It was one year ago today that the Yakima County Health District got the word from the Washington State Department of Health(DOH) that two Yakima County residents had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Since then, Yakima has confirmed 28,118 cases including myself, wife and daughter.  The Health District says there have been 1,419 hospitalizations, (including mine) and sadly 385 deaths due to COVID-19.

Life has been altered in some way for all of us as a result.

In a press release recognizing the anniversary, "The Health District says it, has had to work diligently, along with many committed partners, to ensure that community members were safe, that hospitals would not be overrun, and a community with primarily essential workforce, could stay safe."

Here is the Yakima Health District overview.

In a “normal year” the Yakima Health District operates on a $6.2-millionbudget with 31 full time equivalent staff. On a day-to-day basis, most staff work on essential public health services such as environmental health, vital records, and communicable disease. To respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, YHD immediately required additional funding and staff.

As of 3/10/21 the Yakima Health District can document:

$2,674,221 spent on COVID-19                                                                          

24,892 hours of YHD staff-time spent on COVID-19

109 individuals worked on behalf of the Yakima Health District on COVID-19 response

Hired11 additional staff within the Yakima Health District

Partnered with 5 organizations that hired an additional 67staff to support the response

During the first few weeks of the pandemic, the Incident Management Team1 at the Yakima Health District fielded calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as every provider, local government official, business owner, school administrator and community member in Yakima County tried to make sense of this new, evolving, virus.

Accurate information is key in a pandemic and the Yakima Health District spent a ton of time in meetings

28COVID-19 related alerts disseminated to all medical providers across Yakima County

At least31weekly meetings with school nurses

At least 40weekly meetings with superintendents

At least 50 meetings with local government officials

At least 56 meetings with local businesses

Personal Protective Equipment distributed throughout Yakima County:

3,251,262 masks  4,680,400 gloves  435,725 gowns  37,079 face shields, safety glasses & goggles  6,416 containers of sanitizer  20 portable ventilators  3,905 other resources were distributed to over 300 partners across Yakima County.

There is lot more to tell about Yakima County Covid Response Year One, find out more HERE.