OKANOGAN – Okanogan County Public Health is reporting a COVID-19 outbreak associated with the four-day Omak Stampede, held in Omak on Aug. 12 – Aug. 19. The agency says cases have been identified among county residents, on the Colville Reservation and as far away as Skagit County.
“As of today, we are aware of over two dozen lab confirmed COVID-19 cases in people who attended the event.” said Lauri Jones, community Health Director for Okanogan County.
Okanogan County Public Health (OCPH) is working with Colville Confederated Tribes Health and Human Services and other county public health partners to identify cases in people who may have attended the event, according to a Saturday, Aug. 25 press release. Public Health officials are urging anyone who attended the Omak Stampede or who has been in close contact with someone who attended, to watch closely for symptoms of COVID-19, including: fever, scratchy throat, headache, cough, diarrhea, chills, loss of taste or sense of smell, body aches, or other COVID-like symptoms.
“If you experience any of these symptoms, OCPH urges you to get tested for COVIO-19 and stay home and away from others until you receive a negative test result, A list of testing locations is available on the OCPH COVID-19 website: https://okanogancountycovid19.org/symptoms-testing/ or https://spanish.okanogancountycovid19.org/sintomas pruebas/.
According to Public Health, the COVID-19 vaccines and indoor masking are effective ways to suppress and eventually control COVID-19 spread in our communities. With the current surge in infections and hospitalizations in Okanogan County, OCPH is aware of one resident who is hospitalized who was fully vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines are available at most clinics, hospitals and pharmacies throughout Okanogan County.
COVID-19 spread occurs most commonly between individuals who are in close contact with one another through respiratory droplets that come from the mouth or nose when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, or speaks. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, nose, or mouth,
On average, symptoms of the virus develop five to six days following exposure, but the incubation period can be as long as 14 days. Some individuals never develop noticeable symptoms –which is why it is recommended to self-quarantine and self-monitor for a full two weeks after any likely exposure.
Facial coverings are required for everyone indoors in public spaces, regardless of vaccination status, during this time of surging COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, For more information on vaccine options and providers, visit: https://okanogancountycovid19.org/covid-19-vaccine/ or https://spanish.okanogancountycovid19.org/lavacuna.covid-19/.