The Washington Department of Health released its plan this week to guide the state’s public health response and recovery efforts in the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The department is not abandoning vaccines or testing efforts.
It plans to continue to provide community organizations and schools with support and guidance.
The department also will continue updating and collecting public health data, as well as sequencing at least 10% of positive COVID samples for variants. Health care capacity and monitoring how full hospitals are remain a priority, and the department will continue to work with the Washington Medical Coordination Center to ensure patients who need to be transferred can be.
The department will maintain a systemwide capacity to have 30,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine per day, with the potential to surge to 60,000 doses per day within a week if necessary.
“Our goal will remain to be making vaccines widely available and accessible to all Washingtonians no matter where they are,” Lacy Fehrenbach, deputy secretary, told reporters on Wednesday.
The state’s plans for the next phase of the pandemic come a month after California moved to treat the coronavirus as an endemic risk to manage and live with, rather than a crisis requiring mask mandates and business shutdowns.
So far, there have been more than 700 community-led vaccination clinics as a part of the department’s Care-a-Van clinics, which can be a part of any organization’s community event.
The state also will continue to monitor testing efforts and has the surge capacity to provide 50,000 tests per day in the next six months if it’s needed.
At-home test kits are available through the Say Yes COVID Test portal, and the department plans for that initiative to continue.
The health department also will have a supply of 7.5 million masks available to distribute to communities if necessary, and the state also keeps a 60-day supply of PPE for health care providers in the event a surge leads to supply-chain constraints.
Here’s a look at local numbers
The Spokane Regional Health District reported 56 new cases and no additional deaths on Friday.
There are 43 patients hospitalized with the virus in Spokane.
The Panhandle Health District reported 234 new cases, but these are mainly backlogged cases from the omicron surge. The district has 660 additional backlogged cases to work through.
There are 29 Panhandle residents hospitalized with COVID-19.
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