Clallam case rate back over 2,000

Jump likely due to delay in state reporting, official says

Clallam County’s case rate jumped Wednesday — possibly due to a delay in state reporting — back over 2,000 cases per 100,000, the North Olympic Peninsula health officer said.

The county’s case rate was 2,179 per 100,000 for the past two weeks, up from 1,775 per 100,000 on Tuesday and what had been a downward trend.

Dr. Allison Berry, the health officer for Clallam and Jefferson counties, said that’s due in part because of a delay in information sharing at the state level, which is being overwhelmed with case reporting.

“A lot of our numbers actually come through the state reporting system and they have been struggling to keep up with just the sheer number of positives (COVID cases) coming in,” Berry said. “We think what likely led to the dip yesterday was actually a delay in numbers, and then they all came in today.”

Clallam County did see an increase in cases, bringing its total from 8,872 to 8,925 since the pandemic began — an increase of 53.

Jefferson County saw 33 additional cases from 2,420 to 2,453.

Neither county reported a death on Wednesday.

“Certainly what it shows me is we are not dropping rapidly, not yet, we are still likely at our peak of infections, but we are not seeing those infections drop off yet,” Berry said.

Both Olympic Medical Center and Jefferson Healthcare hospital are holding steady with hospitalizations.

Fifteen Clallam County residents were hospitalized Wednesday with COVID-19. Three remained in intensive care at OMC and four were in ICU units in other counties.

Three Jefferson County residents were hospitalized, one in ICU at Jefferson Healthcare and two in neighboring hospitals.

Berry cautioned against large indoor gatherings at this time. Western Washington has crested over its omicron peak, she said, but eastern Washington is entering into a second chapter.

“We are likely to see our numbers improve quite a bit over the course of February,” Berry said. “Theirs (eastern Washington) is going to be delayed compared to ours, so likely they will see numbers improving more in March. I think that should factor into folks gatherings in different parts of the state and different parts of the country similarly.

“Things like tourism aren’t inherently risky, but family gatherings can be really risky, so if you have family on the east side of the mountains and are going to be traveling there, it’s something to keep in mind to make sure you are protecting yourself,” Berry said.

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

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