5 new cases this week; mask mandates ending
March 3, 2022
Five new cases of covid-19 were reported on Monday, bringing the cumulative total for Wahkiakum County to 308, with seven considered potentially active.
The reported number of people who have been hospitalized in the county for covid-19 stands at 24, and one more death in the county has recently been attributed to covid-19.
“It looks like the [Washington] Department of Health has assigned us another fatality,” Wahkiakum Health and Human Services (WHHS ) Director Chris Bischoff said. “We are not aware of who that is or the exact circumstances, but they now have us at six.”
As of Tuesday, there were seven patients at St. John Hospital being treated for covid-19.
“Generally the current wave is still headed down, although in Wahkiakum we are kind of holding steady with around three a week,” Bischoff said. “Hospitalizations mostly continue to decrease in the state.”
WHHS has been sending out press releases every few days to report cases, but they are the only county in the region to continue the practice, so as of this week they will begin updating the numbers online, ensuring the case count is accurate every Tuesday morning, with possible updates on Thursdays or Fridays if needed. For current data, go to http://www.co.wa.wahkiakum.us.
Mask guidance is changing
“On Friday, February 25, the Centers for Disease Control changed its masking guidance,” Bischoff said. “For medium and low risk areas this removed the masking recommendation for the general population. Oregon, California, and Washington have agreed to have the same date, largely, for removing the masking requirement.
"On March 12, at 12:01 a.m., the general mask mandate in the state will be lifted. There are still certain situations where masks will be required such as prisons/jails, healthcare settings, long-term care facilities, and hospitals.
"Individual business owners can choose to still have and enforce mandatory masking in their places of business.
"For folks that are immunocompromised, unable to be vaccinated, or are trying to protect someone, masks will still be a good idea in public spaces.”
According to the Washington Department of Health, 73.2 percent of Washingtonians age five and older are considered fully vaccinated. Wahkiakum County’s number is much lower at 50.8 percent.
Vaccinations continue to be available for anyone age five and up in Wahkiakum County.
Moderna vaccines are being offered to patients at the Wahkiakum Clinic, and at the Cathlamet Pharmacy. Call to make an appointment.
The Pfizer vaccine is available at Wahkiakum Health and Human Services. For information or to make an appointment, call 360-849-4041.