Clallam’s virus rate joins Jefferson in low-risk category

Health officials say Labor Day cases may show up this week

No new COVID-19 cases were reported on the North Olympic Peninsula this weekend. Now, health officials will wait to see if any new cases will show up from the Labor Day Weekend.

“This next week, we’ll see if there are any impacts from Labor Day, end-of-summer gatherings,” said Dr. Tom Locke, the Jefferson County health officer.

Locke and Clallam County Health Officer Dr. Allison Unthank warned people to avoid large parties after similar events were blamed for a big uptick in cases on the Peninsula after the Fourth of July and then later in the month and into early August.

Locke said he isn’t too worried about schools reopening last week because they have taken significant precautions with some in-person instruction in Jefferson County.

“I’m really not expecting an impact from schools reopening,” he said.

Because its infection rate got so high in August, Clallam County does not yet have in-person school instruction.

In her Friday COVID-19 update, Unthank said the county needs to go four weeks with an infection rate lower than 75 per 100,000 population during a rolling two-week period to allow some in-person school instruction.

That could happen as early as early October if all goes well, she said.

As of Sunday, Clallam County remained at 226 total cases since March, with 13 active cases. The infection rate dropped to 18 cases per 100,000 during the past two weeks, well in the state’s low-risk category, Unthank said.

The county peaked at an infection rate of 97.6 per 100,000 in early August and was down to 25 per 100,000 on Friday.

Jefferson County remained at 71 total cases since March, with 11 active cases. Jefferson’s infection rate is 9.4 per 100,000 during a two-week period, well within the low-risk category.

That number will be recalculated Monday, but Locke doesn’t expect it to reach 10 per 100,000.

Update today

Jefferson County Commissioners will receive their typical COVID-19 update at 9:45 a.m. today, although it will be provided by Jefferson County Public Health Director Vicki Kirkpatrick.

Locke, who normally updates the commissioners, said he will be speaking with the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe.

Kirkpatrick’s update can be viewed at www.tinyurl.com/jeffcomeetings.

The Jefferson County Board of Health will meet at 2:30 p.m. Thursday with updates on COVID-19, including school reopenings and vaccine distribution. That meeting can also be viewed at www.tinyurl.com/jeffcomeetings.

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