On Wednesday, the Kitsap Public Health District confirmed another COVID-related death, bringing the countywide total of virus-associated fatalities to 54 since March.
Information on the four most-recent deaths will be made available by the health district Thursday. Of the previous 50 deaths, 25 were community members 80 and older, 14 ages 70-79, seven ages 60-69, two ages 50-59, and one each for ages 40-49 and 30-39. The health district didn’t list how many had underlying health conditions, but earlier reported the first 43 people who died all had underlying health conditions, and all but five were over 65.
On Jan. 14, the health district stated about half of the deaths reported in the county have been linked to outbreaks in long-term care settings.
“Our hearts are with the families in our community who have lost loved ones to the pandemic or are struggling to overcome this disease,” Dr. Gib Morrow said. “The arrival of COVID-19 vaccine gives us hope that the end of the pandemic is in sight, and we are working with our health care community to roll out vaccinations as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“But as we work to build our collective immunity, we have to keep fighting the spread of the virus by wearing masks, keeping our distance from others, washing hands, avoiding gatherings and staying home when sick. These are simple steps that will save lives.”
Additionally, the health district reported 38 new positive COVID-19 cases in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total since the pandemic began in March to 4,765.
Ten of the cases were in North Kitsap and two on Bainbridge Island.
Factors contributing to recent cases include exposures from employees reporting to work while sick, linked to holidays and social gatherings, linked to outbreaks at care facilities and other settings, and widespread transmission in the community, according to the health district.
Over the past two weeks, the county’s positive case rate per 100,000 residents is 235.9, meaning the county is over a “high level” of coronavirus activity, per state guidelines, with a case rate above 75 over the previous 14 days.
A total of 194 cases were considered in “isolation” by the health district, meaning they are “confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases who are in their recommended isolation period” (10 days after first symptoms.) 682 “total close contacts in quarantine” were also confirmed in Kitsap, meaning they are “residents who were determined to be close contacts of confirmed cases and are in their recommended quarantine period” (14 days after last contact with case).
Of the 4,765 total cases, 216 have been reported on Bainbridge Island, 1,235 in Bremerton, 1,115 in Central Kitsap, 824 in North Kitsap and 1,375 in South Kitsap.
Due to a high volume of testing at the state Department of Health, the total number of negative tests along with the percentage of positive tests over the last 14 days are not available. As of January 16, the number of vaccine doses given in Kitsap was 11,051.