Jefferson County to prepare Phase 3 application

New case not likely to stall plans, health official says

PORT TOWNSEND — One new COVID-19 case was reported this weekend in Jefferson County, but it likely won’t affect the county’s pending application to move to Phase 3 in the governor’s Safe Start plan.

Dr. Tom Locke, Jefferson County health officer, said the new case — a man in his 70s who is not hospitalized — was reported Saturday night. The case pushed the county to 32 confirmations, with a total of 61 on the North Olympic Peninsula.

Clallam County did not report any new cases this weekend.

Locke said health officials were still determining how the new case was contracted. He said Sunday it was a “multi-state” investigation.

Jefferson County is preparing an application this week to move from Phase 2 to Phase 3 in Gov. Jay Inslee’s four-part plan. Phase 3 would allow some recreational facilities, such as gyms, to open with less than 50 percent capacity, it would allow restaurants to open to 75 percent capacity, and it would allow bars inside restaurants to open to 25 percent capacity. It would also allow libraries and museums to reopen.

Locke said the recent positive case will not affect the county’s application because, in order to move to Phase 3, the county must have fewer than 25 new cases during a two-week span per 100,000 population.

For Jefferson County, that would be eight cases in two weeks.

Locke said the Jefferson County Board of Health will meet at 2:30 p.m. Thursday to discuss possibly applying for Phase 3. That application would go to the Board of Jefferson County Commissioners, which could hold a special meeting as early as Friday. That meeting had not been scheduled as of Sunday.

The state has previously made decisions on county applications within a day or two.

The Board of Jefferson County Commissioners will receive a weekly COVID-19 update from Locke at 9:45 a.m. today. Locke said he expects questions from commissioners about applying for Phase 3 and that he will present new information about the effectiveness of masks and asymptomatic spread.

That update and the Board of Health meeting can both be viewed at www.tinyurl.com/jeffcomeeting.

Clallam County’s COVID-19 update will be held on Friday. The county will have a Board of Health meeting at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. COVID-19 will be discussed as well as revisions to the county’s Phase 2 restrictions, which could include lessening restrictions on camping. The CARES act and an update on masking also will be discussed.

That meeting can be viewed online at www.tinyurl.com/clallamcomtng.

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

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