OKANOGAN – There were 10 new cases of COVID-19 in the three-day period covered by Okanogan County Public Health’s Monday update on the spread of the virus in the county.
Overall, there have been 32 new cases in the county during that three-day period which included Jan. 8, 9 and 10, according to Public Health. In the 14-day period leading up to Monday’s report, there were 172 new cases, bringing the county’s total to 1882. The number of deaths from the virus, according to the agency, remains at 32.
The county’s two-week incidence report is 402.5 per 100,000 of population, a small drop from the previous Monday report.
Of the new cases in the previous three days, Oroville had 10; Omak, seven; Riverside, five; Brewster, four; Tonasket and Okanogan, two each and Pateros and Twisp, one each.
According to Public Health’s cumulative totals, Brewster has had a total of 681 people (up 15 from their previous 14-day report) who have tested positive for the virus since testing began in the county. The next highest is Omak, with 352 (up 24); Tonasket, 227 (up eight); Oroville, 181 (up 19); Okanogan, 154 (up four); Pateros, 59 (up four); Nespelem, 39; Twisp, 33 (up one); Malott, 37 (up one); Coulee Dam, 29 (up one); Winthrop, 29 (up three); Riverside, 23 (up seven); Elmer City, ten (up two) and Loomis and Carlton, nine each; “unidentified,” five and Conconully and Mazama, one each.
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 678 and two deaths. The 40-59 age group has had 538 cases and one death. Next is the 0-19 age group with 310 cases and no fatalities. Those aged 60-79 have had 293 cases and 10 deaths. Age 80 and above have had 63 cases and two fatalities. There were 17 deaths listed in the “unreleased” category.
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) will begin texting a verification code to every person in Washington state who tests positive for COVID-19. The goal is to help WA Notify exposure notification users alert fellow users faster if they’ve been exposed.
People who test positive for COVID-19 will still receive notification from their health care provider or testing facility – that won’t change. But everyone who tests positive will now also receive a text. That text includes a link to activate a verification code within WA Notify, and anonymously alert users they may have been exposed.
People who test positive can expect to receive a text from DOH within 24 hours after the agency gets their result. Anyone who receives a text and isn’t using WA Notify can simply disregard it.
Currently, public health provides the verification code during the case investigation process, but this should make the notification process faster.
“Adoption of exposure notification technology has been strong in Washington state, so I’m pleased we’re able to make this improvement to get verification codes to WA Notify users faster,” said Lacy Fehrenbach, Deputy Secretary for COVID-19 response. “The earlier someone is notified of a possible exposure, the more quickly they can take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and potentially save lives.”
Since Nov. 30, 2020, nearly 1.66 million people have successfully activated WA Notify, a simple, anonymous exposure notification tool that uses smartphones to help stop the spread of COVID-19. WA Notify is available in more than 29 languages so as many Washington residents as possible can access this tool. WA Notify uses privacy-preserving technology jointly developed by Google and Apple and works without collecting or revealing any location or personal data. Users can opt out at any time.
To learn more:
• Visit WANotify.org to see how easy it is to add WA Notify to your smartphone.
• Information about WA Notify is available in multiple languages: WANotify.org/languages.
• View a video that describes how WA Notify works.