Respiratory illnesses hit Kitsap hard

Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson was named vice chair of the Kitsap Public Health District at its recent meeting.

County Commissioner Rob Gelder was elected chair, replacing Bremerton Mayor Greg Wheeler.

New board member Jolene Sullivan of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe was welcomed.

District administrator Keith Grellner reported that respiratory issues are prevalent locally, as they are in the state and nationwide.

“It’s full speed already and has been since November,” he said, adding that’s a few months earlier than usual. He said COVID numbers are stable, but that could be deceiving because many home tests are not reported.

He urged the public to stay home if ill. “Please don’t share.” He also asked folks not to go to the hospital emergency room, but to see their doctor instead. And he asked people to wear masks indoors if it’s crowded or if they have other underlying health conditions.

Erickson mentioned she has been talking with St. Michael Medical Center officials, and things there are improving.