First Clallam resident tests positive for coronavirus

County health officials: Case does not indicate community transmission

Long expected by local health officials, a Clallam County resident has tested positive for the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

Clallam Health and Human Services was notified Wednesday, March 18, that a male resident in his 60s has tested positive

“The individual is home and recovering well,” county health officials said in a press release. “He has cooperated with all self-isolation procedures and worked to keep his community safe during his infectious period.”

According to local health leaders, the individual’s exposures to the virus trace back to time spent in King County.

“We do not believe that this case demonstrates evidence of community transmission in our area,” county health officials said.

To protect the affected individual’s privacy, Clallam Health and Human Services is not releasing additional details about the person “unless it is imperative to protect public health,” officials said.

“We do not have evidence of public exposures at this time,” the department said on March 18. “Clallam Health and Human Services has notified a small group of individuals who were identified as having had close contact with the case. These individuals are being asked to self-quarantine or isolate at home.”

Symptomatic individuals will also be tested for the virus, Clallam health officials said.

“We anticipated we would start to see more cases here and we are. We are very happy to hear that this gentleman is doing well. We recommend all Clallam County residents do what you can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by staying home when you are sick, washing your hands, and practicing social distancing.”

A total of 120 people in Clallam County have been tested for COVID-19 as of March 18; 42 have tested negative, one positive and 77 are pending.

Check Clallam County Coronavirus Information (www.clallam.net/Coronavirus) for updates.

Stay healthy

Clallam Health and Human Services recommends all community members take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses:

* Wash your hands frequently

* Avoid touching your face

* Cough and sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue, then throw away the tissue

* Avoid close contact with people who are sick

* Stay home when you are sick

* Clean and disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces

* Practice social distancing

Feeling sick?

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Most people who have COVID-19 experience mild symptoms, similar to a cold or flu. Some people are at higher risk for serious illness, including:

* People with underlying health conditions

* Older adults

* Pregnant women

Clallam health officials advise those who feel sick should stay home and rest. Those who feel they need medical evaluation or are at high risk for complications should stay home and call a health care provider for guidance.

See the Department of Health’s guidance for people experiencing COVID-19 symptoms at www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus.

COVID-19 testing

COVID-19 tests are in very limited supply. At this point, Clallam County health officials are only testing hospitalized patients, first responders, healthcare workers and patients or staff in long-term care facilities.

“We hope to expand these criteria when we get access to more testing kits,” county health officials said.

Stay informed

Washington State Department of Health COVID-19 Page: www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus

Department of Health COVID-19 Call Center: 1-800-525-0127

Clallam County Corornavirus Information: www.clallam.net/Coronavirus

Clallam County Hotline: 360-417-2430; answered Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

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