The following is a summary of the presentation during the Public Health briefings at this week’s Board of County Commissioners meeting made by Jefferson and Clallam County Public Health Deputy Dr. Tom Locke . The summary below was provided by and used with the permission of Jefferson County Government.
Public Health Deputy Dr. Tom Locke told Commissioners this morning that COVID-19 cases are climbing throughout the U.S. by 53% and hospitalizations are going up as well. Washington is 15th on the list of states in terms of COVID-19 activity; cases are up 37% and hospitalizations area up 27%. Deaths are also increasing in the state. Jefferson’s two-week case rate is 848/100,000. Two people currently are hospitalized. The World Health Organization estimates the official global death rate to be 6.2 million. The U.S. has surpassed 1 million deaths, and Dr. Locke reported that three-quarters of these were in people 65+. Black, Hispanic, and Native American populations were disproportionally represented with almost two times the risk of death as their white counterparts. Harvard and the Brown School of Public Health computed that 318,000 people could have been saved if the U.S. had been fully vaccinated. As of today, 29 people in Jefferson County have died from COVID-19.
In Washington State, the BA.2 sub variant is the predominate COVID-19 strain. On the east coast, there is another strain – BA.2.12.1. Both of these are extremely transmissible and three times as contagious as Delta. These two covariants are partially resistant to prior immunity. The immunity derived from a vaccine or a prior infection is still very valuable but is not effective in preventing mild or moderate infection.
Submit your Public Health questions to Dr. Allison Berry and to Willie Bence by emailing [email protected]. Note: The weekly deadline for these to be submitted is on Fridays at noon, to be answered at the following Monday’s BOCC meeting.
Note: Due to the Memorial Day holiday, there will be no BOCC meetings, nor Public Health Briefings, on Monday, May 30. The next Briefings will take place on Monday, June 6. Please send any questions by Friday, June 3.