December 8, 2021
COVID-19 Updates from Skagit County
Local COVID-19 Case, Hospital & Vaccine Data
Skagit has a total of 13,071 cases; an increase of 239 new cases since last Wednesday. Skagit has a total of 765 hospitalizations (increased by 19 since Wednesday), and 139 deaths (increased by 5).
Skagit’s case rate is 348.0 per 100k over the last 14 days and our hospitalization rate is 15.3 per 100k over the last seven days. While case rates continue to decline steadily, our hospitalization rate continues to remain high.
From the data, we know that the vast majority of those contracting COVID-19 are people who are unvaccinated. In order to see our hospitalization rates decrease, more Skagitonians will need to get vaccinated.
Local data shows that *26 people aged less than 65 years old that tested positive between July 1, 2021 - November 30, 2021 died from COVID-19. All but four of these individuals (85%) were unvaccinated, per Public Health’s records. (*Please be aware that the data on deaths from November 2021 is still incomplete and we are likely to see additional deaths from people who tested positive in this time frame.)
A total of 206,985 doses have been administered in Skagit County. We are now at 76.7% partially vaccinated amongst our population 12 years and older, and 70.8% fully vaccinated amongst Skagitonians 12 and older.
Boosters at the Public Health Office
Beginning Monday, December 13, COVID-19 booster doses of Pfizer, Moderna, or Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine will be available by appointment at the Skagit County Public Health Office, located at 700 S 2nd Street (3rd floor) in downtown Mount Vernon.
Appointments will be available to all individuals 18 years and older who are time eligible. This would include those who are at least 6 months past completion of their Moderna or Pfizer vaccine series, or those who received their single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 2 months ago.
The downtown booster clinic will operate Monday-Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Appointments can be scheduled online by going to https://prepmod.doh.wa.gov/ and searching for “Skagit County Public Health” under the Name of Location box. If there are no appointments when you go online, please know that new appointments will be added next week.
Pediatric Vaccines at the Fairgrounds
Pfizer COVID-19 Pediatric vaccines continue to be available—by appointment only—for children 5-11 years old. To make an appointment for a pediatric vaccine, go to: https://prepmod.doh.wa.gov/. Search for "Skagit County Public Health" under Name of Location.
For more information about pediatric vaccine, go to: https://bit.ly/3Csp7BE.
Omicron Variant Update
Over the weekend, the Washington Department of Health released a statement which confirmed a total of three cases of omicron variant have now been reported in Washington State. The patients range in age from 20 to 39, two men, one woman. Continued spread is expected—so what does this mean? And what do we know about omicron? Here are a few answers provided by the CDC:
How easily does Omicron spread? The Omicron variant likely will spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and how easily Omicron spreads compared to Delta remains unknown. CDC expects that anyone with Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms.
Will Omicron cause more severe illness? More data are needed to know if Omicron infections, and especially reinfections and breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated, cause more severe illness or death than infection with other variants.
Will vaccines work against Omicron? Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. However, breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are likely to occur. With other variants, like Delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. The recent emergence of Omicron further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters.
Will treatments work against Omicron? Scientists are working to determine how well existing treatments for COVID-19 work. Based on the changed genetic make-up of Omicron, some treatments are likely to remain effective while others may be less effective.
Vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission, and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging. To find yours, go to Vaccine Locator or call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-800-525-0127, then press #.
Masking Reminder & Reporting Violations
A statewide mask mandate is currently in place that covers all indoor public spaces and certain outdoor settings. This mandate requires that everyone five years of age and older wear a mask in public indoor settings (including local businesses, chain outlets, and grocery stores) and at large, outdoor events with 500 or more attendees, including sporting events, fairs, parades, and concerts, regardless of vaccination status.
If a business violates this mandate, you can report the violation by going to https://www.coronavirus.wa.gov/report-safe-start-violation. Your completed report will be forwarded to the appropriate agency to review the violation for the appropriate response.