The day after reporting just one new virus case, Cowlitz County health officials reported seven new COVID-19 infections on Friday, bringing the total to 436 with 208 considered recovered.
Two virus patients are currently hospitalized outside the county, according to the Cowlitz COVID-19 Incident Management Team website.
The county reported 42 new cases this week. In July, the county recorded 248 new cases and its first five deaths.
On Thursday, the county reported only one new COVID-19 case, the lowest daily count since June 17. The new daily counts numbered in the single digits all week except Monday, when the county reported 22 new cases. However, Monday’s count includes cases recorded over the weekend.
Dr. Steve Krager, county deputy health officer, said Thursday it’s too early to draw conclusions but he’s optimistic the county may be turning a corner in virus activity. Avoiding another increase in cases depends on people’s behavior, he said.
State health officials are reminding people the importance of taking precautions because the virus often spreads between those with no symptoms. Between 30% and 50% of individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 in Washington caught it from someone who didn’t have symptoms, according to the state Department of Health.
In Cowlitz County, only 6% of all cases reported through July 22 were asymptomatic, according to a report from the county’s epidemiologist. Shannon Hoskins told the county Board of Health Tuesday that many patients who don’t think they are infected realize they have COVID-19 symptoms when the public health case investigators specifically ask about them.
COVID-19 symptoms including fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
People who don’t have symptoms and don’t know they are infected can spread COVID-19, so that’s why it’s important for everyone to wear masks and practice social distancing, according to the CDC.
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