PACIFIC COUNTY — Five more Pacific County residents contracted covid-19 bringing the county’s total number of cases to 18 as of Saturday, June 27.

The cases are linked to a family event, wherein six family members got sick. One of the family members was not a resident of Pacific County and not counted in the county’s case total. The five family members are still considered contagious and are quarantining and isolating.

This was Pacific County’s ninth new case reported since June 1, though two of those cases involved people living outside Pacific County. In May, Pacific County reported a total of five cases, and four cases in April.

Pacific County Health Officer Dr. Steven Krager said with Pacific County having so few cases, it is hard to talk about possible trends in case growth. It is also difficult to say whether the five news cases are a cause for concern because it was caused by an isolated family gathering.

However, the trend regionally is a cause for concern, Krager said. Krager is also a health officer for Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties. In all but Wahkiakum, the counties have seen a pretty significant increase in cases, Krager said.

Covid-19 transmission increased across the state as of mid-June, according to a report released Friday, June 27 by Washington State’s Coronavirus Response Joint Information Center. While some of that rise is linked to increased testing, a few Puget Sound counties have seen an increase in cases unaccompanied by a significant increase in testing.

The fear for Krager is that people have taken the limited reopenings as a signal that there isn’t as much risk of spreading the virus, he said. He doesn’t have data to determine what is driving the increase in cases, but he doesn’t think it is as much about people going and eating in restaurants as it is about increased socialization overall, he said.

“I hope people take this increase as a wake up call in a sense we still can’t return to normal,” Krager said.

In a release by the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency, it emphasized “the importance of limiting personal exposure and encourage the public to maintain social distancing by limiting non-essential travel, and practice personal protective measures to include, washing hands often with soapy water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, and wearing a face covering when required and appropriate.”

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