TILLAMOOK COUNTY COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS: COVID-19 UPDATE – 12/17/21

COVID-19 cases and test positivity are increasing again in Tillamook County; 131 cases so far in the month of December, test positivity at 10.8%, and total COVID-19 related death toll at 48.

We share this news following Governor Kate Brown’s video press conference earlier that discussed the Omicron variant – see link to press conference below.

OHSU forecast shows that the Omicron variant is more easily spread than past variants but is not yet shown to cause an increase in disease severity. Hospitalizations will still be a concern as even though less disease severity, there is projected to be more cases.

Infection from Omicron has occurred in other countries at a greater rate in people who are fully vaccinated (breakthrough case) than previous variants. Those who remain unvaccinated are at the highest risk of becoming infected. Amongst fully vaccinated people, those who have booster doses have had increased protection and are not getting the virus as much compared to those who are not yet boosted. Vaccines also decrease hospitalizations and death from COVID-19.

The OHSU forecast show that we have approximately 3 weeks before peak hospitalizations due to the Omicron surge hits in mid-January. We along with OHA ask everyone 16 years-old and older who completed their vaccine series 6 months ago, and everyone 18 years-old and older who had J&J 2 months ago to please make a plan to get a booster dose as soon as possible. And for those not yet vaccinated, please choose to become vaccinated against COVID-19. It is not too late; vaccines are available at no cost in Tillamook County and all across Oregon.

We know this news may be concerning, but we do have tools in place to protect ourselves and our loved ones. We thank you all and ask you to continue to practice: vaccinate, masking up, spacing out, and frequent hand washing.

Here’s the holiday vaccine clinic schedule:

TCCHC COVID-19 FULL REPORT: 

TILLAMOOK, Ore. — During the month of December (12/1/21 – 12/16/21), 131 new cases of COVID-19 were tracked in Tillamook County; 95 over the past 14 days (11/28 – 12/11), 60 over the last 7 days (12/05 – 12/11) and 28 over this past weekend (12/10 – 12/12). Test positivity over the past week was recorded at 10.8%. In total since March 2020, 2,302 COVID-19 cases have been tracked in Tillamook County, 106 hospitalizations and 48 COVID-19 related deaths.

Deaths that are determined to be related to COVID-19 need to meet criteria listed in the Oregon Health Authority “COVID-19 Investigative Guidelines” available on Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 page under “investigative guidelines” section 7.

We grieve with the community for all of the lives lost, we wish to extend our sincerest condolences during this difficult time.

Oregon Health Authority Breakthrough Case Report shows that during the week of December 5 – December 11 statewide, 69.8% of new COVID-19 cases were unvaccinated and 30.2% were vaccine breakthrough cases. The median age of breakthrough cases was 44 years. 19 (1.3%) breakthrough cases were residents of care facilities, senior living communities or other congregate living settings. 267 (17.7%) cases were 65 or older. There were 53 (3.5%) cases aged 12-17.

View more on case tracking in Tillamook County here: https://tillamookchc.org/coronavirus/covid19-case-tracking/

The outdoor mask mandate has ended, however, masks are still strongly recommended when outdoors in crowded areas and for people who are immunocompromised and people not yet vaccinated. Masks are still required in all indoor public settings of vaccination status. Read more: here.

Tillamook County Public Health strongly encourages and urges face coverings in outdoor public settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained and in all indoor public settings. Choosing to wear a face covering will protect those who are not yet vaccinated and add additional protection to those who are vaccinated.

As of Saturday December 11, Oregon Health Authority Oregon COVID-19 Variant Count shows 14,473 delta variant cases have been tracked in Oregon and 3,274 in Region 1 (Clackamas, Clatsop, Multnomah, Tillamook, and Washington counties). County level data is not available.

Three cases of the variant Omicron were detected in Multnomah and Washington counties this week.  Oregon Health Authority along with laboratory partners, are working hard to monitor variants through genetic sequencing of viral COVID-19 tests and starting last week, testing samples of wastewater in various communities.

OHSU forecast shows that the Omicron variant is more easily spread than past variants but is not yet shown to cause an increase in disease severity. Hospitalizations will still be a concern as even though less disease severity, there is projected to be more cases.

Infection from Omicron has occurred in other countries at a greater rate in people who are fully vaccinated (breakthrough case) than previous variants. Those who remain unvaccinated are at the highest risk of becoming infected. Amongst fully vaccinated people, those who have booster doses have had increased protection and are not getting the virus as much compared to those who are not yet boosted. Vaccines also decrease hospitalizations and death from COVID-19.

