Counties start to see virus cases related to Thanksgiving

Clallam, Jefferson each report three new infections

The North Olympic Peninsula had six more COVID-19 positives Sunday, with three in Clallam County and three in Jefferson County.

Clallam got a welcome slow day for new cases after 27 were reported in the county late Saturday.

Sunday’s cases moved Clallam County to 579 positives since March, and it has 201 active cases.

The infection rate is at 214 per 100,000 population during the past two weeks.

Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke said one of Sunday’s cases is tied to Thanksgiving — a person who traveled out of the county.

Jefferson County has had 181 total positives since March and has 21 active cases. The county’s infection rate is listed at 137 per 100,000 during the past two weeks, though that figure is also expected to be recalculated today.

Clallam County Health Officer Dr. Allison Unthank said in her weekly COVID-19 update Friday that the county also was “starting to see Thanksgiving cases.” She said the Clallam positives so far were caused by out-of-town visitors coming into contact with local families.

Locke said any kind of Thanksgiving surge will be a problem because cases were already surging statewide, but the past week had started to level off following surge during the first half of November.

The state’s high point came on Nov. 23, when 5,561 cases were reported.

Mondays are usually the highest days for new cases because some counties turn in all their weekend numbers on Mondays.

Another high point was Nov. 30, when 4,445 cases were reported statewide. Since then, there were 2,480 cases Tuesday, 2,815 Wednesday, 2,090 Thursday and 2,484 Friday.

Locke will provide his weekly update today to the Board of Jefferson County Commissioners at 9:45 a.m. He also will take questions from listeners on KPTZ community radio. The meeting can be viewed at www.tinyurl.com/jeffcomeeting.

One topic of discussion may be the new COVID-19 exposure app, which Washington residents can use with their smartphones to trace possible contacts with people who report they have tested positive for the virus.

Another topic will be the upcoming organization and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. Clallam and Jefferson counties expect to start receiving their first batches before the end of the year.

Frontline health care workers and first responders will be first in line to receive the vaccine, then long-term nursing home workers and patients before the general public.

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Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be reached by email at [email protected]

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