Fight against COVID-19 isn't over yet

Registered nurse Cheryl Boehm administers a COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination clinic at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds pavilion.

Statewide COVID-19 continued to rise slightly in Oregon and Washington on Friday, April 2, and Saturday, April 3. Locally, in Umatilla and Walla Walla counties, the trends remained fairly steady with low case counts.

Umatilla County saw seven new cases reported Friday, according to the Region 9 COVID-19 Dashboard.

The Oregon Health Authority reported another six cases in the county Saturday, and reported the county’s total to be at 7,884 cases since testing began. The state’s total numbers did not match the Region 9 Dashboard. Additional case counts may need to be reconciled.

No new COVID-19-related deaths were reported this week for the second week in a row, leaving the total at 82 since the pandemic began.

The Oregon Health Authority noted on its COVID-19 website that county-by-county vaccination numbers weren’t being relayed properly, so those datasheets won’t be public until the errors are corrected.

Walla Walla County had five new cases reported Friday, for a total of 4,869 cases since testing began last year, according to covidwwc.com, the website run by the county’s Department of Community Health.

Community Health reported 46 people had the virus as of Friday and one person was in the hospital as a result of it.

No new deaths were tallied Friday with the total remaining at 64.

According to the state Department of Health, about 22% of county residents are fully vaccinated.

In Washington, according to the Department of Health’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard, another 1,353 cases were tallied and 16 more people died in connection to the outbreak, as of Friday.

That brings the state’s totals to 367,115 total cases and 5,278 total deaths since testing began last year.

The department reported 29% of all Washingtonians have received at least one dose of COVID-19 immunizations and 18% were fully vaccinated as of Wednesday.

In Oregon, 499 cases were reported Friday with another 476 Saturday, bringing the total cause count to 166,480 since testing began.

Another six people reportedly died in connection with the disease for a total of 2,391 Oregonians since testing began.

Gov. Kate Brown warned in a news release Friday that numbers were headed in the wrong direction.

“It’s clear that, in Oregon and across the country, the fourth surge of this virus is at our doorstep,” Brown said. “While Oregon’s case numbers fortunately haven’t matched those of other states seeing large spikes, our numbers are rising and we are back on alert.”

The state reported about 1.2 million people were vaccinated as of Wednesday with more than 723,000 Oregonians fully vaccinated.

Brown said vaccination progress has been promising.

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Jedidiah Maynes can be reached at jedidiahmaynes@wwub.com or 509-526-8318.

Jedidiah Maynes is a reporter for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin covering a variety of topics including local court cases. He enjoys making music and puns.