LONGVIEW — Cowlitz County recorded its highest number of COVID-19 deaths per month in September, with 56 as of Wednesday, according to the county health department.
That number could increase, as the state considers the most recent 32 days incomplete because of reporting lags, according to the county data report released Thursday.
“New COVID-19 deaths in Cowlitz County continue the increase which began in August and have exceeded the previous all-time high,” the report states.
September’s death count tops the previous high of 41 in August, which was more than double the previous monthly high of 18 in January.
More than 95% of the county’s total confirmed COVID-19 deaths had underlying conditions and about 25% of them were associated with a long-term care facility, according to the report.
The county recorded five new deaths Thursday, bringing the total to 210. Cowlitz County’s most recent per capita death rate is just over four times the state average.
Cowlitz County’s COVID-19 case and hospitalization rates have decreased from their August peaks and may be leveling off or slowly decreasing, but remain above the state averages.
The county recorded 49 new confirmed COVID-19 cases Thursday, bringing the total to 11,207 confirmed and 1,335 probable cases.
The county recorded about 920 new cases per 100,000 people from Sept. 15 to Sept. 28, nearly double the state rate for the same two weeks.
Since early September, Cowlitz County’s case counts have decreased among adults 18 to 49 years old, plateaued among those 50 to 79 years old and spiked among those 80 years old and older, the report states. Case counts among children 11 years old and younger continue to gradually increase, while cases among 12- to 17-year-olds appear to be slowing or leveling off.
New COVID-19 hospitalizations among Cowlitz County residents have decreased since their peak in late August and may be leveling off, the report states. The county saw an average of five residents hospitalized for COVID-19 each day from Sept. 20 to Sept. 26.
Cowlitz County’s most recent per capita hospitalization rate is currently about three times the state average. As of Thursday morning, PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center had 24 COVID-19 inpatients.