Clallam records 10 new COVID-19 cases

County nearing high-risk group

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County continues to see an uptick in COVID-19 cases with 10 new positives reported Sunday, the most in a single day in the county since the beginning of the pandemic early this year.

That gives Clallam County 20 new positives in three days as there were five reported Friday and five more Saturday. The county has had 161 positive cases since March and currently has 46 active cases.

Jefferson County reported no new cases Sunday.

Clallam County Health Officer Dr. Allison Unthank said Sunday the county’s infection rate is now 71 per 100,000 population, an average of the past two weeks, but she anticipates that number to grow in the next few days.

The county is still in the state’s moderate risk category for infection rate, but it’s getting near the high-risk threshold of 75 cases per 100,000 people in a two-week period.

Unthank said all 10 cases Sunday were locally transmitted.

A few have been tied to Port Angeles bars and restaurants.

On Saturday, Sabai Thai and Bourbon West announced they were closing temporarily because of positive cases tied to those establishments while the county health department conducts contact tracing.

Sunday, Barhop and The Rail announced they were closing for 10 days because of positive tests among staff.

Their announcement on Facebook read: “As most of our customers know, COVID-19 has now reached community spread in Clallam County. Several local restaurants in Port Angeles, including Barhop Brewing & Artisan Pizza and The Rail, have staff who have tested positive.

“We learned of this yesterday, as of today, 8/16, we are closing both Barhop and The Rail for at least 10 days until all contact tracing can be completed by the health department.”

The post thanked the public for patience and understanding and encouraged people to wear a mask and stay 6 feet away from others.

Also, the Next Door Gastropub, though it has not had any positive tests, announced Sunday it is temporarily closing.

“In an effort to stay transparent with our customers and community, those who provide OUR lifeblood and out of an abundance of caution, we will be closed as we continue to address close contacts to positive COVID cases in the community,” the restaurant announced on its Facebook page. “While ZERO Next Door Gastropub employees have tested positive (many have been tested), we are tracing contacts to ensure safety of our entire network and community. All necessary measures are being taken and then some.”

The post said the restaurant will be back soon.

Clallam County reported its first COVID-19-related death on Friday, a man in his 80s.

Meanwhile, Jefferson County has totaled 59 cases since March, including eight active cases.

The county’s infection rate is listed at 15.7 per 100,000, though that Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke said the number is closer to 18 at the moment.

The county remains in the state’s low-risk category, which is defined as having fewer than 25 cases per 100,000 in a two-week period.

Locke will provide his weekly COVID-19 update to Jefferson County Commissioners at 9:45 a.m. today. That discussion can be viewed at www.tinyurl.com/jeffcomeeting.

He said Jefferson County schools are set to approve their COVID-19 plans later this week.

Locke will also discuss Jefferson’s County new masking mandate. He said the county has to crack down on people who refuse to wear masks in public.

“It’s no longer ethically tolerable to expose essential workers,” Locke said.

He added what is happening in Clallam County with positive cases showing up in restaurants and bars is happening around the state.

“It’s the No. 1 outbreak area in the state right now,” Locke said. “It’s restaurant workers being exposed by customers.”

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Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be reached by email at plabossiere@peninsuladailynews.com.

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