Washington Health Officials Announce New COVID-19 Plan | Health
Washington Health Officials Announce New COVID-19 Plan |  Health

Washington Health Officials Announce New COVID-19 Plan | Health

Washington’s health officials on Wednesday announced the state’s new plan to live with COVID-19 over the next few months.

The plan, called WA Forward, focuses on continuing COVID-19 training; maintaining access to supplies, including vaccines, tests and masks; and monitoring of virus activity and health capacity, said Dr. Umair Shah, Secretary of State for Health. The department will publish the document on Thursday.

“It is a long-term forward-looking plan to keep people, families and communities safe, protected and healthy as we move into the next phase of the pandemic as we continue to monitor COVID-19 across the country, the globe and here in Washington. , “Shah said during a press briefing.

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Right now, it’s different from previous breaks in COVID-19 activity, mainly due to the higher vaccination level and acquired immunity from the omicron rise, said Lacy Fehrenbach, Secretary of State for Prevention and Health. For example, health officials are considering the basic level of capacity for vaccines and testing needed while being ready to upscale if necessary, she said.

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Shah said the plan outlines the state’s goal of providing information so residents can know what their risk is and allow them to make good decisions based on the tools available, such as when to take a COVID-19 test. It also includes strategies to continue delivering things like vaccines and tests, he said.

Continued monitoring of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and death rates along with genotyping and wastewater monitoring will help the state be ready to make the necessary changes, Shah said.

Shah and Fehrenbach said the state is using federal money for its pandemic prevention and surveillance efforts, and expressed concern that funding has ceased.

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While the omicron sub-variant known as BA.2, which drives increases in some European countries, has been discovered in Washington, it does not cause an increase in cases, said Scott Lindquist, state epidemiologist.

The sub-variant accounts for less than 7% of the variants in Washington, does not become a “dominant force,” and cases in general are still declining, Lindquist said.

Lindquist said he can not predict whether the country or state will see an increase like Europe, but state surveillance, including genotyping, will see a new variant or increase come.

Across the country, the seven-day rate of new cases was 60.9 per capita. 100,000 people from March 1 to March 7, down from the peak in January of about 1,775 per. 100,000.

Cowlitz County registered about 49.8 new cases per year. 100,000 from March 1 to March 7. The decline may be leveling out, according to the county’s health department’s latest data report.

The county has recorded 22,371 total cases and 340 COVID-19 deaths.

Cowlitz County COVID-19 rate drops to pre-delta wave level; free COVID-19 tests widely available

Cowlitz County’s virus deaths rose in January and February by about 25 each month, up from 15 in November and 21 in December, according to the county report. From March 2020 to April 2021, 41% of deaths were associated with a long-term care facility, the report said. This share has fallen to around 15% from May 2021 to March 2022.

The county registered 4.5 admissions per. 100,000 the first week of the month. PeaceHealth St. John stopped publishing the number of COVID-19 admitted patients this week.

PeaceHealth reminds people that masks are still required in healthcare settings, including Longview Hospital and clinics. Health options also include dental offices, ophthalmologists, inpatient rehab or behavioral health facilities, massage therapy offices, chiropractors and surgical centers, according to the Ministry of Health.

The Lower Columbia CAP announced on Facebook that it will still require masks in its building and for all services received directly from staff. The nonprofit organization continues with caution, “because of the essential services provided by our staff and the number of vulnerable people we work with on a daily basis.”

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