Snow fears postpone COVID vaccine clinic in Forks

The expectation of snow in the lowlands this weekend has put the Forks COVID-19 vaccination clinic on hold until the following weekend, while the Port Angeles clinic set for Saturday and Sunday is still planned.

Officials will be monitoring the situation, and if changes are made, they will announce them through online, social media and print outlets, said Dr. Allison Berry, Clallam County health officer.

There are no vaccination appointments scheduled at Jefferson Healthcare on Saturday and Sunday.

Drive-up testing for COVID-19 should be unaffected due to the hospital having its own plow and salting its own parking lot, said Amy Yaley, hospital spokesperson.

“We’re a hospital, so we don’t really close for inclement weather,” Yaley said. “So, it would have to be pretty drastic for us to have to close down the swabbing testing station.”

While she doesn’t anticipate problems, if changes are made to the testing site, the hospital will post them on its website at https:// jeffersonhealthcare.org.

Port Angeles is not expected to get as much snow as Forks, so the clinic is still scheduled, Berry said.

Since the Port Angeles vaccination clinic is indoors, it’s hoped that snowfall wouldn’t impact it. However, that plan may change as Saturday approaches, Berry said.

If the Port Angeles event must be canceled, those with appointments will be contacted to reschedule the next weekend, Berry said. And people who can’t make it to their appointments because of the weather can call the Clallam County Department of Emergency Management at 360-417-2430 to reschedule.

“If you can make it safely, of course come,” Berry said. “If you can’t make it because of the weather, we will work to reschedule you.”

If the event is canceled, it will be shared at http://www.clallam.net/ coronavirus, on the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, and through local news channels, Berry said.

Jefferson County continues to await word on a delivery of first-dose vaccines to Jefferson Healthcare next week after more than a month of no deliveries of first doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, said Dr. Tom Locke, Jefferson County health officer.

Second doses have been given this week, he said.

“We’re hopeful that the state will fill Jefferson Healthcare’s order,” Locke said. “If it doesn’t, that’s really concerning as we’ve had no explanation for why the vaccine just suddenly stopped.

“But, a lot of people around the state have been having problems. The vaccine allocation seems to change week by week, so none of us can do any rational planning. We want the allocation system to be fixed.”

On Wednesday, Clallam County added four new cases of COVID-19, while Jefferson County held steady with no new cases.

Two of the cases are in the same household, while the other two were under investigation Wednesday, Berry said.

Clallam County’s test positivity — the percentage of tests returned positive — was 3 percent from Jan. 24 to Feb. 7, Berry said.

Jefferson County’s test positivity was 3.42 percent for Feb. 1-7.

So far this month, Clallam County has confirmed 24 cases of COVID-19, which is 2.5 percent of the 960 cases confirmed since last March, according to Clallam County Public Health data.

Jefferson County has confirmed 19 cases of COVID-19, about 5.88 percent of the 323 it has confirmed since last March, according to Jefferson County Public Health data.

Twenty-nine COVID-19 cases were active as of Wednesday in Clallam County, with three people hospitalized and one in the Intensive Care Unit.

Jefferson County had 16 active cases.

Clallam County is in the state’s moderate-risk category with a case rate of 67 per 100,000 population during the past two weeks as of Tuesday.

The case rate in the Jefferson County was 128.53 per 100,000 for the two weeks prior as of Saturday, in the state’s high-risk category.

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Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected].

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