Volunteer nurse Karen Easterly-Behrens of Port Ludlow, left, talks with Eliana Rose of Port Townsend at Saturday’s Pfizer booster clinic at Quilcene School. The county Department of Emergency Management worked with dozens of volunteers to organize the clinic. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

Volunteer nurse Karen Easterly-Behrens of Port Ludlow, left, talks with Eliana Rose of Port Townsend at Saturday’s Pfizer booster clinic at Quilcene School. The county Department of Emergency Management worked with dozens of volunteers to organize the clinic. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

Long-term care facility resident dies of COVID-19

Woman in her 90s was in vulnerable population, health officer says

One Clallam County woman died from COVID-19, raising the total number of deaths in the county to 60 and increasing the North Olympic Peninsula total to 77 since the pandemic began.

The woman in her 90s, a resident at the long-term care facility in Clallam County that has had an outbreak of 19 COVID-19 cases and four deaths so far, was fully vaccinated, said Dr. Allison Berry, health officer for both Peninsula counties.

“Unfortunately residents in long-term care facilities are some of the least able to respond to their vaccines, both because of their age and the significant underlying medical conditions that cause them to need to be in long-term care,” Berry said. “They are some of our most vulnerable citizens because of their age, their medical status and their inability to respond to the vaccine.

“So, it is in large part for their health that the rest of us get vaccinated because their vaccine alone can’t protect them.”

Jefferson County did not report any new deaths on Monday. It has recorded 17 since the pandemic began.

The county opened two Moderna vaccine booster clinics Monday set by the Jefferson County Public Health and emergency management departments.

Clallam County, which hosted a Moderna clinic Saturday, does not plan any additional mass clinics unless there’s a large demand, Berry said.

The Jefferson County Moderna clinics, booster shots for people 65 and older and for those 18 to 64 who are at high risk of severe COVID-19, will be on Nov. 6 and Nov. 13. Attendees must also have received their second shots more than six months ago if they received Moderna’s or Pfizer’s vaccines, or two months ago if they received Johnson & Johnson.

Both events will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Nov. 6 event will be at Chimacum School District, 91 West Valley Road. The Nov. 13 event will be at Blue Heron Middle School, 3939 San Juan Ave. in Port Townsend.

Residents can sign up by going to jeffersoncountypublichealth.org/1429/COVID-19 or by calling the Department of Emergency Management Call Center at 360-344-9791.

Both counties are preparing for mass vaccination clinics for children ages 5 to 11, as it’s expected that Pfizer’s vaccine will receive expanded approval to that age group by the federal Food and Drug Administration next week.

Jefferson County Emergency Management Director Willie Bence told the county commissioners Monday that they’re planning on those clinics being in the morning of the the two Moderna clinics, depending on approval from the FDA.

Clallam County will release more detailed potential plans for children clinics by the end of the week, Berry said.

A list of which pharmacies are offering COVID-19 vaccines and what type is available can be found at vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov.

Clallam County added 37 cases of COVID-19 between Saturday and Sunday, raising its total to 4,799 since the pandemic began, according to county public health data.

Jefferson County added eight cases over weekend, raising its total to 1,130 since the pandemic began, according to county public health data.

On Monday, there were seven Clallam County residents and four Jefferson County residents hospitalized for COVID-19, Berry said.

There was a workplace outbreak of 12 cases as of Friday in Jefferson County, and there is another large outbreak in Grays Harbor County which is bleeding over into the West End, Berry said.

Clallam County’s case rate was at 336 per 100,000 population for the past two weeks as of Monday, Berry said.

Jefferson County’s case rate increased slightly to 253.92 per 100,000 for the two weeks prior as of Oct. 20. Before that, the case rate was 156.74 per 100,000 for the two weeks prior as of Oct. 13, according to public health data.

The increased case rate is concerning, but Berry said she hopes it will decrease again.

“It’s certainly concerning,” she said. “I do think, given the two outbreaks we know where most of those cases are, and with Jefferson’s low population, the case rates tend to bounce around a bit.

“So, I’m not seriously concerned about it, but I do think it’s a good reminder for all of our citizens to exercise caution and not let our guard down too soon.”

According to the latest data from the state Department of Health, 80.1 percent of the population 12 and older in Jefferson County have started vaccinations, with 76.5 percent fully vaccinated. Of the entire population, 73.7 percent have begun vaccination and 70.4 percent are fully vaccinated, according to the state’s dashboard.

In Clallam County, 73.9 percent of the population 12 and older have started vaccinations, with 69.2 percent fully vaccinated. Of the total population, 65.6 percent have begun vaccinations, with 61.4 percent fully vaccinated, according to the state’s dashboard.

________

Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected]

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