PORT ANGELES — A second person from Jefferson County has died from COVID-19 while Clallam County reported 29 new cases on Friday and Saturday and mass vaccination clinics for the initial shot were scheduled.
The number of North Olympic Peninsula residents who have died from the virus is six, two in Jefferson County and four in Clallam County.
Dr. Tom Locke, Jefferson County health officer, said the woman who died was 80. He did not know what community she was from.
She died on Dec. 26 after she had been hospitalized in a Seattle hospital since October for non-COVID health issues, he said. She contracted COVID-19 in the hospital, which Locke said he couldn’t identify due to patient privacy.
The state health department informed Jefferson County on Friday that her death was due to the virus, Locke said.
Clallam County reported nine new cases Friday and 20 more Saturday for a total of 817 since the pandemic began in March.
Some recent cases have been tied to holiday travel, according to Dr. Allison Berry Unthank, county health officer, but she said that Saturday’s 20 cases were “almost exclusively” the result of New Year’s Eve parties.
Clallam County as of Saturday had 88 active cases and an infection rate of 113 per 100,000 over the past two weeks, though that number will likely go up Monday.
No Clallam residents were hospitalized due to COVID-19 as of Saturday.
Jefferson County had three new cases reported Friday. Locke did not know of any new positives Saturday. That gives Jefferson 253 cases, with 27 active cases in isolation and an infection rate of 87.77 per 100,000 over the past two weeks.
Mass vaccination clinics have been scheduled to begin this week in Carrie Blake Park in Sequim and at Port Angeles High School.
These clinics will be for people designated in the “1B1” vaccination group, Unthank said Friday during her weekly COVID-19 briefing. The 1B1 group is composed of people over the age of 70 and people over the age of 50 in multi-generational households. The B1 group has four sub-groups and the first is 1B1.
Mass vaccination clinics organized by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe will be at a vaccination tent in Carrie Blake Park at 202 N. Blake Ave., for Sequim residents in the 1B1 group beginning Thursday. Vaccinations will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The tribe is only offering vaccinations for people 70 and over and not the peopel 50-over in multigenerational homes at this time because they don’t have a way to verify who is in that group.
The drive-through clinic will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and the following Saturday as well as Jan. 19, Jan. 21 and Jan. 23. People will stay in their cars for the shot of Moderna vaccine
The vaccination tent will be next to the James Center for the Performing Arts band shell in Carrie Blake Park.
The check-in location will be in the parking lot of Trinity United Methodist Church at 100 South Blake Ave., in Sequim.
Unthank said that it’s probably best if people don’t show up for the first day on Thursday. She expects a large crowd the first day.
“You will have a better experience if you don’t come that first day,” she said.
For Port Angeles and Forks residents, there will be two weekends of mass vaccinations: this coming Saturday and the following day — Jan. 17 — as well as Jan. 23-24. Both clinics will be at Port Angeles High School, 304 E. Park Ave.
People are asked to schedule appointments.
Unthank said people can make appointments on the county website at www.Clallam.net beginning Wednesday.
“In a pandemic, they don’t want large crowds to gather,” she said.
Locke expects the 1B vaccinations to start some time this week. He said Jefferson Healthcare hospital has invested in an extensive four-lane drive-through mass vaccination facility.
“It’s a somewhat permanent facility,” he said. “Jefferson Healthcare is expecting to be using this for the next six months.”
Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.