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EDITORIAL: We need more details released about COVID cases in San Juan County

  • Written by Sharon Kivisto

Did you know that 74 of the COVID-19 cases in San Juan County from February to June 2021 were in unvaccinated people? Two were in vaccinated people. That's according to the state Department of Health August 11 report COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths in Persons Who Are Not Fully Vaccinated.

This pandemic has tried our patience, our resilience, and our mental health. As we maneuver through Year Two of the pandemic, we need more information than what San Juan County Health Dept. has been releasing. The number of cases per island is good, but more details about the ongoing surge in cases will enable people to decide on the best course of action for their families and themselves. 

The vaccination status of the cases in their weekly updates would be helpful. It's obviously allowed since the state lists them. The county's data would be more timely than the state's.

The other crucial bit  of information is how the virus is spreading. Buried in a lengthy "Hot Topic" release on Thursday from the county, was the fact that of the 14 cases reported on one day this week, 11 were from two households. That would have been nice to know when the numbers were released. Eleven cases in two households is very different from 11 cases of community spread.

Let's hope the hardworking staff in the health department can and will provide a more complete weekly update. It would be appreciated by many. 


In San Juan County 13,133 have had at least one dose of vaccine.  The number of fully vaccinated residents is 12,267. The estimated population is 17,340. That leaves about 4,000 unvaccinated people not counting those ages 11 or under who don't have access to a vaccine yet.

Information about how to get vaccinated is available on DOH website and San Juan County website.

A few statistics from the state DOH: 

• 95.5% of COVID-19 cases from February 1, 2021 – July 31, 2021 were not fully vaccinated

• 95.4% of COVID-19 cases from February 1, 2021 – July 24, 2021 who were hospitalized were not fully vaccinated

• 94.3% of COVID-19 cases from February 1, 2021 – July 10, 2021 who died from COVID-19 were not fully vaccinated