Greetings to my community with good wishes and hope that all are staying safe and well!
I’ve been asked to give an update in regards to the COVID-19 epidemic. As you know, we are now in what is called the second wave and in Pierce County, averaging up to 90 new cases a day. There has been some evidence that this is peaking, but just yesterday there was a record high of over 120 cases.
Fortunately most of these cases do not represent people that are very ill, however some people do still get quite sick and our hospital numbers have been gradually climbing along with the second wave.
As you may have heard, at the PTHA clinic we have had our own mini outbreak with several staff members infected (fortunately none are ill). This is no surprise as the clinic is dealing with sick people all the time. It was bound to happen. However, it has created a situation where we have had to limit in-person visits while we complete testing, quarantine, and cleaning (to keep our patients safe). Hopefully we will be getting back to a more normal situation in a week or two.
The obvious lesson is that this COVID-19 situation is not going away and it is still very much with us! It is not a time to relax or forget about social distancing. We must continue to mask, keep 6 feet apart, wash our hands frequently, and stay at home as much as possible.
Overall our community has been very fortunate compared to many others areas which have higher rates of illness, hospitalization and death. We want this to continue, so please be vigilant.
Thank you! Please stay safe!
Dr. Alan Shelton, Medical Director, Puyallup Tribe