CLARKSTON - On Tuesday, October 20, the Asotin County Public Health Department issued a letter regarding COVID-19 and the current rate of spread in Asotin County. The letter warns of a potential setback in reopening should COVID-19 case counts continue to rise in Asotin County. The statement can be read in full below:
"We are not out of the woods yet. We don’t want to move backwards in any way re-opening our businesses, our schools, and getting back to normal. But if we continue to see record setting numbers of new cases, there may be no way to avoid that.
Yesterday’s 14 day COVID-19 case count that we are tracking for incidence rates and other purposes was 61 cases in the past 14 days. When looking at that number as a rate per 100,000 population, that works out to be 268 cases per 100,000 in 14 days. These data tell us we are seeing wide, community spread of COVID-19 in our county. We are seeing an increase in cases throughout the county from multiple sources. This tells us people are not distancing, not wearing masks when they should, getting together when they shouldn’t, and not taking the threat of COVID-19 seriously. This places us way into the “High Risk” COVID-19 Activity level and puts us at high risk for dialing back in- person schooling, according to the Decision Tree for in-Person Learning among Public and Private K-12 Students, and indicates we are at high risk in general for COVID-19 spread throughout our community.
The community of Asotin County has already suffered unequitable financial loss compared to our neighbor. We need to work together as a community, we need to stay vigilant, and we need to continue to show care and concern for others by following the health guidance—even when we are away from work or not in public.
We have been working very closely with the schools in our county to keep kids in school. We know that it is critical for kid’s development to be in school. We need to get our economy back open. And we need the entire community’s help to make this happen. We need to be better at practicing physical distancing, limiting gatherings outside of our households, and wearing masks. We are seeing a lot of our community is practicing proper COVID-19 prevention practices in the formal settings of work, school, and other similar settings, but then some of the same folks are going home and into the community to a less formal setting and letting their guard down and placing themselves and others at risk, and this is what is fanning the spread of COVID-19 in our local communities.
We understand that this has been a marathon and not a sprint. We too are eager to see and gather with our friends and loved ones. However, we need to remain steadfast with the intention of fully opening businesses, schools, and events. This means we need more and continued commitment from our community in the areas we know are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19."