COVID cases trending down, hospitalizations, deaths remain high

COVID-19 cases seem to be on the decline in Grays Harbor County, but hospitalizations and deaths remain high — 18 and seven respectively over the last week of available data.

“Cases of COVID-19 do appear to be beginning to trend slowly downward in Grays Harbor, which we are grateful for and hope to see continue,” said Nikki Gwin, Grays Harbor County Public Health community health worker.

As for the hospitalizations and deaths, “When we see large spikes in cases, hospitalizations and deaths associated with those infections tend to lag and mirror that spike later on. We’re hopeful that these will come down soon as well,” she said.

There were 327 new cases reported during the week, pushing the county total over the 8,000 mark, said Gwin.

“Our 14 day case rate is currently at 564.8 per 100,000 according to the Washington State Department of Health, down significantly from the range we’ve been in for the last several weeks,” said Gwin. “For context, our internal calculations found that our case rate in late May was approximately 204, and in mid-September is was approximately 1,069. So, it’s promising that we are deescalating from where we have been, but we have a long way to go.”

While the news is improving, public health officials say it’s very important people don’t let their guards down as case rates slowly decline. The county’s transmission is still very high, and “we should all be continuing the practices that we know can help slow it,” said Gwin, including masking and social distancing.

Schools have been seeing numbers of cases as the fifth wave seems to be dying down.

“Unfortunately, we continue to see transmission of COVID-19 continue in schools, and many of the recent active clusters we’ve been able to identify have been in school buildings,” said Gwin. “We’re continuing our partnerships with school districts and keep open communications with them so we can work together to mitigate spread.”

Demand has gone up at the public health vaccination clinics, said Gwin.

”Currently, many of these appointments are being made for booster doses, but we hope those who haven’t been vaccinated will continue to choose to get their first and second doses whether that’s with us or one of the county’s many other providers,” she said. Sign up for vaccinations with public health at, or find another provider at vaccinelocator.

The testing kiosks in Elma and Aberdeen continue to do brisk business. If you’re experiencing symptoms or believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 schedule a free test at either kiosk at