Submitted by San Juan County.
Since the last update on Dec. 31, there have been 127 new confirmed or probable cases in San Juan County. The current case count is now 657.
LOPEZ ISLAND: There are seventeen new cases on Lopez Island since the last update.
ORCAS ISLAND: There are sixty-six new cases on Orcas Island since the last update.
SAN JUAN ISLAND: There are forty-three new cases on San Juan Island since the last update.
SHAW ISLAND: There is one new case on Shaw Island since the last update.
The large number of new cases is a vivid sign that the new Omicron variant spreads extremely easily and is moving quickly through the islands.
To date, the County Health team is not seeing an equally dramatic spike in hospitalizations, but please note that some islanders are in mainland hospitals being treated for COVID- at least four at the time of this report. There may also be hospitalizations that the Health Department team has not been notified of.
For Washington overall, hospitalizations have been increasing sharply, and this is now having an impact on access to medical care for a wide range of patient needs, beyond just COVID. This current spike is in danger of overwhelming our healthcare system.
Deaths in Washington overall continue to decline, but it is too soon to assume that fatalities won’t increase as well, though there is some reason for optimism based on what has been seen elsewhere combined with San Juan County’s extremely high vaccination rate.
If you test positive via an over-the-counter test, please report that finding to the Health Department using this online form: https://www.sanjuanco.com/FormCenter/Health-Community-Services-15/Covid19-Positive-OvertheCounter-Test-Rep-77
COVID Positive? Note that the high case volume is preventing the Health Department team from performing standard case investigations. Please review this document (https://www.sanjuanco.com/DocumentCenter/View/24930/220106-TESTED-POSITIVE-FOR-COVID?bidId=) carefully to ensure that you are taking all precautions and doing all you can to minimize community spread.
Getting vaccinated is still your best move. Go here (https://www.sanjuanco.com/1737/COVID-Vaccine-Info) for registration links. And note that island kids age 12-15 are newly eligible for a Pfizer booster!
Now is the time to dramatically dial back activities or events that facilitate spread. While strict limits on activities are unlikely at this point, islanders are asked to use good judgment and take reasonable precautions to minimize risk. Any events that do not need to happen right now may be best postponed by a few weeks with the hope that by the end of the month, cases will start to fall as dramatically as they have risen.