COVID cases spike to new high in Jefferson County

Largest increase since start of pandemic

Posted 1/12/22

 

 

Jefferson County saw an increase of 125 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, public health officials announced Monday.

The total number of cases jumped from 1,700 Friday to …

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COVID cases spike to new high in Jefferson County

Largest increase since start of pandemic

Posted

 

 

Jefferson County saw an increase of 125 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, public health officials announced Monday.

The total number of cases jumped from 1,700 Friday to 1,825 Monday, according to Jefferson County Public Health.

Five residents were reported hospitalized for the disease, an increase of three since Friday.

Officials also noted the two-week COVID case rate had spiked to 795 cases per 100,000 population. That’s up from 214 cases per 100,000 that Jefferson County reported in the last week of 2021.

“Unfortunately, the news is not good at this point. We are seeing incredibly rapid rises in cases throughout the country,” Jefferson County Public Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry said Monday.

The increase in cases, she added, looks like “a straight upward trajectory.”

Hospitalization rates are also rising rapidly, Berry told county commissioners during their weekly pandemic update Monday.

Of the new cases in Jefferson County, Berry said 40 were due to an outbreak at Olympic Corrections Center, the minimum security facility on the county’s West End.

Some of the new cases involve people who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Berry said, adding that a “vastly disproportionate number of our hospitalizations are in people who have not completed their vaccine series.”

While the healthcare system is critically strained, Berry said it remains incredibly important for people to get vaccinated to reduce the strain on hospitals.

“We are seeing shortages of beds statewide. We certainly have shortages of staff,” she said. “We’re seeing shortages of tests and shortages of medications.”

Berry said the current rise in COVID-19 cases is expected to peak at the end of January.

That means the number of people who are hospitalized for COVID will hit its high point in mid-February, she added.

“As crazy as these numbers sound right now, we anticipate that they will be worse for the next couple of weeks and the strain on our healthcare system will be worse for actually even longer,” Berry said.

No new deaths from COVID have been reported in Jefferson County. Through Friday, 20 residents have died from the coronavirus.

The biggest increase in new COVID cases since Friday has been seen in residents between the age of 30 and 49.

A total of 29 new cases were reported in the 30 to 39 age bracket; and 26 new cases were in the 40 to 49 age bracket.

A total of 11 new cases for residents 11 years old or younger were reported over the weekend.

Of the 125 cases of COVID confirmed since Jan. 7, 42 were in the west county area; 36 were in Port Townsend; 32 were in the mid-county area; and 15 were in south county.

Berry said Monday the spread of COVID in the county was now at its highest point since the start of the pandemic.

“That means that we have to do what we can to reduce transmission in our community and to reduce the strain that we put on that healthcare system,” Berry said.

“And that means getting vaccinated. That means wearing a mask. It also means limiting your social contacts,” she said.

People should start scaling back close social contacts, Berry added, and limiting their exposure time in indoor spaces with other people.

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