Two-week Okanogan County COVID incident rate continues climb

COVID-19 incident rate continues to climb in county; state submits interim vaccination plan to CDC.

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OKANOGAN – There were 18 new positive cases of COVID-19 in a two week period in Okanogan County and the incident rate, the number of people who had positive tests per 100,000 people, remains going in the wrong direction, according to the Monday data report from Okanogan County Public Health.

In the three-day period between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25, there were five new positive cases, three in Brewster and two in Okanogan, all reported on Oct. 24.

With the addition of the two-week data, the total number of people that have tested positive for COVID-19 since testing in the county began, is now at 1139. Of those, 1103 tested positive PCR and 36 positive antigen. The two-week Incidence Rate was 42.1 in 100,000 people. The death toll remained at 13, with no fatalities recorded in several weeks.

The number of people who tested positive in Brewster, which by far as the most cases, is 616. The next highest is Omak, with 187; Okanogan, 66; Tonasket, 57; Oroville and Pateros, 51 each; Nespelem, 29; Malott, 25; Coulee Dam, 15; Riverside, 10; Winthrop, eight; Twisp, seven; Elmer City and “Unidentified,” five each; Carlton, four; Loomis, two and Mazama, one.

The highest number of cases have been found in people ages 20-39 at 451, with those ages 40 to 59 next at 339. In the 0 to 19 age group there were 188 cases; 60-79 age group, 149 and in those 80+ there have been 12 cases.

Statewide, the number of people testing positive has flattened, while cases in the Midwestern U.S. have risen dramatically. The Washington State Department of Health submitted its interim vaccination plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by the stated deadline of Oct. 16, 2020.

This plan is Washington state’s response to the request from the CDC for state and territorial health departments to answer questions and outline their preliminary plans for vaccine distribution. It describes how the department will approach the work of planning for and distributing an U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) approved safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine once available. It also describes how crucial lessons learned from the H1N1 pandemic vaccine distribution in 2009 informed our COVID-19 vaccine plan.

“We want to emphasize that this is the first version of our plan,” said Michele Roberts, Acting Assistant Secretary with executive oversight for COVID-19 vaccines. “This is essentially a living document. But the one thing that won’t change is our focus on equitable distribution of the vaccine as a priority. As we learn more about the vaccine, and as we learn more specifically from communities and partners most impacted by COVID-19, this plan will evolve.”

Overall, Washington state is well positioned to receive, handle, distribute, and administer COVID-19 vaccine once an FDA-approved safe and effective vaccine is available, according to DOH. The agency says it has started its planning through intentional engagement and collaboration with other, state agencies, local government, health care providers, neighboring states and community partners. In compliance with the government-to-government process, the department will follow its consultation and collaboration procedure for engaging with tribal nations.