Record number of COVID-19 deaths in Thurston County in last 24 hours 

Ten unvaccinated patients with COVID-19 die at Providence hospitals

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Thurston County Public Health and Social Services is reporting ten deaths due to COVID-19 in a 24-hour period from September 15 to 16 at Providence St. Peter Hospital (Providence) in Olympia, Washington. While final cause of death has not officially been reported, those that died were hospitalized with COVID-19 and were reported to be unvaccinated. This is Providence’s largest single-day death toll since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My heart goes out to the family members and loves ones who have lost someone to COVID-19,” said Director Slaughter of Public Health and Social Services. “This is a tragedy to our community. We support and appreciate all the frontline healthcare workers who have provided unrelenting dedication to caring for their patients and we know they are grieving and exhausted.” 

As of Thursday, Providence is reporting 91 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at their Olympia and Centralia hospitals combined. Of those 91 patients, 18 are fully vaccinated and 73 are not. Twenty-three patients are in critical care due to COVID-19 at the two facilities, and 18 of them are currently on ventilators. Only one of the 23 critical care patients is fully vaccinated.

Thurston County reported 19 hospitalizations and nine deaths due to COVID-19 in the previous seven days, bringing the total of Thurston County residents lost to COVID-19 in the month of September so far to 20. Thurston County is currently experiencing high levels of COVID-19 transmission, with a 14-day case rate of 462.5 cases per 100,000 people.

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) estimates that 98.8 percent of all current COVID-19 cases in Washington State are due to the highly-contagious Delta variant. The Delta variant is much more infectious than previous strains of SARS-CoV2 and is responsible for 73% of all vaccine breakthrough cases in fully vaccinated individuals. All three available vaccines are safe and very effective at preventing moderate to severe cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations, and deaths, even against the Delta variant.

Health Officer Dr. Dimyana Abdelmalek continues to encourage Thurston County residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19. “Thurston County is experiencing COVID-19 transmission, hospitalizations, and deaths that are far outpacing our levels from the previous peak we experienced last winter,” she said. “Our region’s hospitals are reaching their capacity limits for acute care beds and ICU beds due to a sustained increase in COVID-19 cases. It is imperative that as a county we get vaccinated, mask up, and take other preventative measures against COVID-19. This ensures our health care providers are able to take care of our sickest patients.”

Thurston County is working with local hospitals to assess morgue capacity and ensure there is adequate storage capacity in the event of a surge in deaths within the county.

Individuals seeking a COVID-19 vaccine can visit the DOH Vaccine Locator tool online or by calling the COVID-19 helpline at 1-800-525-0127. Language services are available.

More COVID-19 information is available on the Thurston County Coronavirus website.

The above was provided by Thurston County Public Health and Social Services. 

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