Most COVID-19 cases at long-term care facility outbreak tied to one person

Officials waiting for 1B, 1C designations

One more COVID-19 positive connected to an outbreak at a Clallam County long-term care facility was reported Monday, raising the total number of cases tied to the facility to 19.

Clallam County Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry Unthank said 18 of the cases have been traced to a single employee.

“We’re not seeing cases of ongoing transmission, which is good,” she said in a Monday interview.

Berry Unthank said 10 staff and nine residents of the care facility have tested positive for COVID-19.

In all, Clallam County reported five new positives Monday, giving it 766 cases since the pandemic began last March. The county has 52 active cases and one person in the hospital. A previously hospitalized patient has been discharged, according to public health data.

The Clallam County infection rate is 121 per 100,000 population during the past two weeks, down from much of November and December but still in the state’s high-risk category. The test positivity rate is 2.7 percent, although it was higher — 4.9 percent — from Dec. 18 to Jan. 1.

Jefferson County has reported 233 total cases since last March, with five additional cases reported late Monday. The county has as many as 19 active cases in isolation.

The Jefferson County infection rate has grown from 62.70 per 100,000 last week as there have been 13 positives since Thursday. The test positivity rate is 1.48 percent, and the infection rate is 87.77 per 100,000, in the state’s moderate-risk range.

Jefferson and Clallam counties may break the 1,000-case barrier combined today. The North Olympic Peninsula counties have reported a total of 999 COVID-19 positives since last March.


Berry Unthank said Clallam County will finish vaccinating members of the 1A group this week. These people include first responders, frontline health care workers and patients and staff at long-term care facilities.

Clallam and Jefferson counties continue to wait word from the state Department of Health on which specific groups will be included in the 1B and 1C designations, the next to receive vaccinations. Likely members of the 1B group may include people older than 75 and people with high-risk underlying health problems such as diabetes, cancer or other immunity deficiencies.

“There’s so many people deserving,” Berry Unthank said.

Other essential workers such as grocery store employees may end up in the 1C group.

Berry Unthank said the 1B group vaccinations could begin as early as mid-January.

“Age is probably the most significant factor,” Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke told the Board of County Commissioners at his weekly update Monday.

Locke said local officials have been hoping to receive official word from the state on the 1B and 1C designations.

“We need them sooner rather than later,” he said.

Locke also said Jefferson County has administered 970 vaccines so far and has 980 ready to go for a second round of shots for first responders. He said a second shipment of vaccines is expected possibly as early as today.

“We’ve vaccinated 61 percent of our 1A group,” he said. “We don’t think we’ll get to 100 percent. We don’t think 100 percent will consent.”

Locke said there a state website called Phase Finder will help tell Washington residents where they might be in line for the vaccine. That site is expected to go online as early as Wednesday.

In addition to information regarding 1B and 1C vaccine categories, schools also are waiting guidance from the state in the next day or two regarding new metrics for allowing athletics and extra-curricular activities at schools.


Berry Unthank said there hasn’t been a noticeable uptick in Clallam County from the holiday period, but she stressed it’s too early to tell if there will be a case surge from people traveling.

“It’s still pretty early,” she said. “We can’t get too excited yet.

Berry Unthank said no one has reported directly to her anything about large New Year’s Eve parties, but she hoped people didn’t hold large gatherings for the holiday.

“I hope people would keep gatherings small and outside,” she said.


Sports editor Pierre LaBossiere can be reached by email at

More in News

Power restored after more than 6,300 lose electricity

A fault on a Bonneville Power Administration transmission line… Continue reading

Tim Morland, front, and Rich Lear of Tualatin, Ore.-based Field Turf USA add fill to the playing surface at the new Monroe Athletic Field on Tuesday at the site of the former Monroe School near Roosevelt Elementary School in Port Angeles. The synthetic turf field, which is expected to be completed by mid-autumn, is being developed by the Port Angeles School District and will be available for community athletic events. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Monroe field prep

Tim Morland, front, and Rich Lear of Tualatin, Ore.-based Field Turf USA… Continue reading

Petitions developed by local citizens seek to keep the “new” Towne Road unpaved and open to hikers and walkers. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Public comment sought about Sequim’s Towne Road future

Meeting for residents scheduled for Tuesday

Eran Kennedy.
Sound regional publisher stresses local connections

Partnerships offer lifeline despite struggling industry

A crew from Port Townsend Public Works watches as a backhoe removes water-logged timber from a sinkhole on Kearney Street outside the Food Co-op on Tuesday at the start of construction of a traffic circle at the intersection of state Highway 20/East Sims Way and Kearney Street in Port Townsend. Traffic heading eastbound toward Port Townsend will detour at Benedict Street and turn left on Washington Street to return to Highway 20/East Sims Way. Traffic going westbound away from Port Townsend will turn right at Kearney Street and left onto Jefferson Street to continue on Highway 20. The detour configuration will last about four weeks, according to the state Department of Transportation. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Roundabout construction

A crew from Port Townsend Public Works watches as a backhoe removes… Continue reading

Members of the Bagley family of Forsyth, Ill., from left, parents Jessica and Cameron Bagley, and children Cody, 10, Addie, 12, and C.J., 7, look at an information kiosk on the Olympic National Park wildfires on Tuesday in front of the park visitor center in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Blazes spread in center of Olympic National Park

Large helicopters requested to keep fires at bay

Wreck shuts down US 101 south of Brinnon for five hours

A semitrailer driver accused of falling asleep at the wheel… Continue reading

Peninsula College sophomores Ian Coughran, left, and Ciera Skelly were two of seven students participating in the inaugural Pathway Summer School at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory this summer that focused on education and career development in STEM fields. Both Coughran and Skelly plan to pursue degrees in environmental science. (Paula Hunt/Peninsula Daily News)
Internship through college presents career pathways

Students part of inaugural class at Sequim laboratory

Most Read