With 18 new cases a day, some of the covid-19 spread we’re now seeing in Clatsop County is coming from people who have been vaccinated. KMUN’s Jacob Lewin spoke with County Public Health Director Margo Lalich and has this report:
While the large majority of new covid cases involve the unvaccinated, locally about 15-percent of those cases are amongst the vaccinated. 18% of state covid deaths last month—ten of them—were among the vaccinated. It seems that a spell of lower covid numbers, plus being tired of wearing masks and keeping distance and a belief that being vaccinated gives even greater protection has led to people taking fewer precautions:
“People have let their guard down tremendously and we’re seeing the consequences of that.”
Clatsop County Public Health Director Margo Lalich:
“At this point in time, individuals, even if they are vaccinated, it makes sense and it would be common sense at this point in time, to be wearing a mask if someone plans to be in any type of indoor setting.”
Lalich says masking and distancing work. The Clatsop numbers are substantially higher than the statewide average. Lalich calls it a surge and says the number of outbreaks is increasing:
“Some people would like to blame the tourists, what I do know is all of the outbreaks we are currently experiencing in this county all but a couple have nothing to do with tourism and the cases that we’re seeing when we do those investigations, it’s workplace, it’s household, it’s community events in which people are gathering together unmasked.
Meanwhile Lalich says the county is now vaccinating some residents who had been hesitant:
“We really appreciate that because it’s one of the most significant if not the most significant step people can take to start to contain the spread.”
As far as hospitalizations, local hospitals only release their covid patient count to the county, which only releases them on Friday, but according to OHSU, Oregon hospitals are nearing their capacity.
For KMUN Radio, I’m Jacob Lewin.