Local COVID cases continue to slowly decline but remain relatively high.
Meanwhile, health officials are urging people to not only get the COVID vaccine but also the annual flu vaccine to limit the chances of straining hospital capacity later this winter.
This year’s flu season is likely to be worse than what was seen the past two winters when people were largely staying clear of school and work, limiting travel and engaging in other COVID-fighting measures, said Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Officer with the Snohomish Health District.
The pressure on hospitals from a combination of COVID and flu could drive up admissions to previous pandemic highs.
“We could go right back there or beyond,” Spitters said in a media briefing last week.
To keep the already stressed healthcare system functional, everyone should get vaccinated now against flu and — if eligible — against COVID as well, Spitters said.
In Snohomish County, more than 1 million doses of COVID vaccines have been distributed, bringing to more than 75% the number of eligible people aged 12 and up who have at least begun the series.
“Snohomish County should be pleased and proud that we have one of the highest vaccination rates in the state,” Spitters said, but he added that plenty of work remains.
Local COVID cases
Cases of COVID-19 in the Stanwood-Camano community in September were down slightly but remain at near-record highs.
In Snohomish County, the rate of new COVID cases dropped to 357 per 100,000 people, according to data released Monday, Oct. 11. That’s down from a record-high 481 per 100,000 people six weeks prior.
There were 16 COVID-related deaths in Snohomish County last week. There are 62 hospitalized in county hospitals, of which 17 are on ventilators.
In the Stanwood ZIP code, there were 70 new COVID-19 cases reported last week — down slightly from 73 the week before, according to the Snohomish Health District.
Camano recorded 29 new cases last week — the fewest new cases in a week in more than a month, according to Island County Public Health.
Combined, Stanwood and Camano cases recorded last week totaled 99. Since Aug. 1, the Stanwood-Camano area has seen 1,262 COVID cases. In the 17 months prior, the community had recorded 1,792 cases.
In Island County, the COVID case rate dropped slightly to 317 infections per 100,000 residents from Sept. 23-Oct. 6, Island County Public Health officials said Oct. 7.
Stanwood-Camano School District reported 17 new COVID cases detected from Sept. 28-Oct. 5 requiring 67 people to quarantine and parts of two classrooms to move to remote learning. It was the fewest number of COVID cases detected in a week since the school year began.