TILLAMOOK COUNTY COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS: Tillamook County COVID-19 Update – 2/4/22; Record-setting month – January 2022 – Highest Monthly Case Count of Pandemic, 833 cases

For the month of January, 833 cases of COVID-19 were tracked in Tillamook County. This is a new record for monthly case counts in Tillamook County; previous was August 2021 with 714 cases. Pandemic total COVID-19 related deaths now at 56, one new COVID-19 death occurred earlier this week.
Oregon Health Authority has released new data that clearly shows the additional protection against COVID-19 infection that vaccines and boosters provide. Although some people who have been vaccinated and boosted may still get sick from COVID-19, the likelihood of severe illness and hospitalization is much lower than in people who are unvaccinated.

Resources are available to access home testing on your own, report positive results and learn how to navigate isolation and quarantine guidelines. Visit https://tillamookchc.org/covid-19-testing/ for details.

 

COVID-19 Case Information:

From Jan 1st – 31st, 833 new cases of COVID-19 were tracked in Tillamook County; over the past 14 days, January 16 – January 29, 433 cases occurred, in 7 days, January 23 – January 29, 211 cases occurred, and over the weekend, January 28 – January 30, 69 cases. Test positivity over the past week was recorded at 27.5%.

In total since March 2020, 3,366 COVID-19 cases have been tracked in Tillamook County, 127 hospitalizations and 56 COVID-19 related deaths. One new COVID-19 related death was reported this week, please see details here.

Oregon Health Authority Breakthrough Case Report shows that during the week of January 23 – January 29, 2022, statewide, 65.3% of cases were unvaccinated and 34.7% of cases were vaccine breakthrough cases. Of all vaccine breakthrough cases, 31.4% were fully vaccinated and boosted. The median age of all vaccine breakthrough cases was 48 years. 128 (0.8%) breakthrough cases were residents of care facilities, senior living communities or other congregate living settings. 2123 (13.8%) cases were 65 or older. There were 1223 (7.9%) cases aged 12-17.

As noted with the case data above, we are in the anticipated Omicron Surge. In order to help reduce strain on public health and healthcare systems, our public health team with our Public Health Officer, Dr. Melissa Paulissen, released a statement, urging Tillamook County residents to increase awareness of their activities, and choose lower-risk alternatives, particularly in regard to hosting and attending larger gathering, events, and activities. It is important that we as a community work together to reduce the impact of the surge, by:

  • Hosting your event online when you are able.
  • Keep gatherings small and outdoors when possible. If indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible.
  • Wear a well-fitting face covering or mask over your mouth and nose when indoors and when outdoors in more crowded areas.
  • Choose to get vaccinated and be up to date on your vaccine including getting a booster, prior to attending events and activities if you are eligible.
  • Wash hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid crowds and maintain 6ft of distance from those not in your household when gathering with individuals who are not yet vaccinated and individuals at higher risk for COVID-19.
  • Staying home if ill.

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


COVID-19 Variant News:

As of Saturday January 29, 2022, Oregon Health Authority Oregon COVID-19 Variant Count shows 18,243 Delta variant cases and 3,087 Omicron variant cases have been tracked in Oregon and 4,720 Delta and 441 Omicron in Region 1 (Clackamas, Clatsop, Multnomah, Tillamook, and Washington counties).

Tillamook County follows Oregon Health Authority guidance on sequencing positive tests to detect variants. The variant Omicron has not been detected in Tillamook County at this time. When it is, a new release will be made available.

Together we can reduce the predicted upcoming surge from the variant Omicron by increasing the number of people who get vaccinated, get their booster if they’re already vaccinated, wear their mask in indoor public places, and avoid large gatherings. We must double down on following the measures we know will keep us as safe as possible.

OHA Director Patrick Allen shared Oregon’s Omicron Response Plan which included OHA’s 5-point plan to confront the Omicron surge, available on our website and Oregon Health Authority.

OHA is committed to updating on all variants of concern and the variant tracking data is available on OHA’s COVID-19 page. Link to data here.

This information is available in the recent Oregon Vaccine News update on OHA’s website


Testing and Treatment:

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 8am – 5pm, appointments are required, please call 503-842-3900.

