Tillamook County COVID-19 Update – Oct. 1, 2021- Case Count Down 45% in September, compared to August

www.tillamookcountypioneer.net

 As we start October today, we end the month of September with 394 cases of COVID-19, which is 45% less cases that occurred compared to August (714).

While this is welcome news, we urge the community to continue to follow COVID-19 safety precautions. Many tiny particles of saliva and other fluids are expelled when we speak, cough, sneeze or breathe. When someone has #COVID19, the virus can be found in those tiny particles. This is why, in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19, it is important to wear a mask in indoor public spaces and most outdoor public places and get vaccinated if you can to protect yourself and others.

With increased rain likely in the upcoming months,  rainy weather can make our masks less effective. When it is raining, before you leave the house remember to wear a rain jacket with a hood or carry an umbrella to keep your mask dry. You may want to also bring an extra mask along just in case.

Drive-up COVID-19 testing remains available in Tillamook County at the fairgrounds for no cost for those who are experiencing symptoms or are close contact to someone who has tested positive. Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30 am – 3pm.

Drop-in for a COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J) at the fairgrounds Convention Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30am – 3pm. COVID-19 vaccines are also available at local healthcare offices and pharmacies.

Weekly COVID-19 UPDATE:

During the month of September (9/1/21 – 9/30/21), 394 new cases of COVID-19 were tracked in Tillamook County; 134 over the past 14 days (9/12 – 9/25), 44 over the last 7 days (9/19 – 9/25) and 11 over this past weekend (9/24 – 9/26). Test positivity over the past week decreased to 7.5% compared to the previous week which was 11.2%. In total since March 2020, 1,881 COVID-19 cases have been tracked in Tillamook County, 80 hospitalizations and 24 COVID-19 related deaths. One new COVID-19 related death occurred this week, more information can be found here.

Oregon Health Authority Breakthrough Case Report shows that during the week of September 19 – September 25 statewide, 79.2% of new COVID-19 cases were unvaccinated and 20.8% were vaccine breakthrough cases. The median age of breakthrough cases was 48 years. 68 (2.8%) breakthrough cases were residents of care facilities, senior living communities or other congregate living settings. 588 (24.5%) cases were 65 or older. There were 85 (3.5%) cases aged 12-17.

The spread of COVID-19 in Tillamook County has reached a critical phase. From August 18, 2021 to September 26, 2021, we have had 16 COVID-19 related deaths. For the first 18 months of the pandemic, we had five local deaths due to COVID. Over the past 6 weeks, the number of COVID-19 related deaths in Tillamook County has increased nearly 5x, raising the death toll from 5 to 24.

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 25th, Oregon Health Authority Oregon COVID-19 Variant Count shows 5,833 delta variant cases have been tracked in Oregon and 1,091 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 8:30am – 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 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, 16,778 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, 66.54% of those eligible for the vaccine (12 and older) are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 58.22% 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 8:30am – 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:

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