Counties on hold with 118 cases

New positive was out-of-state resident

PORT ANGELES — Clallam and Jefferson counties continued to hold at 118 COVID-19 cases as both appear to be coming out of outbreaks blamed largely on Fourth of July gatherings.

For three days in a row Sunday, Clallam County had no new official cases — a case added on the state health department website over the weekend was someone from out of state who tested positive locally and does not count toward the county’s total, according to Clallam County Health Officer Dr. Allison Unthank — while Jefferson County had no new cases for a fourth straight day.

That contrast with a jump in cases since July 9, when Clallam County grew from to 50 cases to 68, and Jefferson County’s total rose from 41 to 50 in roughly a week.

Unthank said local contacts are being notified about the positive test for the out-of-state resident.

Meetings this week

Jefferson County will have a pair of meetings today to discuss COVID-19-related items.

Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke will provide an update on the county’s response to COVID-19 at 9:45 a.m. today.

Locke said Sunday he plans to talk about the virus’ “reproduction rate” in the state, which at last report was about one COVID-19 case resulting in 1.6 new cases.

“That’s not as high as some states, but that’s unacceptably high,” he said.

Locke also said strategies will be discussed to stop new infections from generating.

“What we have to do to move us back in the direction we have to go in,” Locke said.

He thinks one problem is that more people are traveling and holding gatherings with friends or acquaintances.

“People are so tired of being separated from each other, they decide it’s OK to break the rules,” Locke said. “People think there’s no chance of infection — there’s no way you can exclude anyone [from possibly being infected].”

Jefferson County will have a county commissioners’ discussion at 1:30 p.m. on COVID-19 costs, funding and relief funds.

Both meetings can be viewed at www.tinyurl.com/jeffcomeeting.

Clallam County will have a Board of Health meeting at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. COVID-19 will be the primary topic of discussion.

Unthank said the board will talk about the county’s current mitigation measures and areas of risk.

She also said it will be discussed what situations would have to occur for the county to either drop back to the state’s Phase 1 COVID-19 restrictions or move forward to Phase 3 restrictions.

Clallam and Jefferson are both in Phase 2, and any movement toward Phase 3 was put on hold by Gov. Jay Inslee earlier this month due to an increase in cases statewide.

Jefferson County applied to move to Phase 3 but is one of the counties on hold. Clallam County held off on applying for a Phase 3 application because of a pair of outbreaks this month.

The Clallam County Board of Health meeting can be viewed Tuesday at www.tinyurl.com/clallamcomtng.

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