COVID-19 case numbers continue to edge up

Vaccine clinics being added

COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Clallam County in the wake of Thanksgiving get-togethers, but no recent large-scale outbreaks had been reported as of Thursday, according to the region’s public health officer.

It is unclear if Jefferson County is following the same trend, said Dr. Allison Berry, health officer for Jefferson and Clallam counties via email Thursday. She said that officials are monitoring new cases carefully.

“We’re still seeing cases tracing primarily to Thanksgiving clusters, and we’re starting to see them come into workplaces and schools now — you got exposed, went to work or school, and then tested positive, so now we’re getting quarantines there,” Berry said.

There have been no large-scale outbreaks due to those exposures, Berry said.

On Thursday, Clallam County added 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19, continuing to be primarily tied to Thanksgiving gatherings. Jefferson County added three new COVID-19 cases on Thursday who are contacts of recently confirmed cases, Berry said.

North Olympic Peninsula public health officials’ “primary focus right now are contact tracing, sequencing any suspicious specimens for omicron, and encouraging boosters,” Berry said.

“We’re also working with the health care system on plans for how to distribute the limited supply of antiviral drugs if/when they are approved but (we’re) awaiting final approval, and shipment before moving forward with operationalizing them,” she said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is analyzing the use of an antiviral pill created by Pfizer as a home treatment to help reduce the risk of hospitalization and death due to COVID-19.

Clallam County’s case rate continues to rise, with the county reporting a case rate of 238 cases per 100,000 population for the last two weeks as of Thursday. On Wednesday, the county recorded a rate of 224 cases per 100,000 population for the last two weeks as of Wednesday, according to public health data.

Jefferson County records its case rate weekly on Fridays. The new rate will be reported today.

Last week, it recorded a case rate of 214.35 per 100,000 for the two weeks prior as of Dec. 1, according to county public health data. Jefferson County health officials had recorded a case rate of 192.61 per 100,000 for the two weeks prior as of Nov. 17.

According to the latest data from the state Department of Health, 83.1 percent of the population 12 and older in Jefferson County have started vaccinations, with 78.6 percent fully vaccinated.

Of the entire population, 76.5 percent have begun vaccination and 72.3 percent are fully vaccinated, according to the state’s dashboard.

In Clallam County, 77.9 percent of the population 12 and older have started vaccinations, with 72.7 percent fully vaccinated.

Of the total population, 69.2 percent have begun vaccinations, with 64.6 percent fully vaccinated, according to the state’s dashboard.

Jefferson County Emergency Management and Public Health departments are conducting a children’s vaccination clinic from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 18 at Chimacum Junior/Senior High School’s multi-purpose room at 93 West Valley Road in Chimacum.

Appointments can be made at www.prepmod.doh.wa.gov/appointment/en/reg/9069924918.

In addition to the children’s clinics, officials also added an 18-and-older Moderna clinic that afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. that will allow residents to receive their first, second or booster dose of Moderna’s vaccine.

Appointments for the adult clinic can be made at www.prepmod.doh.wa.gov//appointment/en/reg/7469930321.

For those without internet access, appointments for the two clinics can be made by calling the Department of Emergency Management at 360-344-9791.

In Clallam County, Olympic Medical Center is spearheading the vaccinations for children, with walk-in appointments available on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the hospital’s Front Street Clinic, 901 E Front St. in Port Angeles.

More information on OMC vaccinations can be found at www.olympicmedical.org/covid-19-vaccine-information.

Residents also can use the state’s vaccination locator at www.vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov to find children’s vaccinations, booster doses and initial vaccinations.

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Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at zjablonski@peninsuladailynews.com.

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