Encouraging news from state officials who say they're seeing signs of hope in the COVID-19 case and hospitalization information. The officials say COVID-19 cases are leveling off in the state as more people become vaccinated. The state estimates 2.4 million people out of the 7.6 million people that live in the state have been fully vaccinated. In Yakima County health officials say 36.5% of total eligible population (16+) has been fully vaccinated and almost 47% of total eligible population (16+)  that has received at least one vaccine. Yakima Health District spokeswoman Lilian Bravo says "at the Community Vaccination Center we continue to see 400-700  individuals every day. These individuals represent those that are coming back for their second dose, as well as those that are coming in for their first dose of the vaccine.  We anticipate continuing to see the number of vaccinated go up in our community."
400,000 doses of the vaccine will be shipped to the state next week and that amount is expected to be shipped to the state every week through the end of the month. Health officials say that helps in planning for those who make appointments for a vaccine. The state is in a two week pause right now, announced by the governor on Monday.
Therefore, Yakima County will remain in Phase 3. After the two week pause, each county will be evaluated based on two metrics. Yakima County will be able to remain in Phase 3 if at least one of the following two metrics can be met: 1. Less than 200 new COVID-19 cases per 100,00 population per 14 days
2. Less than 5 new COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 population per 7 days.
Officials at the Yakima Health District say it's important people continue following public health recommendations, including getting vaccinated. If you are looking for a vaccine visit the Yakima Health District’s website at www.yakimavaccines.org for information and links to make an appointment or find out about vaccine clinics. Dr. Larry Jecha, Interim Health Officer, Yakima Health District says “as we all look forward to a safe and open summer the best act of service we can do is get the COVID-19 vaccine and continue following public health recommendations. In doing so, we will be able to enjoy more activities as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

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