Covid-19 update

11 new cases this week; cases now total 287


January 20, 2022

There were 11 more cases of covid-19 reported in the past week, with four on Thursday and seven on Tuesday, bringing the cumulative total to 287 in Wahkiakum County.

Of those, 19 are considered potentially active.

“We have had a lot of cases in the past few weeks in Wahkiakum,” Wahkiakum Health and Human Services Director Chris Bischoff said. “There has not been a centralized source for these.

"It looks like nationally, in Washington, and in surrounding counties like cases overall are starting to decline. That is good news, but I would like to remind people that case counts are still very high and they should use caution. Now is as good of a time as any to get vaccinated or your booster.”

According to the Washington Department of Health, the number of reported hospitalizations and deaths in the county attributed to the virus remain at 18 and five, respectively.

The number of patients receiving care for covid-19 dropped by half in the last week at St. John Hospital to 13.

“Hospitalizations may have peaked as well, which will be welcome, but hospitals are still very overwhelmed,” Bischoff said. “Washington State Department of Health is asking people not to go to the hospital to get tested for covid-19. Most hospitals are operating at crisis levels and do not have staff time for the increased load of covid-19 testing. People need to consult with their personal physician for testing options.”

DOH is reporting that 71.1 percent of the state’s population, age 5 and up, is considered to be fully vaccinated. There isn’t a percentage being reported for that particular population in Wahkiakum, but 47.8 percent of the county’s total population are considered fully vaccinated, and 53 percent of the population age 12 and up are considered fully vaccinated.

Mask guidance updated

“The CDC has updated their guidance on masking to include this statement ‘CDC continues to recommend that you wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently,’ Bischoff reported.

He provided links for more information online.

General mask guidance can be found at To learn more about masking types, go to:

For ways to make your mask protect you better:

“In general you should find masks that fit and wear them correctly,” Bischoff said.

Here are a few things Bischoff said to consider:

= The best mask is one you will wear.

= Masks need to fit well covering the nose and mouth with no gaps on the sides or at the nose, This is more important than mask type.

= N95 or Kn95 are now more readily available and offer the highest protection of any I’ll talk about. These need to be disposed of every five days or so.

= Procedure or basic ‘medical’ masks offer the next most protection. Make sure they are the triple layered type (meaning three layers of filtration in each mask). These also need to be disposed of every five days or so.

= Fabric masks offer the least protection, but are still pretty protective if they are at least two layers of close knit fabric and fit correctly.

= Face shields by themselves are not protective for COVID. No type of face shield is recommended for prevention of COVID.

Behavioral health resources listed

For a more extensive list of resources provided by Wahkiakum Health and Human Services, go to, which also provides resources for food, rent, and jobs.

If you are struggling right now and need someone to talk to, there are several options, including:

= National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255.

= WALISTENS.ORG 1-833-681-0211.

= Teen Link at 866-TEENLINK (866-833-6546) under 21 (peers available)

= Friendship Line (60 and Over) 1-800-971-0016.

= Wahkiakum Crisis line 800-803-8833.

= Washington Recovery Help Line (substance use): 1-866-789-1511.

= The Trevor Project hotline: 866-488-7386 - For LGBT youth - suicide prevention, support, resources, online social community.

More resources can be found at

Free at home tests are now available for every household in the United States. Go to to sign up.


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