Kitsap County’s COVID-19 case rate more than doubled last week as the omicron virus variant arrived in earnest.
The Kitsap Public Health District attributed the jump to omicron, reporting that the seven-day case rate per 100,000 residents has spiked from 112 on Dec. 18 to 249 on Dec. 24. That number, the health district said, is expected to continue to climb. Data reporting is delayed by five days to improve accuracy, so a fuller picture of how the virus spread over the Christmas holiday will appear in the coming days.
“With the arrival of Omicron, we all will be at risk for contracting COVID in coming weeks,” Kitsap Public Health District Health Officer Dr. Gib Morrow said in a statement. “Getting vaccinated is the best thing you can do to protect your health and stay out of the hospital. If you are already vaccinated, get a booster shot as soon as you can.”
The spike came as the first known case of omicron was detected in Kitsap last week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that for the week ending Dec. 25, omicron accounted for nearly 60% of cases nationwide.
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The health district reported a “significant” number of recent cases in Kitsap connected to clusters within organizations and about 30 outbreaks in the community, including outbreaks linked to high school basketball and wrestling teams.
“I know we are all tired of COVID, but this new surge in cases cannot be ignored,” Morrow said. “We need to recommit to taking basic steps to prevent the spread of the virus for the sake of our families, our schools, our hospitals, our businesses, and ourselves.”
The health district had scaled back to weekly COVID-19 data reporting two weeks ago but said Wednesday that it would bring back daily data updates to its online dashboard for the month of January in response to the spike in cases and “what is predicted to be a sustained wave of omicron activity.”
Do you need a COVID-19 test?
If you need to get tested for COVID-19 in Kitsap County, you can find a provider on a list the health district keeps updated on its website: kitsappublichealth.org.
Nathan Pilling is a reporter covering Bainbridge Island, North Kitsap and Washington State Ferries for the Kitsap Sun. He can be reached at 360-792-5242, email@example.com or on Twitter at @KSNatePilling.
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