From the Kittitas County Incident Management Team:
Kittitas County, WA – 04/14/2020 – The Kittitas County Incident Management Team (IMT) continues to prioritize our Long Term Care Facilities (LTCF) in the prevention of COVID-19. Priorities include specific planning efforts, access to personal protective equipment, testing, and outreach.
To date, there are no positive COVID-19 cases associated with any LTCF in Kittitas County.  Incorrect data was provided by the Department of Social and Health Services, and the IMT has already reached out to make the correction.  “To clarify any concerns, the Washington State Department of Health reassigned the data around the individual who died to King County and there have never been any employees or residents with COVID-19 associated with our Long Term Care Facilities,” states Health Officer Dr. Mark Larson.

“We will continue to work very hard to keep our residents in Long Term Facilities safe in Kittitas County.  We know that the age group of 80+ is accounting for 55% of deaths in Washington State,” states Dr. Larson.  According to the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), the largest percent of deaths due to COVID-19 are in the age groups of 60-79 (37%) and 80+ (55%).

“Each facility has a plan in place in the event that a resident or staff person becomes infected. Our job is to set those facilities up for success and ensure their plan is fully operational,” says Rich Elliott, Planning Sections Chief of the IMT. “Our goal is to make sure they have what they need – staff, infection control practices in place, and access to the supplies and testing materials required to respond to even a single case of COVID-19 in a Long Term Care Facility.”

The IMT has worked closely with our LTCF personnel to ensure they have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) along with staff to keep everyone safe.  Should someone within one of our LTCFs test positive for COVID-19, every person associated with the building including residents and employees would be immediately tested for COVID-19.  “This population is incredibly at risk for COVID-19 and if we had a cluster of patients from this population, our local healthcare system would be heavily impacted immediately,” states Dr. Mark Larson.

For more information about targeted efforts towards LTCF agencies, watch Dr. Larson’s Q and A via Facebook today at 3:30 pm.  If you have concerns about the health, please contact your healthcare provider or you can call the Temporary COVID Clinic at KVH at 509-933-8850.  For general questions about COVID-19, please call the Emergency Operation Center at 509-933-

8315 or 509-933-8305.  Please watch the county website along with our social media for more information today at or Facebook.