Clallam County reports an additional COVID-19 case

One new case of COVID-19 was reported Sunday on the North Olympic Peninsula, a locally acquired infection in Clallam County, health officials said.

The new case was reported in Clallam County, said Dr. Allison Unthank, the county health officer.

The infection puts Clallam County at 102 total cases since March, with 24 active cases and 78 recovered. Jefferson County, which did not report any new cases Sunday, remained at 53 with 12 cases active and 41 recovered.

Jefferson County did have two new cases Saturday. Dr. Tom Locke, the county’s health officer, said one was acquired from an out-of-state contact, while the second is still undetermined. Locke said it could be from a local source or from outside the county because the person may have had multiple exposures.

Locke will provide his weekly COVID-19 update to the Board of Jefferson County Commissioners today at 9:45 a.m.

Part of the discussion will address school re-openings, he said.

Locke has been working with school districts in Jefferson County to develop reopening plans and is planning to meet with school superintendents Tuesday.

He said this is a critical time for schools around the state as they decide whether or not to open for in-person instruction or to focus on online instruction.

Classes are scheduled to open in about a month.

Meanwhile, the state is continuing to see 700 to 1,000 new cases a day, with a current hot spot in Spokane. Hot spots in the Yakima and Tri-Cities areas have calmed down somewhat since a month ago.

“There are some big decisions this week for schools,” Locke said. “It’s our job as health officers to support them. We have neither the right nor the desire to make the decision for them.”

Locke continued to stress that a large number of the cases in Jefferson County have been spread by gatherings and get-togethers and that people need to seriously change behaviors to help control the spread of the virus, especially statewide.

“All of these things are family gatherings or weddings. Restaurants. Normal, everyday things people are used to doing,” he said. “Right now, without precautions, it’s transmitting disease.”

“So much is resting not on how much planning we’re doing in our schools, but what is going on in the community at large,” he said.

The Jefferson County update can be viewed at www.tinyurl.com/jeffco meeting.

Clallam County has been providing weekly updates on Fridays.

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