SOUTH BEND — Covid-19 activity in Pacific County has receded to its lowest level since last fall, a welcome development as the rush continues to vaccinate county residents as quickly as possible.

As of Feb. 16, the case rate per 100,000 people in Pacific County over a two-week period is 101.7, the lowest it’s been since the end of October. Since then, the county’s case rate had continuously remained higher than 150, peaking at about 1,100 in late November and hovering around the 200 to 300 range since late December.

The drop comes as the county enters its third week of being in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan, which loosens restrictions on indoor social gatherings and allows for indoor dining. The rest of the state joined the West and Puget Sound regions in Phase 2 this week, after meeting the necessary criteria required by the state to advance.

There are currently just nine active cases in the county, including eight new cases reported over the past week that bring the total count to 731 cases since the pandemic began. Hospitalizations jumped from 22 on Feb. 3 to 25 on Feb. 10. Weekly zip code data from the Pacific County Health and Human Services Department was not available for the most recent weekly period.

Wahkiakum County’s total case count sits at 83 cases as of Feb. 12, with eight potentially active cases. Clatsop County’s remains at 763 cases as of Feb. 8. Statewide confirmed covid-19 cases totaled 311,288 on Feb. 12, with 18,643 patients hospitalized and 4,675 fatalities reported since the pandemic began.

According to the Covid-19 Tracking Project, Washington’s average daily new covid-19 cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days is 15, less than the national average of 27 and better than all but nine states. Covid-19-related hospitalizations in the state are currently 95 per 1 million people, well below the national average of 202 and better than all but 13 states.

Testing options narrowed

While new cases in Pacific County are down, so too are rapid testing options in the county and on the peninsula.

County officials announced several changes to local testing availability at the Feb. 10 Pacific County Emergency Management Agency Council meeting. Peninsula Pharmacies had been providing rapid and PCR drive-thru appointments on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, but has scaled the testing back to Thursdays only. Appointments can be made at https://www.covidtest360.com/.

Rapid testing options in north county have also been partially scaled back. Willapa Harbor Hospital, which has provided testing for many months, is now offering rapid drive-thru testing on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 12-1 p.m. The testing is limited to the first 50 cars, with the lineup for testing beginning at 10 a.m. on those days. Priority is given to Pacific County residents.

Ocean Beach Hospital continues to offer testing for its established patients, who are asked to call their providers to schedule an appointment if they are symptomatic or a close contact of someone who has tested positive. The Family Health Center in Ocean Park is also offering testing for established patients who are symptomatic or a close contact.

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