COVID-19 Testing

Medical professionals conduct COVID-19 tests at the Providence Hawks Prairie drive-up clinic last November in Lacey.

Thurston County reported a record 133 COVID-19 cases Friday as state COVID data keeps the region — and the entire state — in its new Phase 1..

The previous daily record for COVID cases was 104 cases on Dec. 7. The added cases today bring the county's totals to 5,268 confirmed cases and 58 deaths since March 2020. The county also reported Friday that 314 people have been hospitalized at some point in their illness and 4,385 cases are considered recovered or recovering.

Additionally, the county noted four ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks in congregate care settings. Over the past week, the county also saw about 6.8% of COVID-19 tests return positive results.

Stuck in Phase 1

Test positivity rate is a key metric in Gov. Jay Inslee new Healthy Washington regional reopening plan.

Under the new plan, which began Friday with the first release of regional data, regions can move forward into a less restrictive phase of economic and social activity if they meet four criteria.

* The case rate per 100,000 people over two weeks must decline by 10% compared to the previous two weeks.

* The COVID-19 hospital admission rate per 100,000 people over two weeks must decline by 10% compared to the previous two weeks.

* The total intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy rate must be below 90%.

* The test positivity rate must be below 10%.

Though Thurston County reached Phase 3 of the Safe Start Plan back in June, that plan has since been paused and replaced by the new "Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery" plan. From now on, Thurston County is grouped together with Lewis, Grays Harbor and Pacific counties in a greater "West" region.

The region — and in fact, all of the state's regions — will remain in Phase 1 under data released Friday. Only the region's ICU data met the state's criteria to move to Phase 2, with 86 percent occupancy.

The West region saw its case rate per 100,000 people decrease by just 1% when comparing to Nov. 29 to Dec. 12 with Dec. 13 to Dec. 26.

Additionally, new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 people increased by 3% when comparing Dec. 6 to 19 with Dec. 20 to Jan. 2.

The West region also has had a 10% test positivity rate, according to state data.

Phase 1 prohibits indoor dining, as well as indoor social and at-home gatherings entirely, but outdoor gatherings are permitted so long as they include no more than 10 people from two households.

Additionally, low-risk sports are permitted in stable groups of no more than 5 athletes and appointment-based fitness training is permitted in 45-minute sessions with no more than one athlete per room or 500 square foot area. Low- and moderate-risk sports are also permitted for training but not tournaments.

Lastly, private rentals and tours are only permitted for individual households of no more than six people and outdoor attractions such as zoos must have timed entry and are limited to groups of 10 with 2 households per group.

In the region

— Pierce County announced 515 new cases and eight new deaths Friday for a total of 27,775 cases and 330 deaths total.

— Grays Harbor County has 2,465 confirmed and probable cases as of Thursday with 27 deaths.

— Lewis County reported 27 new cases on Friday and no new deaths for a total of 2,366 cases and 28 deaths.

— Mason County reported 22 additional cases on Friday for a total of 1,366 with 16 deaths.

Around the state, nation and world

The state Department of Health had reported 268,607 confirmed and probable cases and 3,699 deaths as of Friday.

In the U.S., 22 million cases had been reported as of Saturday with more than 370,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Globally, more than 89.2 million cases had been reported and 1.92 million people had died as of Saturday, the data show.

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(c)2021 The Olympian (Olympia, Wash.)

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(3) comments

Logger Jim

Trump won.

Logger Jim

Trump won.

Vandenberg Law

We have now had 11 months of State restrictions and the infections continue to climb. We have all been required to wear masks when in public places and haven't been able to sit down in a restaraunt in months. We were told not visit relatives for the holidays and not have anyone over to our homes......and it only gets worse. At what point do we admit that the entire plan to "end" the Pandemic has been a massive failure? Who is to blame? The talking heads who told us if we make all these sacrifices we would "flatten the curve"? More importantly, who will take the blame for the economic disaster and mental despair that all these policies have created? I know who will pay for them.....we all will. I call on Jay Inslee to donate his ENTIRE salary back to the state for Covid relief....after all he does live rent free in public housing. Too bad as his landlords that we didn't evict him when we still could..

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