Peninsula officials eye Phase 3 applications

No new virus cases on Peninsula

PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson County officials hope to apply for a Phase 3 reopening as early as Saturday while Clallam County aims to have state approval for application by June 22.

No new COVID-19 cases were reported in either Jefferson or Clallam counties this weekend.

Health officials in both counties were concerned that new cases would show up, especially in Jefferson County because of an outbreak in Kitsap County that involved people with residences in Jefferson.

However, Dr. Tom Locke, Jefferson County health officer, said there were no new Jefferson positives as of Sunday. Those tests were conducted Friday, so if they were positive, they should have shown up by Sunday, he said.

Officials in Clallam County, which has completed its first week of Phase 2 restrictions with no new major outbreaks, expect a rise in cases with loosened restrictions.

Clallam County Undersheriff Ron Cameron said the county is also doing a lot more testing for COVID-19.

“I’m kind of surprised,” he said. “I’ll be surprised if we don’t have more cases with the number of tests we’re doing.”

Jefferson County had 31 confirmed cases and Clallam County had 27 for 58 total on the North Olympic Peninsula.

Three new cases were confirmed on the Peninsula last week.

Locke said if all goes to plan, Jefferson County could be approved to apply for Phase 3 on Saturday, which is three weeks after the state approved the county’s application for Phase 2.

That doesn’t mean Jefferson will move to Phase 3 on Saturday, it just means the county is welcome to apply to the state after that date.

In Phase 3, some outdoor group recreation and sports with 50 or fewer people can begin again, restaurants can increase capacity to 75 percent, and bars can reopen up to 25 percent capacity.

Movie theaters can also open with less than 50 percent capacity, and libraries and museums can reopen.

Locke said he will prepare recommendations a week ahead of time — on Thursday — for the Jefferson County Board of Health (BOH) meeting scheduled for June 18. The BOH may apply to move to Phase 3 at that meeting.

Cameron said if Clallam County can avoid any major outbreaks, it’s possible the state could approve it to apply for Phase 3, which would allow more businesses to open and more capacity in restaurants, as early as June 22.

Some counties in eastern Washington already have moved to Phase 3. They include Whitman County, which has a fairly sizable city in Pullman. Whitman County was approved for Phase 3 on Friday.

Also today, Gov. Jay Inslee’s order that all employees must wear masks in the workplace to protect their coworkers goes into effect. Cameron stressed that law enforcement will not be going to local businesses to enforce the rule and that it is under the purview of the state Department of Labor and Industries.

“It would be so terribly difficult to enforce,” Cameron said. “We’re counting on peer pressure that people should do it if they can.”

Locke also said there would not be Jefferson law enforcement involved in enforcing the workplace mask mandate.

Jefferson and Clallam each will have their COVID-19 updates today.

Jefferson’s will be held at 9:45 a.m. Clallam County’s meeting will be at 10 a.m.

Cameron said this will be the final Monday COVID-19 update for Clallam County as the county will receive updates only on Fridays in the future.

________

Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be reached at plabossiere@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in News

Ridge ski season opens Saturday

Finally, enough snow falls for winter sports

A gate and concrete barricades block the north end of Towne Road as it reaches the new Dungeness River levee on Tuesday northwest of Sequim. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Residents provide Towne Road feedback

More than 30 express opinions on project

Point Hudson Marina slated to be open today

Port of Port Townsend plans grand opening ceremony on April 24

Firefighters extinguished a fire in an RV near Olympic Medical Center on Wednesday in Port Angeles. No one was injured. (Port Angeles Fire Department)
No one injured in RV fire

No one was injured following an RV fire at… Continue reading

tsr
Mobile Healing Clinic to start in Clallam Bay on Monday

RV offers similar MAT services as Sequim facility

Finalists for the 2023 Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber Commerce’s Citizen of the Year award include, front row, from left, Carol Labbe and Pauline Olsen. Not pictured is the award recipient, Renne Emiko Brock, who was unable to attend the chamber’s annual awards luncheon on Tuesday. Pictured with Labbe and Olsen are, back row, from left, chamber President Eran Kennedy, chamber Executive Director Beth Pratt and Lorie Fazio, Citizen of the Year committee chair. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Art advocate Brock named Sequim Citizen of Year

Labbe, Olsen finalists for town’s top civic award

Lena Curtis guides a snow sled with her two children, Lucien Williams, 4 1/2, and Millie, 2, all from Port Townsend, down a snow hill at Port Townsend High School on Tuesday. An overnight storm passed through but not before depositing about 3 inches of soft powder, which melted rapidly as the day warmed. The blast of snowfall was largely confined to the area around Port Townsend and Port Hadlock overnight into Tuesday morning on the North Olympic Peninsula. Another weather system was coming in on Tuesday afternoon and is expected to drop rain in the lowlands and snow in the mountains on Wednesday and early Thursday, according to meteorologist Jacob DeFlitch with the National Weather Service in Seattle. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Downhill sledding

Lena Curtis guides a snow sled with her two children, Lucien Williams,… Continue reading

waddell
Clallam PUD seeks replacement for Waddell

Applicants for the Clallam County Public Utility District commissioner seat… Continue reading

Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe council leaders celebrate the opening of the tribe’s new library at its Blyn campus on Saturday. Pictured, from left, are treasurer Theresa Lehman, vice chair Loni Grinnell-Greninger, chair/CEO Ron Allen and secretary Rochelle Blankenship. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe celebrates library opening

Chairman/CEO: New facility is ‘second to none’