OKANOGAN – Another person has died from COVID-19 related illness, the 34th person to pass away in Okanogan County since the pandemic began more than a year ago, according to Okanogan Public Health.
In a statement made last Thursday, Public Health said, “This is a previously unreported death and the individual was a resident of Regency Harmony House (Brewster). OCPH recently received confirmation that this was a COVID-19 related death. Our condolences are with the family and friends of this community member during this time. As a reminder, OCPH delays the announcement of deaths out of respect for families and all reported deaths attributed to COVID-19 were verified with a death certificate, testing, and other case information.”
In the latest update as of press time, Public Health said there were nine new cases in the three-day period, Feb. 5, 6 and 7, leading up to their Monday, Feb. 8 update. Of those, three were in Tonasket, two in Brewster and one each in Okanogan, Omak and Pateros.
In the 14-day report there were 67 cases, leading to a 156.8 two week incident rate.
According to Public Health’s cumulative totals, Brewster has had a total of 695 people (up five from the previous update) who have tested positive for the virus since testing began in the county. The next highest is Omak, with 352 (up 29); Tonasket, 253 (up five); Oroville, 201 (up five); Okanogan, 181 (up three); Pateros, 65 (up one); Nespelem, 51; Malott, 41 (up one); Twisp, Winthrop and Coulee Dam, 38 each; Riverside, 26; Elmer City, 18 (up one) and Loomis and Carlton, nine each; “unidentified,” five; Mazama two and Conconully, one.
The highest number of deaths from the virus has been in Tonasket, where 17 people have succumbed. The next highest number of fatalities attributed to COVID-19 is in Brewster, eight and Omak, three. The towns of Malott, Okanogan, Oroville and Pateros have had one death each.
The highest number of COVID-19 cases in Okanogan County has been found in the 20-39 age group with 736 (up eight) and two deaths. The 40-59 age group has had 595 (up 11) cases and two deaths. Next is the 0-19 age group with 332 (up two) cases and no fatalities. Those aged 60-79 have had 322 (up six) cases and 10 deaths. Age 80 and above have had 70 cases and two fatalities. There were 18 deaths listed in the “unreleased” category.
In the Washington State Report from last Thursday, the Department of Health (DOH) reported a total of 302,782 confirmed cases as of Feb. 3. There have been 4,416 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. The higher number of new deaths is due to a data processing backlog cleared that day from Feb. 2, 2021.
Department of Health COVID-19 long-term care report: As of Feb.1, 2021, a total of 17,474 COVID-19 cases and 2,190 deaths have been identified as associated or likely associated with a long-term care facility (i.e., nursing home, assisted living facility, or adult family home). These cases include residents as well as employees and visitors.
In the COVID-19 vaccine distribution update from the Washington State Department of Health, they say the agency continues to make progress with the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration efforts. As of Feb. 1, a total of 773,346 people have received the COVID-19 vaccine, which is more than 60 percent of the 1,160,850 doses delivered to providers and long-term care programs across the state. Currently, Washington is averaging 27,902 vaccine doses given per day, inching closer to the goal of vaccinating 45,000 people per day.
That number should be higher when totals from several mass vaccination events are added into the mix. According to DOH, vaccination numbers continue to grow steadily at the state’s mass vaccination centers. DOH says they are pleased to announce that enrollment is now open for week three.
Thanks to the great work done by DOH, the Washington National Guard and local and private sector partners, as of Feb. 5, a total of 25,416 people were vaccinated against COVID-19 at mass vaccination centers. These include 6,021 people in Spokane, 6,702 people in Ridgefield, 5,614 people in Wenatchee and 7,079 people in Kennewick.
All four centers opened on Jan. 26. Mass vaccination centers aim to increase access to vaccines across the state, ensure the agency’s plans are “equitable and protect those most at risk.”
To request an appointment for next week, people must first confirm that they are eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19, based on the requirements of phase 1A or 1B-1. They can do so by using the Find your phase tool at the DOH’s website (www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/VaccineInformation/PhaseFinderTool). Find your phase does not schedule appointments. Once a person has made the confirmation through Find your phase, they can request an appointment at one of the mass vaccination centers. The agency asks people to note that information on hours and registration varies by location.
More information can be found at www.doh.wa.gov.