No new cases reported; county total stands at 309
March 31, 2022
There were no officially reported cases of covid-19 in Wahkiakum County in the last week, and the cumulative total remained at 309, with no reported cases currently active.
Meanwhile, with the abundance, ease, and anonymity of at home tests, there is concern about how many cases there actually are.
“Many of my colleagues share a concern that with the growing rise in availability of at-home test kits, the number of actual cases are being significantly underreported,” Wahkiakum Health and Human Services Director Chris Bischoff said.
“Best guess at how under reported is not agreed upon, some folks are using three to one and others much higher ratios in terms of actual cases versus reported cases.”
While WHHS is reporting 309 cumulative cases of covid-19, the Washington State Department of Health is reporting a much higher number: 528 cases.
“WHHS only reports lab certified PCR test positives on our website,” Bischoff said. “DOH is including at home or quick antigen tests in their results.
"As always, what DOH reports is considered the ‘official’ total. We are reporting only the PCR tests for several reasons. The main reason is because that is what we started reporting at the beginning of the pandemic and we’re just trying to be consistent. Accuracy of reporting for at-home and quick tests is also one of our concerns in only posting the PCR results.”
WHHS is also reporting that 29 Wahkiakum residents have been hospitalized and six have died, all attributed to covid-19.
While the DOH is reporting that 73.8 percent of the state residents age five and up are considered fully vaccinated, only 51.1 percent of the same population in Wahkiakum County is considered fully vaccinated.
Variants continue to make news
“A sub-variant of omicron, BA.2, has been making the news quite a bit recently,” Bischoff said. “It is currently considered to be around 30 percent more communicable than the main omicron variant. There is some concern that this might lead to another wave in the United States.
"Another possibility is that it just extends the ending of the current wave rather than causing another large spike. Current data in the U.S. is showing a relatively low increase in cases in a very few places. The Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health are of course monitoring this.”
Gastrointestinal symptoms and covid-19
“GI symptoms have been associated with covid-19 from the beginning,” Bischoff said. “Like many of the other symptoms, some people have more of this and some less or none.
"There is no evidence currently that there is more of this associated with omicron than with other variants. There are ancillary reports that there may be more people reporting GI issues with covid-19 than previously seen. A few groups are looking into this, but there is no definitive evidence of this at this point.”