Woodside Farm from Deer Point Rd

2022 has dawned with weather!  Freezing temps, snow and ice has kept us all on our toes.  Hopefully things will settle down soon. Until then, stay cozy!

The Flood Relief Program that was launched after the November floods is winding down.  So far, 37 families and individuals have received grants through OCRC for a total of $157,300.  Both renters and homeowners were served, and while the awards did not fully cover the cost of repairs, they provided a welcome bridge and the comfort of community support.  OCRC volunteers saved thousands of dollars in administrative fees to provide this service.  So grateful for their support and for all who have contributed to the Community Emergency Response Fund.

Covid continues to be active on Orcas. The County reports 67 active cases on Orcas currently and OISD has gone to remote schooling for middle and high school through January 21st.

Mark Thompkins, SJCo Health and Human Services, let me know yesterday that the County will receive a shipment of Covid home test kits this week.  Orcas is slated to receive 2000.  Dimitri Stankevich, Director of Orcas Center, has offered their space for a drive through pick up process.  The current plan is to distribute on Wednesday and Thursday from 3-7 pm and Friday from 10-1.  We hope to start next Wednesday, but it depends on when the tests are delivered.  I will send a note when they are in hand.  The County will also provide N95 masks for free distribution as well.  Anyone who cannot drive to the pick up can call Island Rides at 360-672-2201.

Aaimmee Johnson and the Island Primary Care Clinic continue work on securing a pallet of tests, but the Rural Health pipeline is quite jammed up.  Erin O’Dell, director of OCRC, is also pursuing other avenues for additional kits.  Unfortunately, part of our challenge is that, as a community, our Covid statistics Countywide make us less likely to rise to the top of distribution lists.  There is hope that the State will begin a distribution plan by the end of the month.

For now, 2000 tests will only go so far.  It will serve us all best if the folks who are unable to isolate currently receive test kits first, as they are the ones who are at risk of the most exposure and who we want to be sure are clear of Covid before being in the public.  If you can continue to be cautious, keeping yourself safe, and can wait until later shipments, please do. Or if you can afford to purchase tests, Rick and Marlace Hughes have had a good supply of over-the-counter tests available at Ray’s Pharmacy.

This is not likely the news you hoped to read as 2022 launched.  It sure is not what I hoped to be reporting.  But the good news is that we have still not lost one neighbor to Covid.  That is a record worth fighting for.

Stay well.