OKANOGAN – For the first time in months, Okanogan County had two more people die from COVID-19, both were people in their 70s from North County.
The total number of people who have died from the virus is now 39, according to Okanogan County Public Health’s Monday, Aug. 23 report.
After recording a rise in positive COVID-19 rates that was less than most of the state last week, the county’s two-week Incident Rate increased more than 60 percent to 441 in 100,000 of population. Last week that number was 269 in 100,000, two weeks ago it was 146 and three weeks ago it was 81.
There were 190 new cases in the two weeks prior to last Monday’s report .There were 40 new cases in the three days leading up to the report – 11 in Omak, nine in Okanogan, four in Oroville and Twisp, three in Tonasket, Brewster and Coulee Dam, two in Riverside and one in Methow.
Total breakthrough cases, positive cases in fully vaccinated people, from December 2020 to August 2021 is 43.
The total positive cases of the virus in the county since Public Health began keeping track has is now 3,111.
In Public Health’s cumulative totals for people testing positive, Brewster has had the most people who have been infected with the virus with 793 (up 14 from the previous 14-day update). The next highest is Omak, with 714 (up 32); Tonasket, 369 (up 16); Okanogan, 304 (up 12); Oroville, 288 (up 17); Twisp, 105 (up six); Pateros, 90 (up three); Nespelem, 88 (up three); Coulee Dam, 76 (up six); Riverside, 66 (up seven); Winthrop, 66 (up one); Malott, 66; Elmer City, 20; Carlton, 20 (up one); Loomis, 14 (up one); Conconully, eight; “unidentified,” eight; Methow, six (up one); Mazama, five and Wauconda, five (up one).
The highest number of fatalities from the virus were in Tonasket where 17 people have died. The next highest number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 is in Brewster, eight; Omak, three and Pateros, two. The towns of Malott, Okanogan and Oroville have had one death each. Six deaths are listed as “unidentified.”
The greatest number of positive COVID-19 cases in the county continues to be in the 20-39 age group with 1,082 (up 82) and two deaths. The 40-59 age group has had 866 (up 38) and two deaths. Next is the 0-19 age group with 588 cases (up 22) and no fatalities. Those aged 60-79 have had 483 cases (up 19) and 15 deaths (up two). Age 80 and above have had 91 cases (up one) and two fatalities. There were 10 cases and 18 deaths listed in the “unreleased” category.
Gov. Jay Inslee updated and extended two emergency proclamations that expand the vaccine requirement and the statewide face covering requirement. The expanded emergency orders are: Proclamations 20-25, Washington Ready; and 21-14, Vaccination Requirement.
The governor made the announcement at a press conference earlier this week.
The vaccination requirement is for employees working in K-12, most childcare and early learning and higher education.
“It has been a long pandemic, and our students and teachers have borne their own unique burdens throughout,” Inslee said at the announcement. “This virus is increasingly impacting young people, and those under the age of 12 still can’t get the vaccine for themselves. We won’t gamble with the health of our children, our educators and school staff, nor the health of the communities they serve.”
Proclamation 20-25 is amended to adopt the most recent face covering order issued by the Secretary of Health, Order 20-03.4. Under this order, every person in Washington must wear a face covering when they are in a place that is generally accessible to any person from outside their household, subject to specific exceptions and exemptions.
Proclamation 21-14 (Vaccination Requirement) is expanded to include all employees, on-site contractors and on-site volunteers at all public and private K-12 schools, public and private 2- and 4-year institutions of higher education, and early learning and child care programs serving children from multiple households.
The statewide mask requirement went into effect on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. The amendment to Proclamation 21-14 (Vaccination Requirement) was effective immediately.
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) reported a total of 474,342 confirmed cases as of last Thursday. There have been 6,330 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. There have now been more than 38 million positive cases nationwide.
COVID-19 transmission and hospitalizations is at a new all-time high, according to DOH. These upward trends are likely to continue in the coming month due to the delta variant, said the agency. With hospital staff and capacities strained statewide, both masking and vaccination are now crucial to control and manage disease transmission.