Clallam courthouse closes for cleaning as COVID-19 cases rise

Jefferson County commissioner tells of mild case

As COVID-19 cases skyrocket on the North Olympic Peninsula, the Clallam County Courthouse has closed temporarily for deep cleaning after at least 71 employees either contracted or were exposed to the virus.

The courthouse, at 223 E. Fourth St. in Port Angeles, was closed to the public on Thursday and will remain closed today, except for courts, for deep cleaning and sterilization.

“During the current COVID situation, Clallam County needs to put in place precautionary measures to reduce the risk of further local transmission of COVID,” announced county officials on Wednesday afternoon.

“We urge you to take all necessary steps to stay healthy and follow the guidelines outlined by the local health officer.”

Clallam County Commissioners hosted an emergency meeting Thursday afternoon to address the closure as well as discuss an administrative reopening plan, which may include voluntary testing.

“This all happened and came together very quickly and we are trying to make it as clear as possible to the public,” said Rich Sill, Clallam County administrator and human resources manager, during the emergency meeting.

District courts will operate as usual today while Clallam Superior Court will be open with modifications such as appearances through Zoom and strict masking protocols.

The county auditor’s and treasurer’s offices were closed this week due to COVID-19 exposures.

The courthouse is expected to reopen to staff and the public on Monday.

The virus also has had an impact on Jefferson County leadership.

Jefferson County Commissioner Greg Brotherton discussed earlier this week his testing positive over the holidays.

“I had a bit of a scratchy throat on Christmas Eve, so I took a test and it came up positive,” he said Monday. “My wife and daughter also had symptoms and took tests, and my wife came up positive,” Brotherton said.

Brotherton said he and his wife and daughter isolated for 10 days per guidance at the time from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We were snowed in both physically and metaphorically,” Brotherton said.

Brotherton, his wife, and daughter had been vaccinated, and Brotherton and his wife had booster shots.

His 13-year-old daughter had only recently received her second dose at a Chimacum Highs School vaccination clinic and was ineligible for a booster shot at the time.

“I am glad to have been vaccinated because the symptoms were very mild and we know they could have been much worse,” Brotherton said.

Clallam County currently has 6,948 total cases of COVID-19, up 136 cases from Wednesday with a case rate of 1,364 per 100,000 population.

Nine people were hospitalized Thursday, seven in intensive care, said Dr. Allison Berry, health officer for Clallam and Jefferson counties.

Jefferson County saw an increase as well, with a total of 1,672 cases, up 36 cases from Wednesday, with one person in the hospital.

Jefferson County will update its case rate on Friday.


Reporter Ken Park can be reached at [email protected].

More in News

Weekly flight operations scheduled

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

How to donate to and apply for Peninsula Home Fund

The Peninsula Home Fund never closes. It can accept donations all year… Continue reading

Thank You! Generous donors swell Peninsula Home Fund

Gifts continue to come in to help people in need in Clallam, Jefferson counties

Hospitals strained as COVID-19 cases grow

Tests, medicine in short supply

EYE ON CLALLAM: Commissioners consider interim county engineer

Government meetings across Clallam County

Overnight Hood Canal Bridge closures set again

Prior scheduled closures canceled due to weather

‘Since I Been Down’ screened this week

Panel discussions scheduled after film

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Onlookers stand on a fog -shrouded Hollywood Beach in Port Angeles after the most of the Pacific Coast was placed under a tsunami advisory on Saturday morning.
Tsunami advisory prompts Peninsula to watch for waves

No reports of high water in Clallam, Jefferson counties

Most Read