WENATCHEE — COVID-19 case rates have plateaued a bit in Chelan and Douglas counties while vaccinations continue to tick upwards, about 7,000 vaccinations away from the 70% goal.

The incidence rate in Chelan County has remained in the 80 new cases per 100,000 people range throughout early June, according to data from the Chelan-Douglas Health District. As of June 6, there have been 82.9 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 in the last 14 days.

Chelan County’s rate is down from 128 cases per 100,000 about a month ago, according to data from the state Department of Health.

Douglas County has a slightly higher incidence rate with 96 new cases per 100,000 in the last 14 days as of June 6, according to data from the health district. In early April, its COVID-19 case rate was 137.1 per 100,000, according to the Department of Health.

The state plans on fully reopening the economy on June 30 regardless of the incidence rate. But if the hospital ICU capacity statewide ever reaches 90%, then activities will begin to get restricted, according to the “Healthy Washington” reopening plan.

As of June 7, state ICU capacity was at 81%, according to data from the Department of Health.

Seven people were hospitalized at Central Washington Hospital due to COVID-19 on Wednesday, with one patient in the intensive care unit. On June 2, 14 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19 with two of them in the ICU.

Around 97% of new COVID-19 hospitalizations at CWH in the last couple months were people who had not been vaccinated, according to Confluence Health spokesman Andrew Canning.

If ICU capacity remains below 90%, the state could fully reopen before June 30 if 70% of the population 16 and older would get the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

With 3.9 million initiated vaccinations already administered statewide, another 389,282 would be necessary to reach 70% as of June 5, according to data from the Department of Health.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counts 4.2 million people age 18 and older in the state as having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in the state.

The state Department of Health acknowledged the discrepancy between the two databases in a statement on Monday. The department of health said the differences are due to:

  • Some Washington residents get vaccinated out of state and their records are not submitted into the state’s immunization system.
  • DOH uses 2020 population estimates that are larger and more accurate while the federal government uses 2019 census data.
  • The federal government gets data from the Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs and other sources of vaccines that were allocated by the federal government that do not get shared with DOH.
  • The state dashboard reports initiated vaccinations for people 16 and older while the state counts for people 18 and older.

In Chelan and Douglas counties, about 63% of people 16 and older have been vaccinated as of June 5, leaving about 7,000 more people to get their first shots to reach the 70% threshold, according to data from the Department of Health.

Oscar Rodriguez: (509) 665-1179

rodriguez@wenatcheeworld.com