COVID-19 Home Tests kits have arrived in Tillamook! Our public health team will be taking them to locations in all areas of the county next week, with later hours – you can pick one up starting February 4th! It is a very limited supply, only one test kit will be provided per person. For details see news release here and the flyer: https://tillamookchc.org/more-free-home-covid-tests-in-tillamook-county/

Looking for more at-home test kits? Up to four, free COVID-19 home tests kits are available to each household in the U.S., delivered to your residence by using the federal site: https://www.covidtests.gov/.

With an increase in people who are testing positive, OHA has updated the process for investigating cases to be an “opt-in model” where people who test positive can report their results to OHA and access additional resources for support with their isolation or quarantine using the new OHA Positive COVID Test website (Oregon.gov/positivecovidtest/) or COVID-19 Case Support Hotline: 866-917-8881.

If you do have a positive COVID-19 test result and have mild to moderate symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath or cough, please contact your healthcare provider right away, and especially if you have chronic medical conditions that may place you at higher risk of severe disease response. There are safe and early treatment options available for COVID-19 including anti-viral oral medication. Some treatment options need to be started as early as 5 days from the date of the positive test. If you do not have a healthcare provider, call Adventist Health Tillamook pharmacy at 503-815-2341 or consider establishing care with a local healthcare provider. If you would like to make an appointment at Tillamook County Community Health Center, call: 503-842-3900. To learn more about your treatment options, see OHA’s blog post, here and learn more about COVID-19 testing and care: https://tillamookchc.org/covid-19-testing/


COVID-19 Vaccine Update:

VACCINATIONS: To date, 18,491 Tillamook County residents have chosen to be vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccines 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, 73.02% of those eligible for the vaccine (12 and older) are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 63.89% are fully vaccinated in the total Tillamook County community (including those not yet eligible).

Protect yourself and your family this winter with a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 (1st, 2nd or booster dose) vaccine, flu, and pneumonia shot.

Update Vaccine Clinics for February:

  • Walk in Clinic at Tillamook County Fairgrounds Convention Center: Thursdays 10am – 6pm. No scheduling required.
  • Vaccine by appointment at TCCHC main clinic (801 pacific ave.): Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm. Call 503-842-3900 to schedule.

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:
    • 5 months after completion of the Moderna series.
    • 2 month after completion of the single shot Johnson & Johnson.
  • Boosters are now recommend for all 12 years old and older:
    • 5 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 of Pfizer is authorized for people 5 and older and 3rd dose Moderna is authorized for people 18 and older 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 receive their 2nd dose of Moderna or Pfizer at least 28 days ago.
      • 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.


COVID-19 Safety Precautions:

One of the most important actions you can take to reduce spread and protect against hospitalizations and death from COVID-19 is to choose to be fully vaccinated, and if able to, have also received a booster shot. In the addition, Tillamook County Public health recommends these safety precautions:

Limit exposure:

  • Keep gatherings small, it is recommended to only gather in-person with people in your household. Try a virtual option to add in others.
  • If you do choose to gather, with the news of the predicted upcoming surge, be extra mindful of your choices. Consider avoiding contact with others outside of your household 5-7 days prior to your gathering.
  • Using COVID-19 home tests before travel or gatherings is recommended by the CDC. To learn more about COVID-19 home tests and what to consider if you choose to use them as part of your gathering or travel preparations see this CDC informational page.
  • Avoid sharing utensils, plates, glasses.
  • Wash hand frequently and wear a mask indoors when around people outside of your household and maintain 6ft of distance.
  • Having a gathering outside is a safer option, though not always feasible on the coast, make sure to increase ventilation if indoors.
  • If you are feeling ill, do not attend a gathering.

Travel:

  • Traveling by car with members of your household is the safest method of travel. If traveling by air or public transit, remember to always wear a properly fitting mask and avoid eating or drinking, especially in crowded situations, so you don’t have to remove your mask.

Vaccinate:

  • If you are not yet vaccinated, choose to make a plan for everyone 5 years and older in your household to be vaccinated as soon as possible. If you are fully vaccinated, choose to receive a booster as soon as you are able to.

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

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.