One long-term-care facility outbreak over

Moderna booster shots on the way

One of five long-term care facility outbreaks in Clallam County has been declared over after two weeks of testing for COVID-19 with negative results.

The outbreak, which took the lives of four people, was the largest COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility on the North Olympic Peninsula since August. At its peak, it had 36 residents down with COVID-19, according to Dr. Allison Berry, health officer for Clallam and Jefferson counties. It has had no new cases since Sept. 26 and has had two rounds of testing with no positives, she said Thursday.

No new significant outbreaks were reported Thursday, Berry said.

Four long-term care facilities still have outbreaks, she said. One had 15 cases confirmed as of Thursday, another seven cases and another, six cases. One other facility has had one confirmed case. It is considered an outbreak because, if the means of transmission isn’t apparent, officials suspect the source is in the facility, and so they investigate it.

No fatalities from the disease have been reported at these four facilities, Berry has said.

All the long-term care facility outbreaks at present are in Clallam County; none are in Jefferson County.

Berry does not identify the long-term care facilities, or other businesses, with outbreaks unless it is considered necessary for conducting contact tracing.

Forty-three additional cases were reported in Clallam County on Thursday, but of those, 30 were actually new, Berry said.

The 13 cases that were confirmed in a long-term care facility over the weekend had not been added into the total due to a paperwork problem, Berry said. So the actual new cases were 30 on Thursday. Of those, two cases were at the facility that had reported 13 last weekend.

Two others were at Clallam Bay Corrections Center, bringing the reported total there to 150.

The additional reported cases brings Clallam County’s total cases since the pandemic began to 4,605.

The case rate on Thursday was at 495 per 100,000 population for the past two weeks, part of downward trend that saw the case rates at 512 per 100,000 on Wednesday and 530 per 100,000 as of Tuesday.

Two more cases were reported in Jefferson County, Berry said. That brings the county total to 1,058.

Six people in Clallam County are hospitalized. One was reported hospitalized in Jefferson County.

Booster shots

Clinics for Pfizer booster shots are planned in both counties. Make appointments online or at 360-417-2430 in Clallam County and 360-344-9791 in Jefferson County.

Those who received Pfizer shots earlier this year or in late 2020 — and are older than 65 or work in a high-risk setting such as a school, grocery store or health care facility, or have an underlying medical condition — are eligible for a booster.

Clallam County’s booster clinic for Pfizer vaccine at Port Angeles High School, 304 E. Park Ave., will be from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Appointments can be made here.

In Jefferson County, Saturday clinics for Pfizer vaccine are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Blue Heron Middle School, 3939 San Juan Ave. in Port Townsend, have waiting lists. Appointments can be made here.

Pharmacies and some primary care clinics also offer the Pfizer booster in both counties.

On Oct. 23, another clinic is planned at Quilcene School, 294715 U.S. Highway 101, Quilcene, with appointments made here. That clinic will be open from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

People should bring hard copies of their vaccination cards to booster appointments. If one needs a duplicate, it can be obtained online at wa.myir.net.

Moderna clinics are likely soon. Vaccine advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously Thursday to recommend emergency use authorization of a low-dose booster of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for those eligible.

________

Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at [email protected].

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