The Yakima Health District (YHD) continues to monitor COVID-19 disease activity throughout the county closely. Disease activity has been increasing at a disturbing rate over the past few months, as have hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19. On September 7th, Yakima County reported a case rate of 1,093 per 100,000. Yakima County’s highest case rate reported was 1,167 per 100,000 for the time period December 28, 2020 to January 10, 2021. Given recent trends, the community is on track to surpass this case rate over the next few days.
At the community-based testing sites, three out of every ten individuals that are getting tested are testing positive. Now more than ever, it is crucial that community members immediately adopt as many COVID-19 public health recommendations as possible to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help Yakima’s healthcare system from continuing to operate in such limited capacity. It is now too late to rely solely on vaccines. All individuals must also implement public health preventative measures in their everyday lives to protect themselves and those around them.
Current Public Health Recommendations
- Get vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as possible.
- Wear a mask when in public indoor settings.
- Wear a mask when in crowded outdoor settings.
- Wash hands frequently and sanitize surfaces frequently.
- Practice social distancing.
- Limit gatherings with those outside of your household or, if possible, gather virtually. If individuals do choose to gather, it is important to keep gatherings small (less than 10 people) and gather outdoors as much as possible. If you must gather indoors, do so with the windows and doors open for maximum air flow.
- If an individual from a household gets infected with COVID-19, it is critical that the individual isolates at home away from all other household members. Recent information from the Yakima Health District’s case investigation team shows that many recent cases are a result of one individual infecting their entire households with COVID-19.
The Yakima Health District is urging extreme caution given the high risk of COVID-19 transmission in the community. The more that individuals gather with one another and relax public health preventative measures, the higher the risk of contracting COVID-19.
Letter from Yakima County Medical Community
The Yakima Health District received a letter signed by 140 members of the Yakima County medical community urging the public to get vaccinated and wear masks. They are also asking community members to help them in this fight against COVID-19. (Letter sent alongside media release.)