The OHSU forecast show that we have approximately 3 weeks before peak hospitalizations due to the Omicron surge hits in mid-January. We along with OHA ask everyone 16 years-old and older who completed their vaccine series 6 months ago, and everyone 18 years-old and older who had J&J 2 months ago to please make a plan to get a booster dose as soon as possible. And for those not yet vaccinated, please choose to become vaccinated against COVID-19. It is not too late; vaccines are available at no cost in Tillamook County and all across Oregon.

We know this news may be concerning, but we do have tools in place to protect ourselves and our loved ones. We thank you all and ask you to continue to practice: vaccinate, masking up, spacing out, and frequent hand washing.

Link to Governor Kate Brown’s press conference: https://youtu.be/KE1pIbtH3Rw

Link to OHSU Forecast: https://www.ohsu.edu/sites/default/files/2021-12/OHSU-COVID-Forecast-2021-12-17.pdf

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) Monday – Friday 1pm – 5pm, appointments are required, please call 503-824-3900.

Please know that if you test positive for COVID-19, there is safe treatment available in Tillamook County; Monoclonal antibody therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are like your body’s own antibodies as they help your immune system quickly destroy the COVID-19 virus before it harms you or causes hospitalization. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized monoclonal antibody treatment for emergency use for eligible patients. If you test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms, talk to a healthcare provider right away. Monoclonal antibody treatment must be given as soon as possible within 10 days of getting a symptom. These treatments require a provider referral after a positive COVID-19 test. The treatment is given through a one-time IV infusion. If you do not have a healthcare provider, call our office for a phone visit at 503-842-3900 or contact Adventist Health Tillamook at 503-815-2341.

VACCINATIONS: To date, 17,896 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, 71.21% of those eligible for the vaccine (12 and older) are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 62.31% 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%.

Protect yourself this fall with a COVID-19, flu, and pneumonia vaccine from Tillamook County Community Health Center walk-in vaccine clinic at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds Convention Center on:
Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. & Wednesdays 1 to 5 p.m. (except holidays, Dec 22nd and 23rd)

Flu and pneumonia vaccines are a covered benefit for many insurance plans, including Medicare and Oregon Health Plan. COVID-19 vaccines are available at no cost. Please bring your insurance card with you. No one is turned away for inability to pay. Age limit varies per vaccine type, visit tillamookchc.org or call 503-842-3900 for more information.

Making a plan to get vaccinated as soon as possible is the best way to protect against COVID-19, flu, and pneumonia.

  • Boosters recommend for all 18 years old and older:
    • 6 months after completion of the Moderna series.
    • 2 month after completion of the single shot Johnson & Johnson.
  • Boosters are now recommend for all 16 years old and older:
    • 6 months after completion of the Pfizer series.

Individuals eligible for a booster may receive either the same or a different COVID-19 vaccine as a booster dose, depending on advice from a health care provider, individual preference, availability or convenience.

Please note, Johnson and Johnson is no longer available at the walk-in vaccine.

  • Pfizer for Youths 5-11 y.o:
    • Pediatric doses of the Pfizer #COVID19 vaccine are now approved for use in Oregon for children ages 5 through 11 and Tillamook County has received the doses! Pediatric COVID-19 doses are available from healthcare provider’s offices, pharmacies, and our walk-in vaccine clinic. Parent/guardian authorization is needed for all youths 5 – 14 years old.
  • 3rd Dose of mRNA Vaccines:
    • A third dose is for people who are immunocompromised and may not have built up adequate protective immunity with their first series of mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccines.  Individuals who meet the criteria listed by the CDC as having moderately to severely compromised immune systems are recommended to get a 3rd dose if they completed a 2-dose mRNA vaccine series (Moderna or Pfizer) at least 28 days for Moderna or 21 days for Pfizer after the second dose.
      • A 3rd dose is only able to be administered for who it has been authorized for and is not considered a booster. A list of qualifying conditions from the CDC is available on our website.
      • If you receive a 3rd dose, you are now recommended to then receive a “booster” six months after your 3rd dose of Pfizer of Moderna.

Visit our website https://tillamookchc.org/coronavirus/vaccines/ to learn more on where you can get a COVID-19 vaccine at no cost in Tillamook County.

For more information, go to www.tilllamookchc.org

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