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Here’s what we know so far regarding the COVID-19 outbreak for Clallam and Jefferson counties, plus regionally, nationally and internationally:
Thursday, July 2
• Via The Associated Press: What you need to know today about the virus outbreak.
• U.S. employers likely rehired several million more workers in June, thereby reducing a Depression-level unemployment rate, but the most up-to-date data suggests that a resurgent coronavirus will limit further gains.
• The United States and South Africa have both reported record new daily coronavirus infections, with U.S. figures surpassing 50,000 cases a day for the first time, underlining the challenges still ahead as nations press to reopen their virus-devastated economies.
• Authorities are closing honky tonks, bars and other drinking establishments in some parts of the U.S. to stem the surge of COVID-19 infections — a move backed by sound science about risk factors that go beyond wearing or not wearing masks.
• The University of Washington’s Greek Row has been hit hard by an outbreak of COVID-19, with at least 12 fraternities involved and hundreds of test results pending. It’s a troubling signal of what may be in store if colleges reopen in person, as UW hopes to do.
• Researchers say they’ve uncovered the best non-medical face mask for protecting against coronavirus. With the help of a mannequin head and fake sneezes, they compared how four common face coverings stack up. And does wearing a mask pose health risks? Not for most people.
• As COVID-19 cases rise, Gov. Jay Inslee will lay out updated requirements for businesses, and he’s also preparing changes to Washington’s coronavirus reopening plan.
• More than 40 school principals in the San Francisco Bay Area are in quarantine after being exposed to the coronavirus during an in-person meeting last month to discuss reopening campuses, according to a newspaper report.
• The U.S. hit a record of more than 50,000 new cases yesterday, led by states that reopened first. Oregon also set a new high, but officials there are bracing for far worse. And hard-hit California threw much of its reopening into reverse.
• COVID-19 is impacting ferry schedules.Public health officials are asking Washingtonians to stay close to home this holiday weekend to help slow the uptick we’re seeing in the transmission of COVID-19. If you do happen to have plans that involve a ride aboard one of our state ferries, check before you travel. Washington State Ferries is telling passengers to plan and prepare for extended waits. Several routes are operating on reduced schedules dependent on their COVID Response Service Plan. With more than 100 high-risk employees unavailable due to the pandemic, crewing has been a challenge. Due to a lack of crewmembers needed to meet U.S. Coast Guard safety requirements, there have been further schedule reductions over the past few weekends.
• The Kitsap Public Health District has received notification from Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman that the state is pausing review of Kitsap County’s application to move to Phase 3 of the Safe Start plan until at least July 9, as public health officials evaluate changing circumstances. Kitsap County remains in Phase 2.
For more local coronavirus stories, click here.
The count of cases and deaths is a moving target, with jurisdictions reporting sometimes-contradictory numbers. Ours might not match what other media are reporting.
• As of 7 p.m. July 1, 571,964 individuals have been tested in Washington state, with 33,435 confirmed cases (meaning the person has the virus) and 1,339 deaths, according to the state Department of Health.
• 1,339 deaths statewide.
• 10,304 cases in King County. 612 deaths.
• 7,128 cases in Yakima County. 159 deaths.
• 3,535 cases in Snohomish County. 171 deaths.
• 2,590 cases in Pierce County. 104 deaths.
• 242 cases in Kitsap County. 2 deaths.
• 38 cases in Jefferson County. 0 deaths.
• 42 cases in Clallam County. 0 deaths.
For other county numbers, visit www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus.
Washington 211 COVID-19 Call Center. Do you need information or answers to your questions and concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)? You can call 1-800-525-0127 or text 211-211 for help. You can also text the word “Coronavirus” to 211-211 to receive information and updates on your phone wherever you are. You will receive links to the latest information on COVID-19, including county-level updates, and resources for families, businesses, students and more.
Do you need support due to stress from COVID-19? Call Washington Listens, a line that provides nonclinical support to people experiencing elevated stress due to COVID-19. People who call Washington Listens will speak to a support specialist and receive information and connection to community resources in their area. The program is anonymous and no identifying information is maintained. People who staff Washington Listens will receive basic training needed to provide support to individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. To reach Washington Listens, call 1-833-681-0211. Read the Washington Listens fact sheet.
COVID-19 information & best practices
What is the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, known as SARS-CoV-2, is the virus strain identified in January that causes COVID-19, coronavirus disease, and is spreading from person to person.
While the virus has the potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia in some people, about 80 percent of cases are relatively mild.
• Key symptoms of COVID-19: shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, cough, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.
• Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure.
• Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.
• COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus. We are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about how this virus spreads.
What to do if you’re sick
• If you suspect you have COVID-19, isolate at home during illness. Restrict activities outside of the home except for getting medical care. Call ahead unless you are in crisis.
• Call 360-417-2430, a hotline that provides local information on the infection.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
As a reminder, according to the CDC, here are recommended everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
• The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
For more information on using cloth face coverings and how to make your own, click here.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
• Once home from work, school, running errands, etc., immediately wash your hands.
• Consider purchasing the following supplies: extra fluids and hydrating drinks (Gatorade and Pedialyte); food for when you’re sick (soups, broths, crackers, honey, nonperishable items); pain and fever medications (acetaminophen or ibuprofen); cough drops and cough medications; prescription medications; tissues; household cleaners (bleach, alcohol, soap, disinfecting wipes).
• You should wash your phone, too. Here’s how.