Six More Thurston County Residents Die of COVID-19, Including Two Young People


Thurston County added 616 COVID-19 cases during the week of June 20-26 as the death toll reached 397 on Monday.

Six COVID deaths of Thurston County residents were confirmed between June 16 and 27, according to data from Public Health and Social Services. Three women died: one in her 20s, one in her 80s and one in her 90s. Three males also died: one between 10 and 20, one in his 70s and one in his 80s.

The boy is the second person in that age group to have died in Thurston County since the pandemic began, per the data. PHSS previously confirmed a girl died in September.

An additional 156 cases were confirmed on Monday. In all, PHSS has recorded 51,970 cases from March 2020 to Monday. Of that total, PHSS considers 50,842 cases as recovered or recovering, meaning 1,128 confirmed cases remained active as of Monday.

Last week saw somewhat fewer confirmed cases than the week prior when PHSS reported 654 cases.

The county's case rate per 100,000 people reached 429.9 from June 5-18, according to the state. This is down from a recent peak of 538.8 from May 13-26. The record high case rate was 3,108.6 from Jan. 2-15.

The state Department of Health considered disease activity to be "high" in Thurston County as of Sunday. That is the most severe rating.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention described the county's COVID-19 Community Level as "high" as of Thursday. Last Thursday, the CDC labeled the county as "medium."

With a "high" rating, the CDC recommends people wear masks in indoor public settings and on public transportation. Those at higher risk for severe illness also should consider additional precautions.

The CDC determines community levels by weighing new hospital admission and inpatient bed data after considering cases per 100,000 in the past seven days.

Outbreaks and hospitalizations

PHSS has been investigating 32 ongoing outbreaks at congregate care settings as of Monday. So far, there have been 229 such outbreaks in the pandemic — six more than the previous week.

At school settings, PHSS reported four closures involving 21 cases the week of June 13-19. That week, North Thurston Public Schools had one closure with six cases and the Olympia School District had two closures with 11 cases.

Yelm Community Schools also had one closure with four cases, according to the data.

PHSS confirmed 10 people were hospitalized with COVID over the past week. Since the start of the pandemic, the data show 2,434 Thurston County residents with COVID-19 have been hospitalized at some point in their illness.

About 75% of county residents who were hospitalized had a known underlying condition, according to a June 22 weekly report. However, it's possible some had an unknown underlying condition.

Among the people died before June 20, the report says 100% had a known underlying condition.

There were about 11 hospitalizations per 100,000 people from June 12-18 in Thurston County, according to the latest state data. This rate has been fluctuating since mid-May but just matched a recent peak of 11 from May 9-15.

The current record high rate was 37.8 which was recorded from Jan. 9-15.

As of Sunday, about 88.3% of Intensive Care Unit beds over a seven-day period were occupied in the West region, which includes Thurston County and some of its neighbors.

The data show 14.3% of ICU beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients in the region as well — over 10 times as many as reported as of June 16.

Hospitals in the region were 89.7% full over a seven-day period, while COVID-19 patients accounted for 9.7%.

Vaccinations and tests

As of Saturday, 66.3% of all Thurston County residents completed their primary series of vaccinations, and 73% had at least initiated their primary series, state data shows.

Meanwhile, the data show 73.5% of county residents 6 months and older have initiated vaccinations and 66.7% had completed their primary series.

The state also reports 57.8% of county residents 5 and older have received a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Saturday. Across the state, about 57.6% of that population have gotten a booster as Saturday.

Thurston County PHSS continues to offer free vaccination events, including for booster shots, every week. However, their Capital Mall clinic has been permanently closed. Upcoming events are listed on their coronavirus vaccine information website.

Eligible residents also can find appointments at pharmacies and other local providers by visiting the state's Vaccine Locator website.

Those who have difficulty scheduling appointments online can call the Department of Health vaccine hotline at 888-856-5816 or the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services line at 360-867-2610. Information for Spanish speakers is available at these numbers as well.

About 14.7% of confirmed molecular and antigen tests returned a positive result in Thurston County from June 11-17, according to DOH data. Over the same period, the state had an overall test positivity rate of 13.8%.

The DOH says it does not separate antigen test data from molecular test data because people usually don't report negative antigen tests.

In fact, testing results and by extension case counts are undercounted due to the availability of at-home testing. For its part, PHSS does not count such tests because they are considered suspect, county spokesperson Meredith Mathis previously said.

Anyone who tests at home can report their results to Washington's COVID-19 hotline at 800-525-0127. Thurston County residents also can call PHSS at 360-867-2610.

People can get PCR tests at pharmacies such as Rite Aid and Walgreens. PHSS plans to stop offering free PCR tests at its community clinics on Friday.

Over-the-counter COVID-19 antigen tests are also available at pharmacies and on-order from the state Department of Health and federal government.

In the region

Pierce County has confirmed 202,430 total COVID-19 cases with 1,374 deaths as of June 21. Pierce County has a population of about 927,000. The CDC indicates Pierce County has a medium COVID-19 community level.

Lewis County has had a total of 18,679 confirmed cases with 259 deaths as of Sunday, according to state data. Lewis County has a population of almost 83,000. The CDC indicates Lewis County has a high COVID-19 community level.

Grays Harbor County has seen a total of 17,950 cases with 205 deaths as of Sunday, according to state data. Grays Harbor County has a population of about 75,000. The CDC indicates Grays Harbor County has a high COVID-19 community level.

Mason County has reported 12,436 confirmed cases with 143 deaths as of Monday. Mason County has a population of about 69,000. The CDC indicates Mason County has a medium COVID-19 community level.

In the nation, state and world

The state of Washington has confirmed over 1.65 million COVID-19 cases and 13,111 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic to Sunday.

In the U.S., about 87 million COVID-19 cases had been reported as of Monday with over 1 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The U.S. population is about 330 million.

Globally, more than 544.2 million people had contracted the virus and over 6.3 million people had died of COVID-19 as of Monday, the data show.