County adds new cases to reach 163 total; three deaths now listed
July 29, 2021
Three Wahkiakum County residents have now died from the covid-19 virus and more residents have tested positive this week, according to press releases from Wahkiakum Health and Human Services (WHHS).
This brings the total number of cases to 163, with two considered active.
The two are in self quarantine. There is no known connection to Wahkiakum School District or St. James Family Center.
"Out of respect for their families, and due to the size of the County, WHHS will not be releasing any demographics on the deceased other than that one was in the 65-plus age group, one in the 35-50 group, both females," health department Director Chris Bischoff said in a Wednesday morning release..
WHHS is working with the two who were recently diagnosed to determine who may be at risk for exposure. Anyone who is determined to have had close contact will be contacted by WHHS.
According to the Washington Department of Health (DOH), seven people in the county have been hospitalized at one time or another, and three deaths of county residents can now been attributed to covid-19.
DOH is also reporting that 3,519 doses of the vaccine for covid-19 have been administered, with a total of 10 more doses given in the county since last week.
Bischoff said that all of the recent cases of covid-19 in Wahkiakum County were in people who were unvaccinated.
According to a report compiled by Cowlitz County Health and Human Service, with assistance from other health departments in the region, vaccination “significantly reduces” the risk of hospitalization in southwest Washington.
Their analysis shows that the risk of hospitalization for covid-19 was reduced by 91 percent for southwest Washington residents, 65 and over, who were fully vaccinated. The risk of hospitalization went down to 74 percent for the same demographic when partially vaccinated.
Fully vaccinated is defined as two weeks following the second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after receiving the single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
“This report demonstrates how effective covid-19 vaccines are at preventing severe illness that can lead to hospitalization,” said Dr. Steven Krager, deputy health officer for Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, Pacific, Skamania, and Wahkiakum counties. “Completing the vaccination series provides the most protection, but even those who are not yet fully vaccinated receive some protection from the vaccine.”
The data provided by the aforementioned counties between March 22 and June 27 showed that 91 percent of the hospitalizations of people in southwest Washington between the ages of 45 and 64 were unvaccinated. Of the 61,200 people in that age group who had been fully vaccinated, fewer than 10 were hospitalized.
Meanwhile 49 percent of that demographic in southwest Washington remains unvaccinated.
“The COVID-19 vaccines are very effective, but they’re not perfect. A small number of people who are fully vaccinated may still get COVID-19,” said Dr. Melnick, health officer for Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, Pacific, Skamania, and Wahkiakum counties. “But this data show that those who are vaccinated are far less likely to be hospitalized as a result of their illness. Getting vaccinated provides the best protection.”