Tillamook County Health Department reported during a Tillamook County Board of Commissioners meeting Wednesday, Sept. 15, 51 COVID-19 cases for the weekend case count between Sept. 10 and Sept. 12. For the 7-day case count, from Sept. 5 through Sept. 11, there were 150 cases. For the 14-day case count, there were 304 cases from Aug. 29 through Sept. 11.
“There are different causes for breakthrough cases,” Administrator Marlene Putman said. “Really the causes are multi-factorial. They can include such things as an individual’s immune system and the amount of virus that’s in an individual’s body.”
As of Wednesday, Sept. 15, the death toll is at 23. As of press time, the health department had not provided information on whether the two new cases were unvaccinated or vaccinated individuals. On Sept. 14, the county stood at 21 deaths, with 17 of those unvaccinated individuals, three with no vaccine record and one fully vaccinated individual.
“With the COVID-19 surge across the state, Oregon Health Authority notes that an associated increase in COVID-19 related fatalities will and has occurred and will continue to do so,” Putman said. “Oregon Health Sciences University has forecast that they expect this peak in COVID-19 related deaths to reach that peak actually by mid-September.”
Putman said they hope and expect a decrease shortly after the peak.
Putman said Tillamook County has 77 hospitalizations, as of Sept. 15. Test positivity is currently at 16 percent, a slight decrease from the previous week, which was 16.6 percent.
Oregon Health Authority confirmed outbreaks, as of Sept. 15, at Fred Meyer with 30 cases, Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility with 30 cases, Stimson Lumber with 20 cases, Tillamook County Creamery Association with 14 cases, Tillamook Country Smoker with 13 cases, Adventist Health with six cases, Hampton Lumber Company with six cases, and Tillamook County Transportation District with five cases.
“For ICU beds in our region, we have about 6 percent capacity,” Putman said.
Monoclonal antibody therapy is available in Tillamook County. The antibodies can be effective at decreasing hospitalization rates and severity. The FDA has authorized the therapy for emergency use for eligible people, such as those who are considered high risk for developing severe symptoms with COVID-19.
“If you test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms, talk to your health care provider right away,” Putman said of the treatment. “This treatment must be given as soon as possible, or within 10 days, of getting a symptom. These treatments require provider referral after a positive test.”
Locally, the treatment is given at Adventist Health Tillamook, Putman added.
The health department encourages people to follow mask requirements, wash hands frequently and make a plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible if able.
Putman said an average of 300 people are being tested a week. Drive up testing for those with symptoms or are close contacts is available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds.
As of Sept. 13, 16,462 residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. This is 70.76 percent of the 12-plus population and 61.91 percent of the total population. A total of 14,744 residents are considered fully vaccinated, with 63.51 percent of the 12 years and older population vaccinated and 55.57 percent of the total population vaccinated.
Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Ed Colson said for those needing to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18 – all Oregon health care workers as well as teachers, educators and staff in K-12 schools – can still receive the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Oct. 4 in order to be considered fully vaccinated by Oct. 18.
Vaccine drop-in clinics are offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the convention center at the fairgrounds.