TILLAMOOK COUNTY COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS: COVID-19 surges statewide and in Tillamook County — 181 cases in the past week, 274 in the past two weeks and 400 in total this month; Another death; GET VACCINATED

The risk of getting COVID -19 is extreme as cases are surging statewide, hospital and ICU beds are nearly at capacity, and case counts continue to grow.

Since the beginning of August, 400 new COVID-19 cases have occurred in Tillamook County; 181 of those cases were from this past week (Aug 8 – 14) with a test positivity rate of 22.1%. In total since March 2020, 1,177 COVID-19 cases have been tracked in Tillamook County, with 35 hospitalizations and 6 deaths.  It is with a heavy heart that we provide this update, Tillamook County Public Health Department was notified today August 20th of the sixth Tillamook County resident to have died from the disease, COVID-19. The individual was a 67-year-old man from Tillamook County who tested positive on July 29 and died on Aug.18. Location of death and presence of underlying conditions are being confirmed. No other information is available at this time. We wish to express our sincerest thoughts and prayers for the individual’s family and community.

In the state press conference held yesterday, August 19th, it was noted that over 845 Oregonians are hospitalized for COVID-19, with 226 in ICUs. Oregon’s hospitals and ICU beds are over 93% full. Some hospital regions have been beginning the day with two ICU beds available, or none at all.

In order to address the Delta surge all are urged to follow the indoor mask mandate and to make a plan to get vaccinated as soon as possible if eligible. For those not yet vaccinated, OHA advised to be mindful of choices: consider not gathering with others and follow COVID-19 safety precautions – wear a mask, wash hands, and keep 6ft of distance from other.

Oregon Health Authority notes that nearly all of the new COVID-19 cases have been from the delta variant. The delta variant is 3x more transmissible that earlier strains of the virus, both young and older individuals are getting sick and increasing disease spread. We plead with you, if you or members of your household are at least 12 years old and not yet vaccinated, choose to get vaccinated as soon as possible – our bodies cannot effectively fight a virus that it has not seen, vaccines give us the ability to do that. Communities with at least 60% vaccination rate in the total community have been found to have lower case counts – not only does being vaccinated give your body a chance, but you are protecting others who may not be able to receive it yet. All three COVID-19 vaccines are available at no cost at health care offices and local pharmacies across the county. Learn more about how to get a COVID-19 vaccine here: https://tillamookchc.org/coronavirus/vaccine-scheduling/

Visit our case data tracker here: https://tillamookchc.org/coronavirus/covid19-case-tracking/

Governor Kate Brown along with Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education held a press conference yesterday to address Oregon’s hospital crisis, caused by the Delta surge. It was noted that over 845 Oregonians are hospitalized for COVID-19, with 226 in ICUs. Oregon’s hospitals and ICU beds are over 93% full. Some hospital regions have been beginning the day with two ICU beds available, or none at all. As of Friday August 14th, 807 Delta variant cases had been tracked in Oregon and 207 in Region 1 (Clackamas, Clatsop, Multnomah, Tillamook, and Washington counties). County level data is not available. In order to address the Delta Surge all are urged to follow the indoor mask mandate and to make a plan to get vaccinated as soon as possible if eligible. For those not yet vaccinated, OHA advised to be mindful of choices: consider not gathering with others and follow COVID-19 safety precautions – wear a mask, wash hands, and keep 6ft of distance from other. Choose to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

These tools remain as the most important things we can do to keep ourselves and our community safe. Choosing to wear a face covering will protect those who are not yet vaccinated and add additional protection to those who are vaccinated. If you are feeling sick with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 such as: fever, dry cough, fatigue, loss of taste or smell, aches and pains, headache, sore throat, nasal congestion, or red eyes stay home and contact your healthcare provider. COVID-19 testing is available at no cost at our acute care clinic (2111 8th St, Tillamook). Appointments are required, please call 503-824-3900.

To learn more about the Delta variant — including what defines a variant and information on breakthrough cases — visit the OHA blog: covidblog.oregon.gov/updates-on-the-delta-variant/

VACCINATIONS: To date, 15,232 Tillamook County residents have chosen to be vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

All three COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) are safe and effective at protecting against severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization, and death from any of the currently identified variants of concern including delta. In Tillamook County, 69.34% of those eligible for the vaccine are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 53.36% are fully vaccinated in the total Tillamook County community (including those not yet eligible). Oregon Health Authority reports that COVID-19 cases are lower in communities with a total vaccination rate greater than 60%. In addition, Oregon Health Authority notes that nearly all of the new COVID-19 cases have been from the delta variant. The delta variant is three times more transmissible that earlier strains of the virus, both young and older individuals are getting sick and increasing disease spread. We plead with you, if you or members of your household are at least 12 years old and not yet vaccinated, choose to get vaccinated as soon as possible – our bodies cannot effectively fight a virus that it has not seen, vaccines give us the ability to do that. Visit our website https://tillamookchc.org/coronavirus/vaccine-scheduling/ to learn more on where you can get a COVID-19 vaccine at no cost in Tillamook County.

About Tillamook County Community Health Centers:
TCCHC has been a Federally Qualified Health Center since 1994, providing medical, dental, behavioral and public health services.

Follow our Facebook @TillamookCHC for daily updates.

Additional Resources:

Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Information: http://healthoregon.org/coronavirus  

CDC COVID-19 Information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html