Pandemic update 01/19/2022

Martha McInnes RN,

Wasco County Commissioners met January 19, and led off with an update on the pandemic from the North Central Health District. Dr. Mimi McDonell was not available, so the update was delivered by Martha McInnes, a registered nurse who is the clinical program supervisor for the health district.

She noted the omicron variant is surging heavily.

“Over the three-day holiday weekend we had 28 thousand and change cases, which is the most I’ve ever seen,” she said. “Omicron is definitely running roughshod over our state. Hospitals are definitely under some strain. So in Region 6 hospital capacity, we have two ICU beds open and two non-ICU beds open. That’s not a lot.”

Region 6 covers Wasco, Hood River, Sherman and Gilliam counties.

She also had some good news:

“The federal government launched a website through the US Postal Service, where you can put in your name and your address and they will ship four home kits to you,” she said. “So spread that around widely and encourage everyone to sign up and get their home test kits.”

Here is the LINK for the website where you can apply for the free home test kits

Meanwhile, with the current test shortage, McInnes, passed on some advice from the Oregon Health Authority:

“OHA has even actually put out recommendations, saying, ‘If you’re sick, don’t worry about going to get a test. Just assume you’re positive and stay home for five days, which is the current recommendation, then wear a well-fitting mask everywhere you go for the following five days.'”

To hear the whole talk, click on the grey podcast bar below, and follow the slides posted below that: