Minimum age 18 now for Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s vaccine shots in Sequim

Public health officers worry about Spring Break

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is expanding its vaccination clinic appointments to include Clallam residents older than 18 starting Wednesday.

Jamestown, as a sovereign nation, is not required to follow the state’s vaccination priorities, although the rest of the North Olympic Peninsula must continue in the state’s 1B2 category.

Clallam County Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry was appreciative that the tribe shares its allocated doses, saying the tribe has no requirement to administer vaccine to non-tribal members.

“We’re always excited that the Jamestown Tribe is willing to share their vaccine with the community,” she said. “Certainly they don’t have enough vaccine to vaccinate all of Clallam County, so we expect those slots to fill rather quickly.”

The 1B2 category includes critical workers in congregate settings such as grocery stores, food banks, agriculture, courts, jails and corrections, as well as first responders not vaccinated under 1A, and people older than 16 who are pregnant or who have disabilities that put them at high risk for COVID-19 complications.

Those deemed eligible under previous tiers remain eligible for shots.

Neither county added new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.

Spring Break

Both Berry and Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke are concerned about the upcoming Spring Break in April, saying it could lead to a surge in COVID-19 cases since people travel and may relax prevention protocols.

Both health officers encourage people not to travel out of state for Spring Break and to be cautious while traveling in-state. Cases are starting to rise again, especially in King County and Yakima, they said.

If people do travel, Berry recommends they wear good quality medical face masks like surgical masks, consider double masking and, when in an airport, stay masked, wash hands often and limit interactions with others.

How well people continue to follow COVID-19 prevention guidelines over the next few weeks will determine if Washington will see a fourth wave of infections or not, especially as case rates have currently plateaued where they were after the summer peak last year, Locke said.

School staff and students are asked to quarantine at home for a week with a negative COVID-19 test or 10 days without one if they do travel. Public schools and several private schools across the Peninsula are enforcing the recommendation, Berry and Locke said.

The seven-day quarantine with a COVID-19 test and 10 days without one are Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel guidelines that Gov. Jay Inslee adopted, Locke said.

Vaccination clinics

Appointments for the Jamestown Sequim Clinics on March 30 and April 1 open Wednesday at 9 a.m. at http://vaccine.clallam.net/register. Appointments also can be made by phone at 360-417-2430.

Appointments for the Port Angeles High School clinics on Saturday and Sunday also open today at 9 a.m. for those in the 1B2 category or previous phases. People can register at http://vaccine.clallam.net/register or by phone at 360-417-2430.

The Chimacum High School clinic on Saturday has appointments available for Jefferson County residents who are eligible under 1B2 and previous phases. Appointments can be made online at bit.ly/jeffcovax or by calling 360-344-9791.

Appointments for Jefferson Healthcare’s clinic can be made at https://jeffersonhealthcare.org/covid-19-vaccine, and people are asked to fill out the Phase Finder tool, but it’s not required to bring the printed sheet, said Amy Yaley, hospital spokesperson.

Those using the Chimacum clinic are asked to fill out the state’s Phase Finder tool, print the eligibility sheet and bring it with them to their vaccination appointment. Clallam County doesn’t require that.

Clallam County has confirmed 41 cases of COVID-19 so far this month, about 3.93 percent of the 1,042 cases confirmed during the past year, according to county data.

Jefferson County has confirmed eight cases this month, about 2.33 percent of the 344 cases confirmed in the past year, according to county Public Health data.

Fourteen COVID-19 cases were active as of Tuesday in Clallam County. Jefferson County had seven active cases.

Jefferson County is in the state’s low-risk category with a case rate of about 25 per 100,000 population for the two weeks prior as of Saturday, while Clallam County is in the state’s moderate-risk category with a case rate of 38 per 100,000 for the two weeks prior to Tuesday.

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

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