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Posted on: August 19, 2021

Message To The Community - Recent COVID-19 Surge

The Delta variant of COVID-19 has dramatically changed the pandemic in Washington state and in our tri- county area.  Research shows that the Delta variant is much more contagious, more than two times as contagious as previous variants.  This is causing people to become infected more quickly and experience more severe illness. 

In the last two weeks the tri-county area has had 343 new COVID cases.  The increase in case counts is directly impacting our regional and local hospitals ability to provide necessary care for both COVID and non-COVID patients.  August 17, 2021, marked the all-time high for regional COVID-19 hospitalizations with 260 COVID patients being hospitalized and 67 of those in ICU.  This exceeded the previous high dating back to December 28, 2020 where there were 238 COVID patients hospitalized and 50 in ICU. 

We are urging everyone, regardless of vaccination status to take all precautionary measures, including: 

  • Wearing a mask in all indoor spaces, even if you are vaccinated (see latest mask mandate); 
  • Wearing a mask outdoors when unable to maintain 6 feet of separation from others;
  • If you are not already vaccinated, please do so as soon as possible.

It is highly recommended that you carefully consider your attendance at activities that pose a high risk of exposure such as indoor or outdoor gatherings where there will be crowds or unnecessary travel.  If you do decide to attend these types of events, minimize risk to yourself and others by:

  • Wearing a mask, even if vaccinated;
  • If you are experiencing any symptoms, even mild, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, do not attend;
  • Maintain 6 feet of distance from others whenever possible.

 All entertainment facilities both indoor or outdoor, especially large venues, concerts, rodeos, live music performances, gatherings, movie, and other theaters are encouraged to: 

  • Post signage asking those who have COVID symptoms or have been exposed not to enter;
  • Provide physical distancing of at least 6 feet between the individual groups in the audience;
  • Utilize masks for all staff and guests regardless of vaccination status.

If you have not received your vaccine, please consider doing so now.  This not only protects you and those around you but also preserves the resources of our medical system to continue to provide necessary care for our communities and allows our businesses and schools to safely remain open. 

 Find a vaccine provider near you.

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