Based on the most recent sequencing estimates for Washington State, the Delta variant of COVID-19 accounts for almost all the current COVID infections and is ravaging our tri county area through quicker transmission and more severe illness. Regardless of a person’s age or prior health, infection with the Delta variant is resulting in increased rates of COVID-19 related deaths.
In the last 30 days, our community has lost 39 people to COVID-related illness. Their ages ranged from early 30s to late 90s, with the average age being 74. Of these 34 deaths, 20 occurred in the last 10 days alone. A similar 30-day surge previously occurred in December 2020, when we lost 14 people. Of those individuals, their ages ranged from 67-88, with an average of 80. Compare the age ranges and average age for these two distinct surges, and it is clear from the deaths in our three counties that the Delta variant can and will take lives regardless of age and prior health.
With the Delta variant, people can become severely sick with little to no warning. If you or someone you know tests positive for COVID-19, it is important that you monitor your health and seek care right way if your health begins to deteriorate, even if you were feeling better and suddenly feel worse. If necessary, call 911. Do not defer care, as it may take longer than usual to obtain services. Though our hospitals are busy, they still want to provide the level of care you may require before it is too late, so it is critical that you call or go to the hospital when you first begin thinking you might need help.
In order to help people monitor their health and know when to seek help, the Northeast Tri County Health District has resources available free of charge for people who test positive for COVID-19. Depending on your needs, these resources can include thermometers, pulse oximeters for monitoring blood oxygen levels, and the offer of a home medical visit based on health conditions.
If you test positive for COVID-19, please answer your phone when public health calls you. Our main goals are to help you navigate your illness and coordinate any resources you may need. We need your help to be successful and to save the lives of those who become severely ill.