Weekly COVID-19 update from San Juan County

Submitted by San Juan County.

Since the last update on Friday, Jan. 21, there have been 130 new confirmed or probable cases in San Juan County. Current case count is now 986.

LOPEZ ISLAND: There are twenty-two new cases on Lopez Island since the last update.

ORCAS ISLAND: There are twenty-two new cases on Orcas Island since the last update.

SAN JUAN ISLAND: There are eighty-seven new cases on San Juan Island since the last update.

Registration for February vaccination clinics is currently open here: https://www.sanjuanco.com/1737/COVID-Vaccine-Info. This is your opportunity for your or your child to get a first shot, second shot or booster. Note that due to reduced demand, clinics on Lopez have been scaled back, but local providers on Lopez are making vaccinations readily available.

Islanders are understandably curious about case trends during this ongoing surge. Are the cases in kids? Older folks? Those who traveled? The clear answer is yes to all. Recent cases are popping up in students, those who have been out of WA or out of the country, and plenty of islanders who haven’t left the islands and haven’t clearly engaged in high-risk behavior. Reality of Omicron is that transmission rates are high and the disease spreads easily.

As case numbers continue to be high, a common refrain is “well, let’s just get this over with and all get it”. A few quick thoughts on that:

• Being able to think like that is a luxury born from an incredibly successful vaccine and (in the islands anyway) a very successful vaccination roll-out. Without vaccinations, this current wave would be truly catastrophic and many, many more islanders would be severely ill and hospitalized.

• It is also important to keep in mind that there are islanders who have literally had to fight for their lives during this latest surge, and some of those who have ended up in the hospital were relatively young and healthy. Being vaccinated remains far and away your best move to ensure you stay out of the hospital. While any one person’s odds of being killed by COVID are relatively low, it does happen, and if getting vaccinated nearly guarantees that it won’t happen to you, isn’t it worth it?

Islanders might be interested to know that the County Health Vaccination Team has given 7,071 COVID vaccine shots since November 1. Of these: 646 were first doses (thank you!), 907 were second doses, and 5,518 were boosters. While these are encouraging numbers, the reality is that there are a number of islanders who are missing their boosters. Again, please take advantage of upcoming February clinics to get your third shot: https://www.sanjuanco.com/1737/COVID-Vaccine-Info.