Thurston County Reports 32 New COVID-19 Cases Tuesday, More Cases at County Jail


Thurston County added 32 COVID-19 cases Tuesday as the public health department reported more cases at the county jail.

The added cases brings the county's total number of cases to 6,217 since the first case was recorded in March 2020, according to Thurston County Public Health and Social Services. The county has not reported any new deaths since Jan. 19 when it recorded its youngest death, a woman in her 30s.

In all, 331 COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized at some point in their illness and 5,018 people have recovered or are recovering, according to county data. The county reported that 7.9% of COVID-19 tests have come back positive over the past week, which is lower than the rate has been in recent weeks.

Additionally the county reported six ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks, bring the the total number of such outbreaks to 45. This includes the ongoing outbreak at the Thurston County jail that was first reported Jan. 15.

On Jan. 11, test results indicated eight out of 203 incarcerated persons and three employees tested positive for COVID-19. After another round of testing Jan. 18, five additional incarcerated persons and one more staff member tested positive for the virus, wrote county spokesperson Magen Johnson in a statement to The Olympian.

One dormitory at the facility remains in quarantine and another is under investigation, the statement read. All other dormitories have been cleared. Those who tested positive are in isolation while close contacts of those people are in quarantine, according to the statement.

Vaccine supply

Health care providers in Thurston County have given 14,310 vaccine doses as of Jan. 24, according to state data.

This week, Thurston County is receiving an additional 1,900 doses of the Moderna vaccine and 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, said department director Schelli Slaughter at a board of commissioner's meeting Tuesday morning. Thurston County is still prioritizing people in Phase 1A and 1B tier one, Slaughter said; there are about 70,000 Thurston County residents eligible in the current phases.

"We are committed to 100% allocation and 100% no waste of our vaccines in our community," Slaughter said. "We know there's not enough vaccine supply for everyone and we thank everyone for their patience."

Slaughter said Thurston County residents can refer to the county's COVID-19 website for updates on when more vaccines are available for eligible populations. The county also has a phone number, 360-867-2610, for those without adequate internet access or who may need more guidance, she said.

Last week, the health department partnered with Providence St. Peter Hospital to administer 2,400 doses over three days. More vaccination events are being planned as supply comes in, Slaughter said.

Slaughter said the county is setting up two mass vaccination sites at Thurston County Fairgrounds and at South Puget Sound Community College. Those two sites will be ready about the second week of February, she added.

The department also will partner with schools to provide vaccinations to teachers and staff in Phase B2, Slaughter said, when that phase starts in March or so. The delays may be discouraging for some, but county is dependent on supply that is allocated by the state and federal government, she said.

"All vaccine events and availability in our community are dependent upon the supply that we receive, and that changes each week," Slaughter said.

In the region

— Pierce County announced 224 new cases and four new deaths Tuesday, bringing the county's totals to 31,946 cases and 386 deaths.

— Grays Harbor County reported 2,856 confirmed and probable cases as of Sunday night with 31 deaths.

— Lewis County reported two new deaths and 26 new cases on Tuesday for a total of 2,804 cases and 36 deaths.

— Mason County reported seven additional cases on Tuesday for a total of 1,568 with 19 deaths.

— Pacific County reported five additional cases Monday for a total of 678 cases with eight deaths.

Around the state, nation and world

The state has reported 302,141 confirmed and probable cases and 4,148 deaths as of Sunday night.

In the U.S., more than 25.4 million cases had been reported as of Tuesday with over 424,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The world topped the 100 million mark for cases reported on Tuesday, and more than 2.15 million people had died, the data show.


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