North Olympic Peninsula health officials have requested help from the Washington State National Guard, which Gov. Jay Inslee has mobilized to assist overwhelmed hospitals and health care facilities in other areas of the state.
The Peninsula reported an additional 128 COVID-19 cases on Thursday. Seventy-five were in Jefferson County — bringing its total numbers since the pandemic began to 1,955 from 1,880 — and 53 were in Clallam County, raising its total accumulation to 7,798 from 7,745.
One more death also was reported on the Peninsula on Thursday, bringing the total for the two counties combined to 109.
As of Thursday, four people were hospitalized with COVID-19 at Jefferson Healthcare in Port Townsend and 12 people were in Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles, with four in the intensive care unit.
“We have requested resources through the state department of Emergency Management, so now the question is whether or not the request is filled,” Dr. Allison Berry, health officer for Clallam and Jefferson counties, said Thursday.
Inslee announced Thursday that he is deploying the state National Guard to hospitals in Everett, Spokane, Wenatchee and Yakima and to testing sites in King and Snohomish counties.
Berry said Peninsula hospitals and long-term care facilities are in critical need of staff.
“We are hopeful that we might get some of those resources or we will see the National Guard free up some of the initial medical resources that we could get over here,” Berry said.
A Jefferson County woman in her 80s died of the virus, it was reported. She was unvaccinated and had chronic health issues that likely contributed to her death, Berry said.
That death brought Jefferson County’s total deaths to 22.
Clallam County has had 87 deaths, with four reported on Wednesday.
Clallam County’s case rate on Thursday was 2,083 per 100,000 population for the past two weeks.
Jefferson County is expected to update its case rate today.
Reporter Ken Park can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.