Counties add COVID-19 cases but remain in low-risk category

Clallam County added three new COVID-19 cases late Saturday, while Jefferson County had one new case reported for the weekend.

Clallam County has had 277 positives for the novel coronavirus since March and has 16 active cases and three patients currently listed as hospitalized. The case rate is at 22 per 100,000 population during the past two weeks, which remains in the state’s low-risk category.

Jefferson County’s new case gives it 86 since March, and the county has 15 active cases.

Its case rate is 21.94 per 100,000, but Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke said that figure will be recalculated today.

Locke expects it to go up as Jefferson County had five new cases last week — three on Thursday and one each on Friday and Saturday.

He said county commissioners have questions about phased re-openings allowing more businesses to open.

Locke said health officers had a conference call with state officials last Tuesday with an update to phased reopening and that “the update is there’s no changes” to the state’s freeze on loosening up phases.

That’s because there has been an upward trend in new COVID-19 cases statewide.

Both Jefferson and Clallam counties have been in Phase 2 since Gov. Jay Inslee froze the phases for most counties in July.

“I don’t think that’s going to change in the next week or two,” Locke said.

Locke added that Washington is experiencing an increase in new cases, although the situation is not nearly as dire as some states in the Midwest.

“State trends are slowly rising,” he said. “Any rise is not good news, but it’s not an exponential rise like in other places.”

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