Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Covid-19 update

No new wave arriving in May?

There were no official new cases of covid-19 reported last week, and the cumulative number in Wahkiakum County stands at 309. There are no known active cases at this time, but with the ready availability of at-home tests, it’s hard to know any real numbers.

The Washington Department of Health (DOH) is reporting that 81 percent of the population in the state age five and up is fully vaccinated, but in Wahkiakum County, that number is much lower, at 51.1 percent. According to the DOH, the number of reported hospitalizations has gone up to 27 and six deaths have been attributed to covid-19.

The PeaceHealth website is no longer reporting the number of cases at St. John Hospital, but last week, they announced that because of “considerable decline of covid-19 transmission rates” in Cowlitz County, they will now allow each patient one visitor or support person at a time. Anyone entering the hospital or one of their clinics must still wear a mask.

“Everyone is tired of hearing about covid-19,” Wahkiakum Health and Human Services Director Chris Bischoff said. “That being said, we are probably far from being done with it.

“Waves come and go. Typically, from an epidemiological standpoint, we would expect a month or two of a lull before another wave hits us. If more waves are coming, and they probably are, my guess would be end of April to early May for the start of the next one.

"At this point though, all we can do is try and prepare, enjoy the spring weather, and be vigilant for what’s next. The media is trying to find the next variant of concern as fast as they can, so we may have heard about the next one already, or it might be one that hasn’t hit the news cycle yet. The World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and others are tracking every identified variant and working hard to find the new ones.”

Fourth doses are likely.

“More boosters are probably unavoidable with the way that the virus is evolving and how our immune systems are responding,” Bischoff said. The Food and Drug Administration and CDC won’t approve additional doses unless they are shown to be necessary.

“I know Pfizer, Moderna, and all the other vaccine manufacturers have made public statements, but it really isn’t for them to say. I have not heard that more doses (boosters) are going to be authorized yet at this point, but won’t be surprised when they are.”


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