools; vaccinations okayed in children 5-12.

Source: WDRL
This chart shows that the number of positive tests for COVID-19 were on a decline throughout October, with just a few incidents of the numbers climbing only to resume moving downward.

Source: WDRL This chart shows that the number of positive tests for COVID-19 were on a decline throughout October, with just a few incidents of the numbers climbing only to resume moving downward.

OKANOGAN – While this week’s Okanogan County Public Health COVID Data Report shows a slight increase in the 14-day Incident Rate, the county ended October with the overall rate continuing it’s slow decline throughout the month.

The two-week Incident Rate was at 677 cases per 100,000 of population, according to Public Health’s Monday, Nov. 1 data report. That was up 37 in 100,000 of population from the previous rate which was released on Monday, Oct. 25. However, the rate has continued downward from over 1000 in 100,000 in early October, with only a couple small increases in mid-month and toward the end of the month.

There were 292 people who tested positive for COVID-19 in the 14 days leading up to Monday’s report. In the three-day report, covering Oct. 29-31, there were 31 new cases. The new cases were in Omak, which had 10, Tonasket, five; Pateros, four; “unidentified” and Oroville, three each; Okanogan, two and one each in Brewster, Conconully, Elmer City and Nespelem.

Altogether there have been 5,252 cases of COVID-19 recorded in county residents since testing began. The number of fatalities attributed to the virus is 63, unchanged since the previous Monday update. The agency says that 55.3 percent of county residents are fully vaccinated.

In Public Health’s cumulative totals for people testing positive, Omak has the highest with 1,364, up 38 since the previous 14-day update on Oct. 25. The next highest is Brewster, with 948 (up 20); Tonasket, 699 (up 35); Okanogan, 586 (up nine); Oroville, 566 (up 39); Twisp, 187 (up one); Malott, 137; Pateros, 129; Nespelem, 121; Winthrop, 116 (up one); Riverside, 111; Coulee Dam, 101 (up one); Carlton, 42 (up one); Elmer City, 37 (up one); Loomis, 39 (up six); Conconully, 29 (up two); “unidentified,” 24 (up two); Wauconda, 12; Methow, 10 and Mazama, seven.

Of the 63 Okanogan County residents who have died from the virus, the highest number of fatalities were in Tonasket where 17 people have died. The next highest number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 is in Brewster, eight, followed by Omak, three and Pateros, two. The towns of Malott, Okanogan, Carlton and Oroville have had one death each. A total of 29 deaths (up 10) are listed as “unidentified.”

The largest number of positive COVID-19 cases in the county remains in the 20-39 age group with 1,663 (up 39) and three deaths. The 40-59 age group has had 1,388 (up 39) and three deaths. Next is the 0-19 age group with 1,190 cases (up 42) and no fatalities. Those aged 60-79 have had 838 cases (up 32) and 30 deaths. Age 80 and above have had 168 cases (up six) and eight fatalities. There were eight cases and 19 deaths listed in the “unreleased” category.

Statewide

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) reported a total of 638,191 confirmed cases as of Oct. 28. There have been 8,585 COVID-19 deaths in Washington.

The state recently released a report giving new insight into COVID-19 outbreaks at Washington state schools and announced that pediatric vaccine availability for children 5-11 years old is anticipated soon

DOH has released the latest report on COVID-19 outbreaks in K-12 schools across the state, which covers the start of the 2021/2022 school year. The report includes data on both public and private schools that experienced a COVID-19 outbreak between Aug. 1, 2021 and Sept. 30, 2021.

Notable data from the report:

  • 189 COVID‐19 outbreaks occurred in K‐12 schools. Of those, 42 occurred in August and 147 occurred during September.
  • The median size of an outbreak was fived individuals.
  • Approximately six percent of all schools experienced an outbreak since the beginning of the school year.
  • 167 Outbreaks occurred in public schools and 22 occurred in private schools.
  • 120 were associated with grade schools, 48 with middle schools and 55 in high schools.
  • A total of 1,284 COVID-19 cases were associated with outbreaks in K‐12 schools. The median age was 12.
  • 18 counties total reported COVID-19 outbreaks associated with schools.

“While we never want to see an outbreak occur in a school setting, the relatively small size of outbreaks is an indication that schools are working very hard to respond when there are cases among students, teachers, and staff,” said Lacy Fehrenbach, MPH, Deputy Secretary of Health, COVID-19 Response. “Getting young children vaccinated as soon as we are able will add the strongest protection possible. Everyone who is able to get vaccinated should do so now to offer protection to young kids who are not yet eligible.”

It’s important to note that DOH updated the school outbreak definition for the 2021/2022 school year. For the previous school year, the case count threshold to meet outbreak definition was two epidemiologically linked cases. For this school year, the threshold has been raised to three cases or 10 percent of a specified core group as defined in the K-12 School Outbreak Report.

This change was made to bring DOH in alignment with national standards based on the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) definition. The cases reported are epidemiologically linked to a school setting or a school-sanctioned extracurricular activity.

The most current COVID-19 resources for K-12 schools and child care are available at https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/ResourcesandRecommendations.

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