A Clallam County courthouse office was closed after two county employees contracted COVID-19. (Paul Gottlieb/Peninsula Daily News)

A Clallam County courthouse office was closed after two county employees contracted COVID-19. (Paul Gottlieb/Peninsula Daily News)

Clallam County office closes after COVID-19 exposure

Commissioners will discuss courthouse operations this morning

PORT ANGELES — A Clallam County government office housing Department of Community Development, environmental health and public works employees that was shut down Monday was scheduled to re-open today after two cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed among county staff.

County Commissioners Chairman Mark Ozias said commissioners today will discuss the office’s closure and “what the public can expect in terms of the operation of the courthouse and various departments of the courthouse.”

The livestreamed meeting is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at tinyurl.com/PDN-ClallamMeetings.

A sign posted on the first-floor office Monday notified the public that, “Out of an abundance of caution for everyone’s safety this department is closed because of a COVID-19 related exposure. This office will reopen Tuesday, September 22, 2020.”

Additional DCD and public works staff are in other areas of the courthouse that remained open for services.

Some courthouse offices remained closed to walk-in traffic but open to providing services. Law and justice offices remained open.

Clallam County Health Officer Dr. Allison Unthank notified county staff of the COVID-19 cases in an email Monday at 12:18 p.m.

“The first case has been fully investigated and all of those who were exposed have been notified and received quarantine instructions,” she said.

“The second case is currently being investigated by the department of public health and all of those who were exposed will be notified and receive quarantine instructions by the end of the business day [Monday].

“These cases are unrelated and there is no evidence of transmission in county facilities at this time. There is additionally no evidence of any public exposures related to these cases at this time.”

Unthank said her office does not release information about the departments or workplaces of people diagnosed or infected “out of respect for the privacy rights of those diagnosed and exposed.”

County Administrator Rich Sill said Unthank ordered that the DCD-public works-environmental health section be closed.

Whether it reopens today “will be determined by her and her contact [tracing] staff,” Sill said.

“We will just wait and see.”

DCD Director Mary Ellen Winborn said she was self-quarantining Monday and would not comment on the level or nature of the exposure among the office’s employees. She had not been notified her office was scheduled to reopen today.

Ozias said he did not know of the COVID-19 exposure until after he arrived at the courthouse and saw that the office was closed.

A sign was placed notifying the public later Monday, he said.


Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

More in News

Vehicles travel in both directions Thursday evening along the
recently completed state Highway 116 bridge between Indian and
Marrowstone islands. Nicholas Johnson/Peninsula Daily News
Two-way traffic flows between Indian, Marrowstone islands

Highway 116 bridge spanning Kilisut Harbor completed

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Plywood panels cover a pair of windows at Angeles Furniture and Mattress Co., 1114 E. First St., on Saturday in Port Angeles.
Police investigate window-smashing spree

Business windows shot out in Port Angeles

Weekly flight operations scheduled

There will be field carrier landing practice operations for aircraft… Continue reading

Demolition range at Bentinck Island plans operations this week

The Royal Canadian Navy has announced that the land-based… Continue reading

(4013): Deirdre Morrison takes in the bustling energy of the Port
Townsend Farmers Market on Saturday in uptown Port Townsend. The
39-year-old is the new market manager for the Jefferson County Farmers
Markets. Nicholas Johnson/Peninsula Daily News
Port Twonsend Farmers Market finds new manager with deep roots

After 10 years away, Morrison returns to take reins from Milholland

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Victoria Bower of Port Angeles and her granddaughter, Ella Bower, 8, marvel at a water feature in the recreation pool at the Shore Aquatic Center in Port Angeles on Saturday's opening day. The $20 million facility replaces the former William Shore Memorial Pool with a larger building, four pools and expanded support facilities. Because of separation rules for COVID-19, swimmers are required to reserve time to prevent crowding. Blocks of swimming are currently available from 10 a.m. to noon, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Pool opening day makes a splash in Port Angeles

Victoria Bower of Port Angeles and her granddaughter, Ella Bower, 8, marvel… Continue reading

Candidate financial reports

The following campaign finance information for state Senate candidates Connie Beauvais and… Continue reading

Sven Spichiger, Washington State Department of Agriculture managing entomologist, displays a canister of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a nest in a tree behind him Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. Scientists in Washington state discovered the first nest earlier in the week of so-called murder hornets in the United States and worked to wipe it out Saturday morning to protect native honeybees. Workers with the state Agriculture Department spent weeks searching, trapping and using dental floss to tie tracking devices to Asian giant hornets, which can deliver painful stings to people and spit venom but are the biggest threat to honeybees that farmers depend on to pollinate crops. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Crews vacuum ‘murder hornets’ out of Blaine nest

Heavily protected crews worked in Blaine on… Continue reading

Forks man gets 14 years for second-degree rape

Dickinson pleaded guilty in September to March 2019 offense

Most Read