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11 die of COVID-19 in Tonasket

Eleven people in a Tonasket facility have died of COVID-19, Okanogan County Public Health, stated in a press release Monday night.

All of the them were residents at North Valley Extended Care, a 42-bed facility where 32 residents have tested positive for the illness.

“Multiple caregivers” are also under quarantine and two employees have been hospitalized, “reportedly doing well,” the agency said.

“OCPH sends their heartfelt condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones,” the release stated.

The 11 confirmed deaths bring the total in the county to 26.

“North Valley Extended Care underwent a routine Infection Prevention Survey following the outbreak, and officials confirmed that the Extended Care team is managing this very difficult situation safely and professionally,” OCPH said.

With 110 cases reported in the past two weeks, Okanogan County’s incidence rate per 100,000 stood at 257 through Sunday, apparently not including the new cases, according to the district’s website just updated about three hours before the new Tonasket cases were announced.

The agency says it routinely delays announcement of deaths “in order to give families time to notify their loved ones.” They also verify that COVID-19 is listed as a cause of death on the death certificate.

“Long-term care facilities serve our most vulnerable populations whose age and health conditions put them at a higher risk for severe complications from COVID-19 and death. When community COVID-19 rates are high, such as those currently experienced by Okanogan County, long-term care facilities face increasing challenges to keep COVID-19 out of the facility,” the health district’s release stated.

“OCPH urgently asks all residents of Okanogan County to be vigilant about protecting our community members, especially those who are most vulnerable and those who work with or come into contact daily with those who are most vulnerable.

“Please continue to wear a mask, wash your hands, and avoid large gatherings. For the health of your family, neighbors, and friends, it is critical to wear a mask when in public. Every individual’s decision to socialize outside of their household has the potential to impact the health of our most vulnerable residents. Please mask up when out in public and protect one another.”


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