COVID numbers continue to skyrocket

COVID-19 numbers continue to skyrocket in Kitsap County.

In a week, the numbers doubled. The seven-day rates of cases per 100,000 population was 1,277 as of Jan. 9, quadrupling the county’s previous case peak in September, the Kitsap Public Health District reported.

Hospitalizations also reached a new high with 61, almost double the previous week’s total of 33.

Gov. Jay Inslee has brought in the National Guard to help at hospitals. He also called for a four-week pause in non-urgent medical procedures.

Because of high admissions and staff shortages, KPHD asks residents not to call 9-1-1 or go to a hospital emergency department, except in a real emergency. Stay home if feeling sick, and follow other COVID safety precautions.

Also, KPHD reports 59 outbreaks countywide, the highest total to date.

More than 200,000 residents have been vaccinated, which is 74% of the population. About 26.5% have received booster shots.

Beginning Jan. 19, Americans will be able to request free at-home testing kits, with 500 million available from the feds. Private health insurance is required to cover the costs. The state will have 5.5 million additionally available. That online ordering portal is still not set up, however.