Covid update: 2 new cases; county vaccination rate lags behind state rate


December 9, 2021

There were two more cases of covid-19 reported in Wahkiakum County on Monday, bringing the cumulative total to 263 with three cases considered potentially active.

The number of hospitalizations and deaths attributed to covid-19 in the county stood still this week, according to the Washington Department of Health, at 17 and five respectively.

The DOH also reports that 4,395 doses of the vaccine have been given to residents in the county.

In the state, 81.2 percent of the population age 12 and up has received one dose of vaccine, and 74.9 percent is fully vaccinated. The number for the same population is much lower in Wahkiakum County where 56 percent has received one dose, and 52.7 percent is fully vaccinated.

Wahkiakum Health and Human Services will not have a vaccine clinic during the last two weeks of the year, from December 20 until January 1, 2022.

“With holidays and vacations it is very difficult to staff anything during that time,” WHHS Director Chris Bischoff said.

They also had to cancel both vaccine clinics this week, because of staffing issues.

“Our primary shot giver and all of our substitutes were unavailable on very short notice,” Bischoff said. “We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused anyone. There was just no available alternative for us.”

While WHHS has been administering the Pfizer vaccine, the Cathlamet Pharmacy has the Moderna vaccine available. They have the flu vaccine as well, both the regular, and the high dose version, for people 65 and older. Call the pharmacy, 360-795-3691, to make an appointment.

A new variant, omicron, is officially in the state, Bischoff said, with the Washington Department of Health confirming three cases late last week.

“It’s still too early to know if this variant will be like Delta, easier, or worse,” Bischoff said. “We are still urging people to get vaccinated, wear masks, and practice social distancing as much as possible.”

There have been a lot of questions about the correlation between hospitalizations, death, and vaccine status.

“All the reports I’ve seen show that the vaccine is extremely effective at preventing infection, hospitalization, and death,” Bischoff said. “There are still breakthroughs on all those, there are just a lot less, percentage-wise.”

“The short of it is that vaccines aren’t perfect, but they are significantly better than no vaccine,” he added.

St. John Hospital was treating 17 patients for covid-19 on Tuesday


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