NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, December 30th, 2021

COVID-19 Update: State, local governments place big orders for COVID-19 test kits

While the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment is pur­chas­ing 500 mil­lion rapid tests to dis­trib­ute free to the pub­lic in response to the rise of the Omi­cron vari­ant of COVID-19, gov­ern­ments in the Pacif­ic North­west have decid­ed to acquire their own supply.

The state of Ore­gon has autho­rized the pur­chase of twelve mil­lion rapid at-home COVID-19 tests, to be dis­trib­uted for free through­out the state.

Six mil­lion iHealth Labs anti­gen rapid tests were were pur­chased on Wednes­day, Decem­ber 29th. Tests will be dis­trib­uted to com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions, which will dis­trib­ute in turn to indi­vid­u­als, fam­i­lies and larg­er applic­a­ble groups.

There has­n’t been such a large-scale attempt to pro­vide COVID-19 test kits since April of 2020, when Wash­ing­ton attempt­ed to pur­chase one mil­lion Chi­nese test swab kits. Pre­lim­i­nary sam­ples, how­ev­er, showed that there was poten­tial con­t­a­m­i­na­tion in the prod­uct and there was no fur­ther dis­cus­sion by state offi­cials regard­ing the pur­chase after that.

King Coun­ty, mean­while, ordered one hun­dred thou­sand rapid at-home COVID-19 tests, to be dis­trib­uted for free as of the week of Jan­u­ary 10th, 2022, in response to long lines at test­ing facil­i­ties, A min­i­mum of three hun­dred thou­sand tests in total will be pur­chased, and more will be pur­chased if deemed necessary.

Ida­ho has had free at-home tests avail­able to all res­i­dents via call­ing 211 since mid-June of this year, but these are not rapid at-home tests.

As in much of the rest of the Pacif­ic North­west, there is a short­age through for-prof­it facil­i­ties such as phar­ma­cies of rapid at-home COVID-19 tests.

British Colum­bia, as of Decem­ber 26th, is the only province with­in Cana­da that has decid­ed to not pro­vide rapid at-home COVID-19 tests.

Here’s where to go in Wash­ing­ton State, Ore­gon, Ida­ho and British Colum­bia to get a COVID-19 test if rapid at-home tests are unavail­able to you.

The hard, cold numbers (plus vaccinations)

Wash­ing­ton has had 853,403 cas­es and 9,908 attrib­ut­able deaths.

The state has the forty-sev­enth worst infec­tion rate among the fifty states, the Dis­trict of Colum­bia and Puer­to Rico per mil­lion in population.

The state has the forty-sixth worst death rate among the fifty states, the Dis­trict of Colum­bia and Puer­to Rico per mil­lion in population.

9,842,443 tests have been recorded.

  • Dos­es of vac­cine dis­trib­uted to the state: 13,915,795
  • Dos­es admin­is­tered: 11,268,717 (80.98%)

Ore­gon has had 421,263 cas­es and 5,655 attrib­ut­able deaths.

The state has the fifti­eth worst infec­tion rate among the fifty states, the Dis­trict of Colum­bia and Puer­to Rico per mil­lion in population.

The state has the forty-fifth worst death rate among the fifty states, the Dis­trict of Colum­bia and Puer­to Rico per mil­lion in population.

8,512,999 tests have been recorded.

  • Dos­es of vac­cine dis­trib­uted to the state: 7,953,005
  • Dos­es admin­is­tered: 6,193,364 (77.87%)

Ida­ho has had 319,382 cas­es and 4,162 attrib­ut­able deaths.

The state has the twen­ty-third worst infec­tion rate among the fifty states, the Dis­trict of Colum­bia and Puer­to Rico per mil­lion in population.

The state has the thir­ty-fourth worst death rate among the fifty states, the Dis­trict of Colum­bia and Puer­to Rico per mil­lion in population.

2,451,107 tests have been recorded.

  • Dos­es of vac­cine dis­trib­uted to the state: 2,741,310
  • Dos­es admin­is­tered: 1,881,077 (68.62%)

British Colum­bia has had 251,054 cas­es and 2,420 attrib­ut­able deaths.

5,073,751 tests have been recorded.

British Colum­bia has the sixth worst infec­tion rate and the sixth worst death rate among the thir­teen Cana­di­an provinces and ter­ri­to­ries per hun­dred thou­sand pop­u­la­tion. (If it were an Amer­i­can state, it would be fifty-third and fifty-third, respec­tive­ly, out of fifty-three.)

  • Dos­es of vac­cine dis­trib­uted to the province: 10,185,982
  • Dos­es admin­is­tered: 9,368,643 (91.98%)

That does it for this install­ment of COVID-19 Update. Stay safe and well!

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