PACIFIC COUNTY — New covid-19 cases in Pacific County dropped yet again last week, as virus activity in the county is nearing a low point since the emergence of the highly transmissible Delta variant first emerged in the county nearly four months ago.

As of Nov. 1, the Pacific County Health and Human Services Department reported 21 new cases of covid-19 over the previous week for a pandemic total of 2,042 cases, while the case rate dipped below 300 for the first time since mid-July. The case rate per 100,000 people over a two-week period stood at 286 as of Oct. 31, according to county health director Katie Lindstrom.

The health department did report an additional death over the past week, with the victim being an individual in their 60s. It’s the 33rd county resident who has passed away due to complications from the virus since the pandemic began.

Three more hospitalizations were also reported since last week, raising the total to 116. Lindstrom said that the county and local healthcare providers are working to secure a stock of monoclonal antibodies that can be administered at local hospitals for residents who develop severe cases of covid-19. More news on that front is expected in the coming weeks.

The county is also continuing to work on securing a deal with a long-term testing provider in the county, Lindstrom said, as Willapa Harbor Hospital recently discontinued its drive-thru testing option in South Bend. The hospital has conducted thousands of covid-19 tests since the pandemic began. Lindstrom is hopeful that a deal will be finalized soon with a health care group that will be able to offer testing 4-5 days a week in Pacific County, splitting their time between north and south county.

For now, the county health department is continuing to offer testing by appointment in both sides of the county, with people seeking testing asked to call to schedule an appointment. Peninsula Pharmacies is continuing to conduct testing on Mondays and Thursdays in Ilwaco, and appointments can be scheduled online at www.covidtest360.com. The health department is also offering Everlywell at-home test kits that can be picked up at either of its north or south county locations by calling ahead and scheduling a time to pick up a kit.

Ocean Beach School District is now offering covid testing for students, staff and families.

“If your student is ill, and you need a covid test or if your student is a close contact and you need a covid test, we can provide the test for you,” the district said in a memo. “If your household is ill, we can also test other members of the household. This is an optional service to help keep students in school as much as possible.”

To access these tests, district families should go to curative.com/sites/31934/walkup and sign up each person who needs to be tested. There is no charge but those with insurance should be prepared to provide that information. After signing up online, Michelle Crawford at 360-642-3731 ext. 113 will set a time to come for a test. Tests will be conducted at the loading dock at Ilwaco High School between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Monday-Thursday.

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