Case rates dropping on Olympic Peninsula

Officials recommend masking for a while longer

The North Olympic Peninsula could reach a 200-cases-per-100,000-population threshold by today, but county health officials will hold to the date set for Friday for lifting the mandate for proof of vaccination for indoor dining and drinking.

Clallam County’s case rate dropped to 217 per 100,000 population on Wednesday and, according to Dr. Allison Berry, health officer for Clallam and Jefferson counties, will likely drop to or below the 200 cases per 100,000 mark soon.

“We will likely be at or just below the 200 mark by Friday,” Berry said.

Clallam County officials confirmed one new COVID-19 case Wednesday, bringing its total cases since the pandemic began from 10,834 on Tuesday to 10,835 on Wednesday.

Seven Clallam County residents were hospitalized Wednesday with COVID-19. Two were at Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles and two were at Jefferson Healthcare in Port Townsend, while the other three were in hospitals outside the two counties.

One of the patients at OMC and two at Jefferson Healthcare were in intensive care units.

Jefferson County had three of its residents in hospitals outside the county.

Jefferson County updates its case rate weekly rather than daily. As of last Friday, the rate was 385 cases per 100,000 population. It will be updated this Friday.

Case rates are a reflection of cases reported during a two-week period. They are computed using a formula based on 100,000 population even for counties that do not have 100,000 people living in them.

Jefferson County officials confirmed two new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the county’s total since the pandemic began from 3,104 on Tuesday to 3,106 on Wednesday.

The statewide masking mandate will be lifted at 11:59 p.m. Friday. However, health officials across the state recommend that masks continue to be worn indoors until the case rates fall to 100 cases per 100,000 or less.

Both Jefferson and Clallam County health departments have put out a new graphic on their COVID-19 websites to help the public gauge whether it is safe to not wear a mask indoors based on the rate of transmission in the area.

Jefferson County’s can be found at the top of the page at https://jeffersoncountypublichealth.org/1466/Case-Information, while Clallam County’s can be found at www.clallam.net/coronavirus below the data table.

As part of the transition from masking mandate to masking recommendation, Jefferson Healthcare is offering a printable notice for businesses to put in their doors that encourages the public to wear masks even though it is no longer mandated.

Jefferson County on Wednesday reported 29 people in isolation with active cases, down from 33 people on Tuesday.

Clallam County does not report that metric but does report a daily average over a two-week period.

On its COVID-19 dashboard, Clallam County said on Wednesday the average daily number of cases was 12.

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Reporter Ken Park can be reached at kpark@peninsuladailynews.com.

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