On July 27, OCH hosted a virtual behavioral health collaboration call. The call brought together behavioral health provider partners, Jefferson County’s Health Officer, Kitsap Strong, and the Salish Behavioral Health Administrative Services Organization to discuss opportunities for regional alignment and to explore possible solutions and supports for challenges faced during COVID-19.
COVID-19 Update from Jefferson County Public Health Officer, Dr. Thomas Locke
The pandemic continues to worsen, spreading in 44 of 50 states, including WA. Cases continue to surface and there is still a long way to go to safely re-open.
The larger outbreaks in eastern Washington are under control. We can look to Yakima County to see what is possible (improvement from 20% to 95% mask adherence; community uniting around common threat of the virus). Embracing masking as a bi-partisan initiative may have helped. Additionally, allowing some activities to open prevented travelling and spread outside the county.
The Olympic Region:
Jefferson County is on day 10 of no reported cases. Clallam and Kitsap are seeing a continuous flow of new cases. Clallam cases are linked to social gatherings. The increased cases in Kitsap County is complicated due to proximately to Pierce and King Counties.
August offers an opportunity to get things under control. The future depends on residents adhering to physical distancing & wearing masks 100% of time in all common spaces. The big push is to get transmission down as low as possible in the coming weeks so schools can reopen. Recent changes to phased re-opening are intended to help squash the curve. Statewide, the curve is higher now than at its peak in March (https://idmod.org/). Things to keep in mind as we move forward:
There is good evidence that shows for every confirmed case there are another 9-10 not confirmed.
Believe that asymptomatic “super spreaders” create approximately 80% of infections. Universal masking could keep infections under control. Models show 95% masking is needed for effective infection control.
We need to prevent infection in the first place. Interventions such as testing and contact tracing will only go so far.
Breaking school into groups can decrease transmission risk by about 75%. Most schools are preparing for some hybrid of in-person and online learning. Each district will be different.
Resilience is a community experience. Individual components of resilience depend upon others. Structure, repetition, and knowing w
hat to expect will increase resiliency and decrease stress of unknown.
Neurological vulnerability = when stress is severe, prolonged, or no sense of control over cause.
Resilience = when stress is moderate and predictable.
The COVID-19 impact on individuals could be experienced as a traumatic event. Some individuals may also be navigating added challenges around inequities, oppression, and racism.
Engage in sensory-based activities (touch, sound, sight, smell, taste/oral, vestibular, proprioception/movement) for short amounts of time, frequently.
Hope is the belief that tomorrow will be better than today and that we have power to make it so. Not pie in the sky hope, rather clear visioning. An individual’s willingness to follow the pathway depends on how clear the vision is. People are unlikely to engage in long-term behavior if success, however small, isn’t seen along the way.
Next call: 8/24 2-3:30pm via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81968458830