County case count now to 71; vaccination age group expands to include 65+
January 21, 2021
As of Tuesday, 71 Wahkiakum County residents had tested positive for covid-19, with 18 cases considered active, and 1,155 tests conducted so far.
This is an increase from 64 on Tuesday of last week.
Pacific County added nine new cases on Friday, for a total of 649 cases. Of those, 31 are considered active, and seven deaths have been attributed to covid-19. Cowlitz County is reporting a total of 3,308 cases, with 328 considered active, and 32 deaths. Across the river, Columbia County has had 1,054 confirmed cases and 18 deaths, and Clatsop County has had a total of 687 cases and five deaths.
“We have administered 541 first doses,” Wahkiakum Health and Human Services Director Chris Bischoff said. “We have 90 more first doses on hand, but they are already scheduled to be given this week. We have confirmation that we are getting another 100 first doses this week. All of the second doses that we need for next week are going to show up this week as well.”
Bischoff is referring to them as first and second doses simply because they are easier for him to track that way, but there is no difference between the two.
WHHS will be calling people to schedule the second doses.
“We’re trying not to get too far ahead of ourselves,” Bischoff said. “If you are a week away from your second dose, and you haven’t heard from us, you can call us. If you just got your first dose, don’t call us.”
Clinic today in Rosburg
WHHS is holding a shot clinic at Johnson Park on Thursday (today), and several people have been scheduled.
“In national news you are hearing about wasted doses,” Bischoff said. “There are no wasted doses in Wahkiakum County, we give them all. We get rid of them as we get them in. That’s our intention.”
While other counties are still struggling to get shots to everyone who is considered 1a, which includes all high risk medical personnel, Wahkiakum has been able to move into 1b, providing vaccinations to police and jail staff, crisis responders, teachers/administrators/staff at schools, daycare/early start workers, pharmacy staff, transit drivers, firefighters, customer facing store and office workers, USPS employees, agricultural workers, mental health providers and staff, and anyone who was 75 and older.
The guidelines changed a little on Monday, and now anyone 65 and over can get vaccinated. Bischoff is encouraging all Wahkiakum residents who are now eligible to call the health department at 360-849-4041.
No other county in the state is moving into Phase 2 of the regional recovery plan right now, Bischoff added.
At the vaccination clinic
Health department staff have developed a protocol for administering vaccinations.
At the Hope House clinic in Cathlamet, a volunteer first screens patients for covid-19 symptoms. The patient next completes a form asking for a brief health history and health insurance information. Staff set up a circular path for patients, entering to the right, receiving the injection, and leaving to the left.
Patients are asked to remain in the vicinity for 15-30 minutes for staff to observe possible allergic reactions.
"We've had a few reactions in folks with allergy issues," Bischoff told the county board of commissioners Tuesday.
Some people have reported having a dead arm and/or a headache. Most people have a sore arm at the injection site for a day or so, which is typical for a vaccination.
(Rick Nelson contributed to this report.)