The backlog of COVID-19 cases recently disclosed by the Yakima Health District didn’t significantly change the new case trends of the last several weeks, officials said.
The Yakima Health District announced 137 previously uncounted cases last week that were added to Yakima County’s overall total. As of Saturday, there have been 26,970 cases since mid-March, with 373 deaths.
The cases are from rapid tests that were not immediately reported by the testing facility, Lilian Bravo, director of public health partnerships for the Yakima Health District, said Friday. The testing facility is responsible for sending the test results to the state Department of Health, which in turn notifies the health district.
The Yakima Health District sent an update to testing facilities reminding them how to send rapid test results to the state Department of Health, Bravo said.
Since the test results were spread over several weeks, it did not impact daily case numbers, Bravo said.
The Yakima Health District did not provide new COVID-19 results Sunday or Monday due to the Presidents Day holiday. Updated case numbers, along with updated vaccine supply and distribution figures, will come out Tuesday.
A total of 16,091 first doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been given in Yakima County as of Tuesday, as well as 4,019 second doses, according to the latest Yakima Health District figures.
The state is in Phase 1B Tier 1, which means everyone 65 and older and those 50 and older in multigenerational households qualify. Those who work in health care, first responders, and staff and residents of long-term care centers also are eligible.
Residents should first check whether they are eligible for the vaccine by going to the state’s PhaseFinder tool (FindYourPhasewa.org) and filling out the questionnaire. You can sign up for an email or text notification regarding vaccine eligibility.
The state’s COVID assistance hotline is 211 or 1-800-525-0127.
Those eligible for the vaccine should go to the Yakima Health District COVID-19 vaccine site at www.yakimacounty.us/2472/COVID-19-Vaccine. There, the Yakima Health District has an updated list of providers giving vaccines and how to set up appointments.
All clinics require scheduled appointments. People should not go to visit clinics or the hospital for vaccines without an appointment.
The state has a mass vaccination site at the Benton County Fairgrounds in Kennewick, along with locations in Wenatchee, Spokane and Ridgefield. Anyone can visit those sites, but preregistration is required and Yakima County residents should not travel to those sites without a confirmed appointment.