Second positive COVID-19 result announced in Grays Harbor County

A second positive test for COVID-19 in Grays Harbor County was announced Monday. Meantime, Grays Harbor Community Hospital said the first case, reported March 11, has been listed as “recovered.”

“That person is considered recovered” from the coronavirus, but remains in the hospital, according to hospital Director of Marketing and Public Relations Chris Majors.

“There were underlying health concerns that necessitated continued hospitalization, but that person is no longer being treated” for COVID-19. The case involves a man in his 60s.

The second positive case involves a man in his 40s, who is currently in isolation and receiving care at Grays Harbor Community Hospital, according to a Grays Harbor Public Health statement. Public Health has identified and notified close contacts of the patients, who have been asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days past their last exposure to the patient and to report any symptoms to Public Health. No information was released as to what part of the county the patient is from.

Test Numbers

The hospital released some COVID-19 testing statistics Monday morning. The total tested as of that time was 115, with 102 tests coming back negative, and two total positive – the first case now considered recovered from COVID-19 and the new result announced Monday. There were 11 test kits still pending results, and the hospital has 135 test kits available.

Those tests, per an order from Grays Harbor County Health Officer Dr. John Bausher issued March 27, are prioritized for tests on health care workers and first responders.

“That was an order from the Public Health Officer so it’s pretty much law for us,” said Majors. “We cannot issue tests for people outside of those parameters.”

Visitation at the hospital will continue to be limited and Grays Harbor Public Health continues to remind residents to follow Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order.

“There have been changes, both in how the staff are protecting themselves and who we are letting in,” said Majors. “Visitor limitation has probably been the biggest challenge.”

The hospital acknowledges it’s a scary time to be in the hospital, “and they (the patients) want visitors, and people want to visit them,” said Majors. The hospital is following state, local and national protocols to protect the staff and patients as best they can while still providing necessary services.

The number of people coming to the hospital has actually dropped as more and more people seem to be following the stay at home orders, said Majors. The hospital has procedures in place to continue to treat patients with non-COVID-19 illnesses, he said.

Grays Harbor Public Health and Grays Harbor Community Hospital are also working together to get information out, they said. “Things are changing quickly and people need timely and accurate information,” said Karolyn Holden, Grays Harbor Public Health Director. “We’ve seen misinformation being spread, especially on social media. We want to remind residents that our website is updated regularly with current, reliable information and our call center is available to answer questions, too.”

Public Health said it will begin reporting the number of positive and negative COVID-19 tests done on county residents in a timely, accurate and complete fashion as the information is available. Data will be updated as new information is received.

Residents can visit Public Health’s website at www.healthygh.org/covid19 to see the latest case counts and number of tests done. Residents can also call the Grays Harbor Public Health COVID-19 Call Center at 360-964-1850 for more information about COVID-19. The number will be staffed by non-medical personnel from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.