Sadly, we are reporting a Wasco County resident died at her home Sept. 3 from COVID-19, bringing the county’s total deaths to 38. In late August, two Gilliam County residents died, one on Aug. 24 in the hospital and on Aug. 25 at home, bringing that county’s total deaths to four.
The surge in cases with the Delta variant of COVID-19 has caused a record number of ambulance calls for known or suspected COVID cases in August for Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue. There were 21 calls for service, compared to the previous high of 17 in January, and the low of just two in July.
“Our personnel are responding to a lot more COVID calls now than we were at any other previous time in this pandemic. Delta has really caused an uptick in our run volume,” and it’s continuing into September, said Lt. Joel Brown of MCF&R.
Meanwhile, vaccination rates continue to increase. Wasco County has vaccinated 69.6 percent of its population age 18 and older, Sherman County 62.3 percent and Gilliam County 46.8 percent.
Over 26,561 doses have been administered in Wasco, Sherman and Gilliam counties through the week ending Sept. 4. North Central Public Health District administered 121, for 16,327 cumulatively, Mid-Columbia Medical Center 27, for 1,653 cumulatively, and One Community Health did 22, for 3,510 cumulatively. Not included are doses administered at pharmacies.
Vaccines are free and widely available. All local pharmacies offer them on a walk-in basis. One Community Health has a clinic open to anyone Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (please call 541-296-4610 to schedule), at local doctor’s offices, or by calling NCPHD at 541-506-2600 to book an appointment.
Wasco County residents get a $50 VISA card for their first dose, while supplies last.