Relative isolation may be limiting spread of virus

Essentially, it’s waters that surround Whidbey Island that protect it from the surge of COVID-19 that spread across the state and the nation this summer.

Island County Public Health Director Keith Higman opined that the relative geographic isolation of the island, as well as residents’ compliance with state mandates, has resulted in the limited increase in positive cases of the virus.

The county has had 217 positive coronavirus tests, which is an increase of four since Friday. The number of deaths remain at 11, according to Public Health.

“That’s sort of the pace we’re seeing, ” Higman said. “We have a couple a day.”

Other counties, including those nearby, have seen a much steeper increase. Franklin County, which has a population of only about 10,000 larger than Island County, has had 2,753 cases.

“I’m pretty proud of the numbers we have even though we’re seeing the cases increase slightly,” Higman said.

Most of the new cases in the county, he explained, are from people either traveling outside the county or hosting people from outside the county. The message he hopes to pass on to residents is that they should limit their travel to only what is essential.

The county is currently in Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan, but the sudden spike in cases across the state and nation has caused health officials to reemphasize the importance of such measures as wearing a face mask, limiting contact with others and staying home.

The increase in cases in the state and county are not the result of more testing, Higman said, pointing to a new report by the Institute of Disease Modeling. The report states that the authors have “complete confidence” that the epidemic grew in both eastern and western Washington in June.

Like in the rest of the state, cases in Island County increased fastest among people in their 20s.

More in News

Photo by Olivia Vanni/Herald file
                                Cars full of passengers headed to Whidbey Island pull into the ferry lines in Mukilteo on June 26.
Ferry ride isn’t a pleasure cruise in COVID-19 summer of 2020

Fewer boats mean longer waits on weekends. No more frolicking on the boat.

Council in a jam over sandwich boards

Langley officials decided to temporarily suspend an ordinance prohibiting the display of… Continue reading

New wheels add shine to grooming biz

The newest addition to Oak Harbor’s grooming salon Posh Puppies may have… Continue reading

Oak Harbor facing vacancies in key positions

The city of Oak Harbor has recently experienced some major staff turnover… Continue reading

Baby deer shot, injured by pellet gun in Coupeville

A baby deer was shot and injured by a pellet gun last… Continue reading

“Rogue Sheep” trespass in yard | Island Scanner

THURSDAY, JULY 9 At 1:07 a.m., a Goss Lake Road resident reported… Continue reading

Coupeville woman, 75, injured one-car crash Aug. 2

A 75-year-old Coupeville woman was seriously injured in a crash in Central… Continue reading

Island Drug moves back to Clinton

Nearly a month after closing the doors to its Ken’s Korner location,… Continue reading

Suspect crashes car while trying to flee State Patrol

An Oak Harbor man is accused of leading a Washington state trooper… Continue reading

Most Read