On Wednesday, the Kitsap Public Health District confirmed three new COVID-related deaths, bringing the countywide total of virus-related fatalities to 62 since the pandemic began last March.
Details on the six most recent deaths will be provided by the health district on Thursday. Of the prior 56 COVID-related deaths in Kitsap, 30 were community members 80 and older, 15 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 other health conditions, but earlier reported the first 43 people who died all had underlying health conditions.
On Jan. 14, the health district stated about half of the deaths 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 confirmed 22 new positive COVID-19 cases in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total since the pandemic began in March to 4,995.
Of the new cases, North Kitsap had two and Bainbridge Island three.
Over the past two weeks, the county’s positive case rate per 100,000 residents has dropped to 160.2, meaning the county is still over a “high level” of coronavirus activity, per state guidelines, with a case rate above 75 over the previous 14 days.
A total of 149 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.) 542 “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 4,995 total cases, 237 have been reported on Bainbridge Island, 1,296 in Bremerton, 1,173 in Central Kitsap, 876 in North Kitsap and 1,414 in South Kitsap.
To date, the number of vaccine doses given by Kitsap facilities is 18,547.
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.