Tillamook County will move from Extreme Risk to Low Risk, according to the governor’s office Monday, Jan. 25. Tillamook County Community Health Centers said as calculated by Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Tillamook County had 28 new confirmed positive and presumptive COVID-19 cases from Sunday, Jan. 10, to Saturday, Jan. 23.
OHA’s final count that determines the risk status was announced Tuesday, Jan. 26, and the change will take effect Friday, Jan. 29.
Ed Colson, a representative from Tillamook County Community Health Centers, provided a vaccine update during a Tillamook County Board of Commissioners meeting Wednesday, Jan. 20. Colson said vaccinations are at 681 and up to 733 by the end of the day Jan. 20. Vaccinations are only occurring in Phase 1A currently, which includes groups such as first responders, hospitals, long-term care facilities, staff in correctional setting, daytime/outpatient care, non-emergency medical transport, and other health care providers and public health settings. Vaccinations for those in Phase 1B – educators, people 65 and older, essential workers, adults with underlying conditions and prison and detention centers personnel – is expected to start soon but there is no confirmed date at this time.
“The governor has said these vaccinations are to begin within the state Jan. 25,” Colson said. “As soon as we receive our vaccinations, we will be able to let everybody know through our website, through our communications and radio.”
Right now, planning is in the process for vaccination clinics, Colson added. They are currently trying to identify those areas and continue to request the public to remain patient.
“We are working hard with our vaccine planning committee, which is comprised of Adventist Health, Rinehart Clinic, Nehalem Bay Fire, and the health department, to get these groups vaccinated as efficiently and as quickly as possible,” Colson said.
Commission Vice-Chair David Yamamoto said the commissioners understand there is concern in the community about not getting a fair share of vaccinations. The county has discussed a mass vaccination event, when there is a sizable number of vaccines, but that timeline is unknown.
“One of the concerns I have, the 700-some people who have already received that first vaccination, I’m concerned that four weeks after their first one, they need that second vaccination,” Yamamoto said. “I don’t think we have any guarantees that we’re going to have the amount of vaccine we need to make sure that the ones that already have been vaccinated get their second shot.”
Commissioner Erin Skaar said vaccines will take some time to administer. As soon as there are vaccines available, the county will let the public know when each group qualifies to get one. People should continue to tune in to the weekly board meetings, as well as the county leadership update calls on Friday. Meeting information can be found on the county’s website.