North Central Public Health District says COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are up in Wasco County and across the state, and the district is encouraging the public to wear masks in indoor settings. Hospitals in The Dalles and Hood River before the holiday weekend had nine patients who had COVID-19. NCPHD says Wasco County recorded 31 COVID cases last Tuesday and 10 each on Wednesday and Thursday. Actual case counts are likely considerably higher due to use of home tests. The county, like most of the rest of the state, has a high rate of community transmission of COVID, according to the latest Oregon community transmission map. High transmission is considered having a seven-day test positivity rate of 10 percent or higher, and having more than 100 cases per 100,000 population over the past seven days. In Wasco County, 42.5 percent of eligible people have gotten a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Since immunity wanes over time, boosters are highly recommended to reduce the risk of a severe outcome from COVID. NCPHD offers free vaccines Wednesdays and Fridays. Call 541-506-2600 to book an appointment.