County COVID uptick levels off

Between April 28 and May 5, the number of new cases reported decreased from the previous week.

A slight spike in COVID-19 cases in Island County appears to be leveling off now.

Between April 28 and May 5, there was an increase in 131 cases. This was down from the previous week, which had an increase of 144 cases.

As of May 5, the two-week case rate is 272 per 100,000 people.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the county has recorded a total of 10,472 cases and 76 deaths.

Jamie Hamilton, a county epidemiologist, said the main variable of concern on the horizon is the growing proportion of Omicron subvariant BA2.12.1 in the state’s cases.

“We have yet to see the real impact of that subvariant on our case numbers the way some other parts of the country are,” he said. “It’s possible that we’ll see a small dip in the next few weeks and then a rise again as BA2.12.1 gets established in Island County.”

During the last two years, case counts have been low in the late spring and early summer. However, as a Delta surge that began last July and peaked in August showed, a falling case count until autumn is far from guaranteed.

“COVID-19 has yet to demonstrate the really reliable seasonality that people associate with the flu, for instance,” Hamilton said. “Going forward case numbers — and by extension hospitalizations and deaths — will hinge on which variants are circulating and the use of tried and true healthy behaviors like masking and testing when needed, and vaccination.”

As of May 4, nearly 70% of the Island County population aged 12 and up has completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccination. The primary series refers to the first two shots of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.