Two new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Clallam County, while Jefferson County held with no new cases on Monday.
The case rates in both counties are in the low-risk category, with Clallam County at 20 cases per 100,000 population for the past two weeks, while Jefferson County is at about 22 cases per 100,000 for the same time period.
Of the new cases in Clallam County, one was a household contact of a prior confirmed case, while the other is believed to have contracted the novel coronavirus through their workplace outside of the county, said Dr. Allison Unthank, Clallam County health officer.
Health officials in both counties are urging residents to continue mask wearing, social distancing and limiting social interactions because the state and nation continues to see rising case numbers of what is being called a “third wave” of infections.
“The virus doesn’t care if you’re tired of the pandemic or not,” said Dr. Tom Locke, Jefferson County health officer. “Masks are more important than we previously thought.
“We could step back and do nothing, and the pandemic would be over faster, but the cost would be millions of deaths.”
Locke said health officials believe that up to 80 percent of new cases are caused by only 10 percent to 20 percent of people, so he said wearing a mask is crucial because not all infectious people know they’re infectious.
Most of the recent cases in Jefferson County have been caused by out-of-county exposure, Locke said.
Both counties have been able to stay in the state’s low- to moderate-risk categories for the past few weeks.
“We so far have been really doing quite well at keeping our numbers down,” Unthank said. “We’re trying very hard to keep that going.
“We’re really urging folks to keep those social circles quite small as we move into winter months, and if you do go indoors with folks, make sure it’s a small number of people, and make sure to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart as much as you can.
“If you keep doing that, we really can hold down this wave that so much of the state is seeing,” she continued. “We’re just hoping everyone can take this seriously so we can do that.”
Clallam County has confirmed 267 cases of COVID-19 since March, with 10 active cases and one death, according to Clallam County Public Health data.
Jefferson County has confirmed 81 cases of COVID-19 since March, with 10 active cases and no deaths, according to Jefferson County Public Health data.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5 or at [email protected].