COVID cases trend downward

At the same time, the number of people getting vaccinated in the county has picked up.

The rate of new COVID-19 cases in Island County has decreased over the last two weeks, but it remains relatively high as hospitals in the region struggle with capacity.

At the same time, the number of people getting vaccinated in the county has picked up.

County health officials raised the alarm last month when the number of COVID cases spiked as the delta variant spread through a sizable portion of the unvaccinated population.

But the county’s latest COVID brief, published on Sept. 10, shows a two-week, downward trend in new cases. It stated there were 105 new cases involving county residents in a seven-day period ending Sept. 9 and 121 the week before that.

A total of 58 cases occurred in Oak Harbor that week while 22 were reported on the rest of Whidbey Island. Camano Island had 25 cases.

The county’s 14-day case rate, which the state considers for phasing, hit the highest rate this summer at 335 per 100,000 in the period from Aug. 13-26. The rate Aug. 27-Sept. 9 was down to 190 per 100,000.

The county recently counted another death, totaling 36 during the pandemic.

Hospital capacity remains a concern in the region, according to county officials. A total of 15 county residents with COVID were hospitalized — in hospitals on the island and elsewhere — during the week ending Sept. 9.

A recent snapshot of WhidbeyHealth showed that only two of the hospital’s 27 medical-surgical beds were available and none of the five ICU beds were open, the COVID brief states.

The county reported that 529 county residents got their first dose during the first week of September.

Just over 50% of the county’s population is reported to be fully vaccinated, although that number doesn’t include people at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. The county estimates that, as a result, the county vaccination rate is underreported by as much as 10%.

The fully vaccinated rate in the state as a whole is 61%.

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