Weekly Case Update: 19 New Cases on Lopez Island, 106 County-WideLOPEZ ISLAND: There are nineteen new cases on Lopez Island since the last update. ORCAS ISLAND: There are twenty-three new cases on Orcas Island since the last update. SAN JUAN ISLAND: There are sixty-three new cases on San Juan Island since the last update. OUTER ISLAND: There is one new case on an outer island since the last update. CRITICAL INFO: -While the rate of new COVID cases appears to be slowing nationally, it is expected that Washington, and San Juan County are still at least a couple of weeks behind. The volume of cases in the islands remains extremely high. It is encouraging news that the surge does appear to decline fairly quickly after peaking. With luck that same trend will be seen in the islands in the weeks to come. -At home testing supplies are finally beginning to become more readily available. If you haven’t ordered your four free COVID tests for your household, please do so at: www.covidtests.gov and/or you may order up to five kits through the WA State program at: www.sayyescovidhometest.org Also note that if you purchase kits yourself, most insurers will now directly cover or pay you back for up to 8 at-home tests per month, for each person on your plan. -Sadly, San Juan County did experience its first fatality due to COVID. General information has been posted on LopezRocks. -San Juan County Public Health staff continue to monitor islanders who are hospitalized due to COVID. To date in 2022, all hospitalizations are in unvaccinated individuals. Getting vaccinated makes more sense than ever. Go to the link below for vaccine clinic registration links. -This document provides critical information for islanders who test positive for COVID, including info on how to report your test result. OVERALL: Astonishingly, it has been two years since the pandemic began. Two years of struggle, sacrifice, disruption, and uncertainty. Nothing about it has been easy or smooth and the weight of the pandemic has laid heavy on nearly all. While this is not an anniversary worth celebrating, it is worth noting. Islanders have suffered, but also been strong and supportive in ways that are remarkable and long-lasting. Take a moment to reflect on the efforts of volunteers, neighbors, school staff, medical professionals, island kids, public health staff, front-line workers, and many, many others who have given so much over these twenty-four months. It is so easy these days to 'go negative'. It only takes a moment, and the path from simmering anxiety to anger seems to be well trodden by many. Yet there is much to celebrate about how the islands have responded to and weathered this storm. None of us would choose this calamity of course, but there is still much of worth to take from our experiences. Hopefully we'll find normalcy again in 2022, find space to heal and repair frayed nerves, and reflect not upon the ways the pandemic brought out the worst in some, but the ways it brought out the best in most.