PORT ANGELES — The North Olympic Peninsula reported 23 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, Friday and Saturday as a recent growth of new cases continued into the Thanksgiving weekend.
Officials from both counties were gearing for a possible uptick in new cases in the next week or two from travel during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Clallam County reported nine new positives Friday and six more Saturday to give the county 487 positives since March. The county’s infection rate is 222 per 100,000 over the past two weeks, well into the high-risk category. Clallam County has 142 active cases and three county residents are currently in the hospital.
Clallam County Health Officer Dr. Allison Unthank was optimistic that the county’s numbers are improving. A week ago, the county saw 41 new positives in just two days.
“I think we’re seeing the early signs of leveling off,” she said., but added, “it will be very short-lived if people have traveled for Thanksgiving.”
Meanwhile, Jefferson County, which is receiving its tests results late in the day, reported four new positives Thursday, four new ones Friday and did not have any Saturday.
That gives Jefferson County 160 total positives since March with a listed infection rate of 156.74 per 100,000 over the past two weeks. Jefferson reports 24 active cases in quarantine.
Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke said among the eight new cases in Jefferson, four tested positive in the county while four others tested positive in other counties.
Locke also said the recent uptick of new cases have a consistent pattern.
“Household contact and travelers,” he said. “Either people have traveled or they’ve have out-of-state visitors and then a lot of household transmission.”
Locke said officials will know in about a week if there will be a local uptick in cases from the Thanksgiving holiday.
“What’s worrisome is where we’re starting from” with an outbreak already underway, he said.
But he was optimistic that people in Jefferson County are heeding officials’ warnings about holiday travel.
“We know travel is down. We know people are getting the message,” he said.
Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be reached at [email protected]