SOUTH BEND — Pacific County’s worst week yet of the coronavirus pandemic continued on Friday, Nov. 20, as an additional 94 cases of covid-19 were reported.
"We do not report these numbers to cause alarm, but rather to increase awareness of the surge and to remind people to take recommended safety precautions," Pacific County Public Health and Human Services said Friday night.
The county’s current case rate is 859 cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks, an astonishing number that indicates Pacific County is in the midst of a severe coronavirus outbreak. This rate of infection is among the highest in the nation. Based on current information, the only county with a higher rate appears to be Crowley County, Colorado, with 1,049 cases per 100,000 over the past week.
The cases have increased the county’s total count to 340 cases since the beginning of the pandemic — with 141 cases currently active and being monitored by public health nurses. The active cases consist of 20 confirmed cases and 121 probable cases awaiting further confirmation.
About 52% of the county’s total pandemic count, 175 cases, have been reported since this Monday alone. The county’s case totals have continued to rise sharply since October, after initially being spared the onslaught of cases that plagued so many other communities in the pandemic's first six months.
In mildly positive news, only two of the 141 active cases are currently hospitalized, the health department disclosed, while the remaining individuals are isolating at home.
The county health department's latest situation report issued Thursday, before news of this latest surge in cases, showed the highest concentration of infections in the 98577 Raymond zip code area.
The announcement of the new cases comes on the same day that the county health department said covid-19 testing capacity and healthcare resources have become “extremely limited” in Pacific County. The department is asking that only people who are symptomatic or have been identified as a close contact of a positive case to access local healthcare and testing resources, in an attempt to help conserve resources.
Pacific County Health and Human Services strongly encourages the public to limit non-essential travel, maintain social distancing of at least six feet between persons, and practice personal protective measures to include: correctly wearing a mask/face covering in public, washing hands often with soapy water for at least 20 seconds, and avoid touching your face. For up to date information and guidance, please monitor the Pacific County Health and Human Services Facebook page or visit www.pacificcountycovid19.com.