Even though COVID-19 case rates are low on the North Olympic Peninsula right now, stay vigilant.
That’s the message from Dr. Allison Berry, health officer for Clallam and Jefferson counties.
“We are at a point where it’s important to stay vigilant and keep an eye out for cases, but we’re not yet seeing a significant surge,” Berry said Friday.
On Friday, Clallam County reported 24 new COVID-19 cases since Tuesday, bringing its total cases since the pandemic began from 10,983 on Tuesday to 11,007 on Friday. The case rate rose from 103 cases per 100,000 population on Tuesday to 118 per 100,000 on Friday.
Jefferson County saw 13 new COVID-19 cases on Friday since Tuesday, bringing its total cases since the pandemic began from 3,184 on Tuesday to 3,197. The case rate rose from 124 cases per 100,000 on Tuesday to 146 per 100,000.
When case rates climb over 100 per 100,000, the public health recommendation is that people wear marks in indoor settings.
Case rates are a reflection of cases reported during a two-week period.
They are computed using a formula based on a 100,000 population even for counties that do not have 100,000 people living in them.
Hospitalizations in both counties have remained low, a reflection of the national situation. According to NBC News, COVID-19 hospitalizations are at their lowest level in the U.S. since the pandemic began.
Three Clallam County residents were in a hospital with COVID-19 on Friday. One was at Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles. The other two were hospitalized outside the county, with one of those two being in an intensive care unit.
One person from Jefferson County was reported hospitalized with the virus. That one was outside the county.
“We are hopeful that we are less likely to see a significant hospitalization surge in the coming months just because of the number of us that are vaccinated and boosted or had a recent infection,” Berry said.
So far, one case only of the BA.2 sub-variant has been reported on the Peninsula, that one being in Clallam County.
Most Peninsula cases are BA. 1 — the original Omicron variant.
”The majority of BA.2 cases are coming up in the I-5 corridor areas, right now, so it will likely be a week weeks before it really strikes here,” Berry said.
No new deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in either county leaving their respective totals since the pandemic began at 111 in Clallam County and 28 in Jefferson County.
Reporter Ken Park can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.