Covid-19 update

6 new cases reported; total now stands at 195


September 2, 2021

The cumulative number of covid-19 cases rose to 195 this week in Wahkiakum County after two cases were reported last Wednesday, and four more on Tuesday. Of those cases, 23 are considered potentially active. There have been 11 known hospitalizations, and five deaths have been attributed to covid-19.

“With today’s cases,” Wahkiakum Health and Human Services Director Chris Bischoff said on Tuesday, “August is now Wahkiakum’s biggest single month in terms of number of cases with 27.”

Bischoff said there were signs that the current wave is peaking in Washington, including the counties surrounding Wahkiakum.

“Typically we have been a little behind our neighbors in starting and ending our waves,” Bischoff said. “With school starting we are very concerned that we may see a significant jump in our cases. We have been in close conversation with the schools and daycare/early childhood education centers. We really need to have more people who are eligible get vaccinated and everyone to wear masks and practice social distancing.”

Bischoff broke down the demographics of 191 of the cases in Wahkiakum.

By gender, more males have been diagnosed with covid-19. They account for 101 of the cases, while females make up the other 90.

By age groups, the highest percentage of cases, at 31 percent, was in the 40-59 age demographic, which counted 60 cases. People between the ages of 20-39 accounted for 27 percent, or 51 cases. There were 40 cases in young folks between the ages of 0-19, for 21 percent. People between the ages of 60-79 were diagnosed with the virus 27 times, for 14 percent, and 13 people aged 80 and older tested positive, for seven percent of the cases.

By zip code, there were 150 cases in the Cathlamet area, 15 cases in the Skamokawa area, 11 cases in the Rosburg area, 11 cases in the Wahkiakum area that shares the Naselle zip code, and four cases in the Grays River area.

Because much of the country is seeing more cases in younger groups, Bischoff decided to look at more recent numbers to see if there was a similar shift locally.

Over the last month, the 0-19 demographic has accounted for nine percent of the cases, while historically, they account for 21 percent. The 20-39 age group makes up 39 percent of the recent cases, while historically they’ve accounted for 27 percent. People between the ages of 40-59 account for 26 percent of the recent cases while historically, they are a little higher at 31 percent. In the 60-79 age range, they make up 22 percent of the recent cases, and 14 percent of cases, historically. And lastly, for people 80 and over, they account for four percent of cases in the last month, and seven percent historically.

Bischoff warned that people should be cautious putting too much value in these particular numbers, as the sample size was very small, and a single case could change the percentage significantly.

He pointed out that if you look at the 0-39 age groups, the numbers for August are almost the same as they have been historically. He also said the numbers for the 20-39 age group have increased significantly, while the 0-19 age group has dropped.

“With school starting, our concern is that the 0-19 group will have significant exposure,” he said.

Vaccinations available

Bischoff said they were still seeing a trickle of people getting vaccinated. While WHHS continues to provide vaccinations, they are also informed when county residents are vaccinated elsewhere.

Of the county’s total population, 48.1 percent have had at least one dose of the covid-19 vaccination, while 44.5 percent of the county’s total population has been fully vaccinated. If only accounting for residents over the age of 16, 54.7 percent have initiated vaccination, while 50.7 percent are fully vaccinated. Finally, the percentage of the population over the age of 12 who have initiated vaccination is 53.4 percent and 49.4 percent are fully vaccinated.

By age group, 26.5 percent of youths between the ages of 12 and 17 have initiated vaccination, and 22.3 percent are fully vaccinated. In the 18-34 demographic, 37.3 percent have initiated vaccination and 32.7 percent are fully vaccinated.

The percentages go up in the 35-49 age group, with 51.2 percent initiating vaccine and 45.6 percent fully vaccinated. For those between the ages of 50-64, 50.5 percent have initiated vaccination and 46.5 percent are fully vaccinated. People over 65 have the highest rate with 63 percent initiating vaccination and 60.9 percent fully vaccinated.

A second delta variant patient has been detected in the county, and there have been 10 breakthrough cases reported locally.

“We do know that most vaccinated people will either have no symptoms or very mild ones if they get covid-19 at all,” Bischoff said. “The numbers vary by state and location, but it’s safe to say that significantly less than 10 percent of hospitalizations are among vaccinated individuals.”

Hospitals are right at their breaking point across the state in terms of capacity, ICU beds, and ventilators, Bischoff said.

Cowlitz, Pacific, and Clark Counties are all at or above their previous high marks for disease rate, and still seeing significant numbers of new cases, he added.

WHHS will not have a vaccination clinic on Monday because of the Labor Day holiday.


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