Grant County Health District

MOSES LAKE - Health district officials say Tuesday’s announcement of a two-week pause on evaluating phases of the reopening plan should serve as a “wakeup call” for Grant County.

Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday morning announced all counties would remain in their current phase as the state continues to evaluation COVID-19 activity. Grant County was not meeting the metrics to remain in Phase 3 and would have been moved back, along with about a dozen other counties, to the more restrictive Phase 2.

“This is our wakeup call,” stated Grant County Health District Administrator Theresa Adkinson. “What Grant County is currently doing is not working well for our residents. We have one of the lowest vaccination rates in our entire state. Yet our hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies have a surplus supply of the vaccine. None of us want to have a repeat of last summer. We want parades and festivals back, but in order to make that happen we must better manage this virus. I know Grant County is tired of the COVID restrictions. But I also know, as a childhood resident of this community, we have what it takes to increase our vaccination rates.

According to the Department of Health, about 29 percent of Grant County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The state average is at about 44 percent.

“COVID spread and COVID hospitalizations in Grant County have been going up for several weeks,” said Grant County Health Officer Dr. Alex Brzezny. “People are letting their guard down. But we are closer to ending this pandemic because of vaccines. So, what do we do? Don’t disrespect the virus, stay alert. Forget about herd immunity for now, let’s just vaccinate as many as we can as soon as possible. It is safe and it works. If more people choose to vaccinate, more spread is disrupted, and the infections will go down, plain and simple. Then we stay in Phase 3 and continue putting this nightmare behind (us)…”