Covid-19 update

3 county cases reported; covid hasn't gone away


With three new cases in the last four days and a lag in data, this means that Wahkiakum has moved from the blue to the yellow or orange category this week. Graphic--Washington State Department of Health.

Wahkiakum Health and Human Services is reporting three new cases this week, bringing the county's official cumulative total to 313, with three cases considered active. According to the Washington Department of Health, 30 covid-19 cases in the county required a hospital stay since the pandemic began, and seven local residents have died from the virus.

The new cases appear to be unrelated, and while the department does not expect any more cases to arise from the three reported this week, WHHS Director Chris Bischoff admits they've been surprised before.

Disclaimer: With the easy availability of at home tests, it's impossible to know exactly how many cases of covid-19 are actually currently active in the county.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has set dates in mid-May to consider data from Pfizer and Moderna regarding their pediatric vaccines.

"This is exciting for many parents who have been worried about their children's safety," Bischoff said. "If the data is sound, approval for the pediatric vaccines should be before the end of May."

Another wave ahead?

"Cases continue to rise back east and around the country," Bischoff said. "Typically, fatalities run about three to four weeks behind cases. Back east, cases have been on the rise for the last 30 days or so, but fatalities are not rising significantly in those same areas.

"We are hoping that this is a trend that continues as far as fatalities goes. Some of this may be due to more people being vaccinated, better treatment options, and hospitals not being overwhelmed. The hope is that the virus, or the current variants, is weakening as happens sometimes with emerging diseases.

"I would still encourage people to use caution. This is still a very dangerous disease."

Vaccination rates vary

The Washington DOH is reporting that 74.2 percent of the state of Washington over the age of five is fully vaccinated. The percent is much lower in Wahkiakum, where 50 percent of the same population, five and older, is vaccinated.

The Pfizer vaccine, including a second booster, is available at the WHHS vaccine clinic on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30-3 p.m. Call 360-849-4041 for more information.

The Moderna vaccine, including a second booster, is available at the Cathlamet pharmacy. Call 360-795-3691 for more information.


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