Health officials are asking people to do everything they can to stop the spread of COVID-19 after a fresh coronavirus outbreak was reported at a long-term care center in Yakima.
The Summitview Healthcare Center reported 50 cases of COVID-19, with 27 from staff and 23 from residents, according to a news release from the Yakima Health District. Four deaths are tied to the outbreak.
The health district’s disease investigation team visited the center Tuesday. The cases were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but haven’t yet been included in the Yakima Health District totals. The health district said it will note when the numbers are included in daily totals on its website.
The health district reported 71 new cases Thursday, not including the care center outbreak numbers.
Health Officer Dr. Teresa Everson said most, if not all, COVID-19 cases in long-term living facilities result from community transmission. There’s time to stop an increase in cases in the Yakima area so it doesn’t reach more vulnerable community members, she said.
“We know from our prior success that if we all follow the recommendations, we will see a drop in COVID-19 activity,” she said in a statement.
The county has had an average of 75 cases per day over the past seven days. That number has doubled from average daily counts in October.
Twenty-three people were hospitalized Thursday, with two people intubated. The health district said it expects hospitalizations to continue increasing in coming weeks as case numbers rise.
Health district Executive Director Andre Fresco said people should eliminate unnecessary contact with non-household members, wear a mask, wash hands frequently and sanitize surfaces. People should be tested as soon as they have COVID-19 symptoms or think they’ve been exposed, he said.
“It is not any one intervention that will ensure Yakima can beat this rise in COVID-19 cases again. It will be accomplished by every community member doing their part to protect our county, each and every day,” he said.
Yakima County has had 13,988 cases of COVID-19 and 255 deaths since March. A total of 12,424 people have recovered.
The county had 162 cases per 100,000 people from Oct. 26- Nov. 8. The state’s goal is fewer than 25 cases per 100,000 over two weeks.
Statewide, 1,987 new cases and 11 deaths were confirmed, according to the state Department of Health. The data is as of 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.
On Sunday, Gov. Jay Inslee announced new restrictions in an effort to curb COVID’s spread in Washington. Gyms and indoor service at restaurants and bars closed this week. Indoor gatherings with people outside your household aren’t allowed unless participants have properly quarantined.
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