There is a new routine in 4-H homes throughout Pacific County. The challenges of not being able to meet face to face are being conquered. They are keeping families safe and connected.
On Thursday, July 23, the Washington Army National Guard flew in two portable ventilators to the Port of Willapa Airport. Pacific County Emergency Management Agency Director Scott McDougall took possession of the ventilators.
SOUTH BEND - Under the coronavirus pandemic circumstances, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) is doing the best it can to enable high school sports continuing during the 2020-21 academic seasons. Tentatively, depending on the state of affairs throughout the Evergreen State, there will be sports in not three, but four sanctioned seasons as proposed by the WIAA Executive Board last Tuesday (July 21). The WIAA is moving "moderate-and high-risk team sports," originally scheduled for the fall season, to WIAA Season 3.
Pacific County Health and Human Services received notice last week of eleven positive cases of COVID-19 in Pacific County. These positive cases are in addition to the 19 previously reported cases for a total of 30 cases. There are currently eleven active cases being monitored by public health nurses.
Of the eleven cases, three cases are in a single household, two cases are in another household, one case is in their own household, one case resulted after a family gathering, two others are close contacts of individuals confirmed positive earlier in the week, one is a close contact of an out of state positive case, and one that has recently travelled. There are no known contacts between most of these groups at this time. Some of the individuals are symptomatic while others are asymptomatic, and all individuals are in isolation at home.
SOUTH BEND - There has been a lot of discussion about wearing a mask during the coronavirus pandemic. It is imperative to wear a mask because mask-wearing may protect you from severe COVID-19, and it doesn't just protect others from COVID-19, it protects you from infection, and perhaps serious illness, too. Though there is no direct evidence on the effectiveness for healthy people wearing masks, it can prevent contaminated people from infecting others. Also the act of wearing a mask actually helps the economy, since it helps stop the spread.
Unfortunately, a lot of people still refuse to wear masks - even though in Washington not wearing a mask in public can cost you a $1,000 fine if law enforcement chooses to enforce it. The sad fact of it all is that it has turned into a political item. In a Gallup Poll last week, 98 percent of Democrats said they wore a mask outside the home, compared to 65% Republicans and 85% independents.
Nationally, a lot of businesses are not allowing customers in their establishments unless a mask is worn. Many stores are now requiring masks to enter, some include Kroger, Starbucks, Home Depot, Verizon, Best Buy, Walgreens, Target, Costco, Dollar Tree, Panera Bread, and Walmart to name a few. Businesses in Thurston County are getting fines if caught letting customers inside without a mask being worn.
There is a rumor floating around on social media that the states are over counting COVID-19 deaths to increase the crisis of the pandemic. The state and Pacific County are working hard to present properly counted coronavirus mortality rates.
During a press conference last week, Washington State Health Officer Katy Lofy explained how the state is approaching the death counts. "We collect lab results on individuals who test positive. If our investigator learns that the individual has passed away, we include that in that [initial report] and we indicate that in their records."
"We also look at the death certificates that are coming in," she said. "Of all the people who have Lab Confirmed COVID, who then go on and die, 90% of them have COVID listed on the death certificate as their cause of death. And then there is a smaller portion, 10%, that died but don't have an indication or doesn't specifically say COVID-19 on their death certificate, but they died of a natural cause like a heart attack or respiratory failure."
SOUTH BEND - In a somewhat bombshell development, Pacific County Prosecutor Mark McClain submitted his resignation to the Pacific County Board of Commissioners in a letter (Thursday) effective Monday, August 3.
Several community groups have joined together to develop an event that focuses on random acts of kindness. This year the event was initially going to happen alongside the Willapa Festival, but the pandemic interrupted it. Now the Day of Kindness is scheduled for August 1.
SOUTH BEND - The citizens of South Bend, Raymond, and our neighbors to the south, Long Beach, pretty much observed the law on fireworks and for the most part put on their face masks when out and about during Fourth of July weekend. People had fun with the fireworks and maintained safety.
"Things went fairly well over the Fourth," South Bend Police Chief Lucas Stigall told the Herald. "Surprisingly, South Bend had very few actual 'firework complaints' this year compared to past years. I think our biggest problem has been fireworks leading up to the third and fourth, and since people do not realize they are only legal in the city limits on those two days."
On the governor's order to wear face masks, Stigall said, "South Bend PD is emphasizing on education when it comes to wearing face masks."
Face coverings are slowly appearing as people start complying with Governor Inslee's statewide mandate for wearing masks in public places. One exemption to wearing a mask is if you are outside alone or with other household members. There are other exemptions to wearing masks like if there is a medical condition that the mask will interfere with.
"People can have exemptions from wearing face masks, however that exemption does not require that a private business, government or organization allow that person to be inside their business or organization," said Pacific County Health Department Director Katie Lindstrom.
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