210808-yh-news-covidqa-2

Jocelyn Castillo, community health specialist with Yakima Health District, right, answers questions and gives out information about the COVID-19 vaccines at a Community Health Night on Friday, July 30, 2021, in Sunnyside, Wash.

The Yakima Health District reported 297 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, the highest daily total since early January.

Eight more deaths were reported Monday and Tuesday, bringing the total to 448 in Yakima County during the course of the pandemic. Forty-eight people were hospitalized Wednesday, again the highest since early January.

The state on Wednesday brought back a mask mandate requiring everyone to wear a mask indoors in public places, regardless of vaccination status.

Yakima County had 571 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 over the past 14 days. Community transmission is high statewide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Neil Barg, Yakima Health District health officer, and Dr. Marty Brueggemann, chief medical officer at Yakima Valley Memorial, urged people to get vaccinated and follow health recommendations, including wearing a mask in public places indoors.

Barg said the delta variant of the virus is more contagious than previous strains, and there’s been a surge in cases and hospitalizations in Yakima County and across the country.

“We urge everyone, regardless of their vaccination status, to wear a mask in indoor public settings. Get vaccinated and mask up,” Barg said in a news release earlier this month.

Brueggmann said more people are dying every week in Yakima County because of COVID-19 and the patients are getting younger, mainly because they have lower vaccination rates.

Free vaccines

Free vaccines are available at health clinics and pharmacies around the county. The following mobile clinics do not require an appointment.

Thursday

  • 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., HAPO Credit Union, 6401 W. Nob Hill Blvd., Yakima.
  • 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Goodwill, 503 S. First St., Selah.
  • 2-6:30 p.m., Slims Market, 9979 Highway 12, Naches.

Sunday

  • 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fiesta Foods, 1088 E. Nob Hill Blvd., Yakima.
  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Toppenish Flea Market, 901 W. First Ave., Toppenish.

The COVID-19 testing site at State Fair Park in Yakima was closed Saturday and Sunday because of wildfire smoke, but reopened Monday.

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