Clallam reports 10 more COVID cases as state vaccination lottery begins

The first drawings of the “Shot of the Lifetime” lottery were Tuesday morning. Winners are expected to be contacted today and Thursday.

All Washington residents who had received at least one vaccine shot by 11:59 p.m. the Sunday before a Tuesday drawing are automatically entered into the lottery, including those vaccinated since December.

Meanwhile, Clallam County confirmed 10 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. The cases are tied to families and groups of people who traveled and are unvaccinated, Berry said, adding that, luckily, they did not have many local contacts before they tested positive.

Twenty-six cases have been confirmed in June so far in Clallam County, about 1.89 percent of 1,377 cases reported since the pandemic began, according to county data.

Jefferson County held with no new cases on Tuesday. Five have been confirmed in June, about 1.18 percent of the 422 total cases since the pandemic began, according to county data.

On Tuesday, the first of four weekly Tuesday drawings was conducted for a $250,000 prize, as well as other prizes such as Seahawks tickets, gaming consoles, gift cards and airline tickets.

The winner of the $250,000 prize is expected to be contacted today, and winners of the other prizes will be contacted by Friday.

On July 13, a final $1 million drawing will be held.

In addition, the state’s public four-year universities and two-year community and technical colleges will receive nearly $1 million to run their own drawings for free tuition and expenses for vaccinated students.

The state Lottery also will conduct drawings to offer 30 prizes of one year of tuition college credits to 12- to 17-year-olds through the state’s Guaranteed Education Tuition program, with the credits going directly to the students’ families.

The program was announced by Gov. Jay Inslee last week. It is intended to entice people who have yet to be vaccinated to do so and push the state to its goal of having at least 70 percent of residents 16 and older vaccinated. Reaching that mark could trigger a statewide reopening before the official reopening date of June 30.

As of Tuesday, Jefferson and Clallam counties had not seen significant increases in vaccinations, said both Dr. Tom Locke, Jefferson County health officer, and Dr. Allison Berry, Clallam County health officer.

“We’d welcome it if comes,” said Locke regarding a possible surge in vaccinations.

Both health officers continue to urge residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Clallam County has been investigating an outbreak at an unidentified long-term care facility that has had a total of nine cases, seven residents and two staff. No new cases were confirmed Tuesday. The two residents who were in the Intensive Care Unit with severe cases of COVID-19 have improved and are now out of the ICU but still hospitalized, Berry said.

“In both of those cases, we think the primary thing that has kept them alive was they were vaccinated,” said Berry. “They were both incredibly ill prior to contracting COVID-19 and very likely would not have survived if they were not vaccinated.”

The state is set to reopen business to full capacity on June 30, and Locke reminds residents that in Jefferson County, vaccinated or not, everyone is required to wear face masks while in businesses.

The risks of contracting COVID-19 is only going get worse for unvaccinated residents, as more people travel and mask wearing ends, Locke said.

Vaccination clinics on the North Olympic Peninsula can be found at peninsuladailynews.com/news/vaccination-clinics-set-this-week-as-lottery-begins.

The state has a vaccination locator at vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov, which allows users to see where appointments are available and which vaccine will be used.

While all state residents 12 and older are eligible to be vaccinated, anyone younger than 18 can receive only Pfizer’s vaccine.

Clallam County had two patients hospitalized for COVID-19 on Tuesday. Jefferson County had one resident hospitalized.

Thirty-four COVID-19 cases were active in Clallam County on Tuesday, while Jefferson County had five active cases.

Clallam County is in the state’s moderate-risk category with a case rate of 36 per 100,000 population for the past two weeks as of Tuesday, while Jefferson County is in the state’s low-risk category with a case rate of 15.67 per 100,000 for the two weeks prior as of Saturday.

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