Clallam County reports three new COVID-19 cases

Clallam County reported three new COVID-19 positives on Sunday, bringing the county’s total to 133 cases since March and 31 active cases.

Meanwhile, Jefferson County remained relatively quiet with no new COVID-19 positives Sunday and no new cases over the weekend. Jefferson County has had 54 cases total with nine active cases.

Clallam County had an uptick of cases this weekend, with five reported Friday, eight on Saturday and the three additional on Sunday. They are mostly in-county transmission caused by gatherings, said Dr. Allison Unthank, the Clallam County health officer.

She said some of these cases were traced to a “large party.”

The Board of Jefferson County Commissioners will hold its weekly COVID-19 update online at 9:45 a.m. today.

Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke said he will discuss what is happening around the state with the COVID-19 response, and he will talk about enforcement of wearing a face mask and social distancing.

“Our compliance has gotten better slowly over time, but it’s still not where it needs to be,” Locke said.

Locke said local health departments, with their authority over food services, have a certain amount of leverage over requiring compliance where food is being served to the public.

Locke also will talk about face shields and perhaps prohibiting their use in workplaces in lieu of a face mask. He said face shields are not believed to be very effective for protecting people from COVID-19.

“Face shields are not anywhere close to masks,” he said. “They’re really not much better than no mask at all.”

That Jefferson County meeting can be viewed at www.tinyurl.com/jeffcomeetings.

In her Friday COVID-19 update, Unthank talked about a state “COVID-19 risk assessment dashboard” website where people can get data about each county’s COVID-19 cases, including test rates and infection rates per 100,000 people during the past two weeks.

That is an important number because school boards are looking at it when they consider decisions on in-person or online instruction.

The site can be viewed at www.tinyurl.com/wacoviddata. The state said there have been some reporting problems recently, but those issues are being addressed.

Clallam County is listed at an infection rate of 36.8 cases per 100,000, which is considered to be in the moderate risk level, according to the three-tiered system Gov. Jay Inslee outlined last week.

However, Unthank said in her Friday briefing there is about a four- to five-day lag in the numbers, so that figure would not yet include the new positives reported this weekend in Clallam County.

The county’s figure is still far below the state average of 134.4 cases per 100,000 people during past two weeks as well as King County’s 91 cases per 100,000 during the past two weeks.

Jefferson County’s number sits at 9.4 cases per 100,000 people.

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