Covid cases rising fast locally

Vaccination status varies


Last updated 8/18/2021 at 7:51am

Covid cases have been active in the community again after a month-long lull, with an additional 21 local cases reported in the past two weeks, a third of all local cases since the start of the pandemic.

Since The Star’s last covid update Aug. 4, headlined “Covid cases at a minimum locally,” which reported low numbers of new cases, Grand Coulee and Electric City have seen an additional 17 cases.

The Grant County Health District, in updates from Aug. 4, 9, 11, 16, and 17, said new cases have come from all areas of the county, including the Grand Coulee/Electric City area, which has seen 65 total cases. Coulee City, Hartline, “Almira Rural” cases total 75.

According to Okanogan Public Health, Coulee Dam has seen two new cases in the past two weeks, for a total of 70; and Nespelem has seen two more cases for a total of 85. Elmer City has remained at 20 total cases.

A surge in new cases has led GCHD to increase the frequency of their updates.

The incidence rate of new cases in a 14-day period went up from 165 to 688 cases per 100,000 residents on Aug. 13. A rate lower than 200 used to be the metric for whether a county could have fewer restrictions on businesses and events.

The health district reported Tuesday morning it had just added 112 new positive tests in one day from all areas of the county. Nine people were hospitalized at that point, with ages ranging from 40s to 80s.

Okanogan Public Health’s website shows an incidence rate of 448 cases per 100,000 population among unvaccinated people, compared to just 81 cases per 100,000 for those who are vaccinated, for a combined rate of 269.

Lincoln County on Tuesday reported 53 new cases in the last 14 days, and an incidence rate of 484 per 100,000.

According to ZIP code data provided by OPH, In the Elmer City area, 218 of 291 people (75%) have been fully vaccinated; in Nespelem area, 706 of 1,350 (52%) are fully vaccinated; in the Coulee Dam area, 759 of 1,437 (53%) have been fully vaccinated.

Population estimates are from the state Office of Financial Management from 2020, and that vaccination percentages for the county include 3,200 seasonal workers on H-2A visas, who are not included in full-time resident population estimates.

Vaccinations administered by Indian Health Services are not included in the data.

Data by ZIP code are currently not available from Grant County.

According to the Washington State Department of Health, 49% of those 12 and older are fully vaccinated in Grant County, compared to 63% statewide.


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