TILLAMOOK COUNTY COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS: Weekly COVID-19 Update – 9/17/21

During the month of September….

  • 307 new cases of COVID-19 were tracked in Tillamook County (9/1 – 9/16)
  • 51 new cases occurred this past weekend (9/9 – 9/12)
  • 304 over the past 14 days (8/29 – 9/12)
  • Test positivity over the past week decreased to 16.0% compared to the previous week which was 16.6%.

In total since March 2020, 1796 COVID-19 cases have been tracked in Tillamook County, 77 hospitalizations and 23 COVID-19 related deaths.

COVID-19 vaccine rate continues to increase, 56.07% 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 order to slow the spread of COVID-19 please follow current mask mandates and wear a mask in all indoor public spaces and outdoors when physical distancing of 6ft is not possible. It is recommended to wear a mask when gathering with anyone outside of your household indoors or outdoors.

Tillamook County Public Health ask all to please be mindful of choices during this COVID-19 case surge. Limit gatherings, wash hands frequently, wear a mask, stay home when ill, and make a plan to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

TESTING — If you are sick or a close contact to someone who tested positive, COVID-19 testing is available in Tillamook County. Drive-up to the fairgrounds Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9 am – 3pm for testing (no appointment required) or make an appointment with our acute care clinic on 8th st. on a Tuesday or Thursday by calling 503-842-3900.

VACCINES – All three COVID-19 vaccines are available at Tillamook County Fairgrounds Convention Center on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 am – 3pm. No appointments needed, please drop in. If you are unable to make it to the fairgrounds, talk with your healthcare provider or visit a local pharmacy for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Monoclonal antibody therapy – Safe and FDA emergency use approved treatment called Monoclonal antibody therapy [Regeneron] is available in Tillamook County for those who have tested positive and have mild to moderate symptoms. A referral is required, talk to your healthcare provider right away as this treatment must be given within 10 days of getting a symptom through a one-time IV infusion. If you do not have a healthcare provider, please contact our office at 503-842-3900 for a phone visit or call Adventist Health Tillamook at 503-815-2341.

COMPLETE REPORT:

During the month of September (9/1/21 – 9/16/21), 307 new cases of COVID-19 were tracked in Tillamook County; 51 new cases occurred this past weekend (9/9/21 – 9/12/21) and 304 over the past 14 days (8/29/21 – 09/12/21). Test positivity over the past week decreased to 16.0% compared to the previous week which was 16.6%. In total since March 2020, 1796 COVID-19 cases have been tracked in Tillamook County, 77 hospitalizations and 23 COVID-19 related deaths.

Oregon Health Authority Breakthrough Case Report shows that during the week of September 5 – September 11 statewide, 81.3% of new COVID-19 cases were unvaccinated and 18.7% were vaccine breakthrough cases. The median age of breakthrough cases was 48 years. 90 (3.4%) breakthrough cases were residents of care facilities, senior living communities or other congregate living settings. 674 (25.6%) cases were 65 or older. There were 68 (2.6%) cases aged 12-17.

The spread of COVID-19 in Tillamook County has reached a critical phase. From August 18, 2021 to September 14, 2021, we have had 15 COVID-19 related deaths. That is 15 tragic deaths in 28 days. For the first 18 months of the pandemic, we had five local deaths due to COVID. In the past four weeks, we quadrupled the number of COVID deaths in Tillamook County, from 5 to 23. With COVID-19 surges across the state, Oregon Health Authority notes that an associated increase in deaths has and will continue to occur across communities in Oregon. OHSU forecast does show COVID-19 related deaths to peak mid-September.

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.

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

In order to slow the spread of COVID-19 an outdoor mask mandate has been implemented in addition to the indoor mask mandate. Masks are required in most public outdoor settings where physical distancing is not possible regardless of vaccination status. There is no end date set for the mask requirements at this time.

Tillamook County Public Health strongly encourages and urges the implementation of mandatory face coverings for all (including people who are fully vaccinated) 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 September 11th, Oregon Health Authority Oregon COVID-19 Variant Count shows 3,836 delta variant cases have been tracked in Oregon and 664 in Region 1 (Clackamas, Clatsop, Multnomah, Tillamook, and Washington counties). County level data is not available.

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. Oregon Health Authority advises 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) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, appointments are required, please call 503-824-3900. Drive-up COVID-19 testing at the Fairgrounds is also available on Monday, Wednesday, Fridays 9am – 3pm (except for holidays), no appointments required. Must have symptoms or be a close contact.

With the increase in COVID-19 cases and disease severity in our community, many may be feeling scared and uncertain. There is a lot of information available to us about COVID-19, but not all of it is reliable, accurate or trustworthy. Using non-reliable sources of information can lead to an increase in harm to yourself and potentially others.

There has been an increase trend in the use of Ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19. This is not a safe or proven treatment and may cause serious harm when misused. Ivermectin is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat certain infections caused by parasites, it has not been proven to prevent or treat COVID-19. The disease COVID-19 is caused by a virus (SARS-COV-2 virus) not a parasite.

Do not swallow ivermectin products that should be used on skin (e.g., lotions and creams) or are not meant for human use, such as veterinary ivermectin products. Seek immediate medical attention or call the poison control center hotline (1-800-222-1222) for advice if you have taken ivermectin or a product that contains ivermectin and are having symptoms of ivermectin toxicity, which include the following:  Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, blurred vision, dizziness, increased heart rate (tachycardia), low blood pressure (hypotension), visual hallucinations, altered mental status, confusion, loss of coordination and balance, central nervous system depression and seizures.

There is safe treatment for COVID-19 available in Tillamook County; Monoclonal antibody therapy (Regeneron)

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, 16,500 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, 64.08% of those eligible for the vaccine (12 and older) are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 56.07% 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%.

Drop-in to our vaccine clinic at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds Convention Center 9am – 3pm Tuesday and Thursdays for a 1st dose or 2nd dose. All three vaccines available. 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.

For those who are required to be fully vaccinated by October 18th, here is an infographic with the recommended dates for each vaccine type to meet the requirement:

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