To help Sequim- and Clallam County-are residents manage their daily lives during the 2019 novel coronavirus, the Clallam County Emergency Team offers these tips, links, contacts and other helpful information:
• Clallam County is in Phase 2 of Gov. Inslee’s Safe Start Reopening and working on preparing to apply for Phase 3. Safe Start Phased Reopening. As we reopen, it remains imperative to continue to practice social distancing and frequent handwashing. These practices, plus contact tracing by the Health Department, are the best practices for continuing to contain the virus.
• There is significant concern that there is developing a spike in cases nationwide as the country is reopening. Just because we are slowly reopening does not mean that the disease is any less deadly or has gone away. To a very large extent your safety is in your own hands and how you look after your self and follow guidelines can determine how well we all experience reopening. Follow a “Space, Time, People” strategy. Continue to stay 6 feet apart from other people, do not be close to someone for more than 15 minutes and do not gather in groups of more than five people other than close household members.
• Specific business reopening guidance is available from WA State, see WA State Business Guidance (www.governor.wa.gov/issues/issues/covid-19-resources/covid-19-reopening-guidance-businesses-and-workers). There is also some helpful small business guidance from the Safety, Health & Consumer Council at www.safehome.org/resources/small-business-protection-guide.
• Beginning June 8, all employees in the state of Washington are required to wear a cloth mask at work. The general public is not. However, businesses may require customers to wear masks in their stores. Remember that some people and small children should not wear a mask. Employers are required to supply those masks. While not required under this law, it is recommended that all people wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible.
• Clallam County has established Community Points of Distribution (CPODs) for free food. For more information go to clallam.net/coronavirus/doc/CPOD.pdf.
• Donations of masks, gowns and gloves are still very much needed. Cloth masks are still in short supply. Donations will be accepted at the Emergency Operations Center in the basement of the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St., Port Angeles, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Those seeking to deliver items on a Tuesday or Thursday, call 360-417-2483 to schedule a drop off.
• Clallam County has a Community Response Help Line at 833-492-0834; it’s a toll free number that supplements the 2-1-1 assistance number that has been in use for some time.
• Symptoms of COVID-19: The CDC has updated its list of COVID-19 symptoms. The list now includes fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
• COVID-19 Testing: Testing for COVID-19 is available and recommended for anyone with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Currently there is no testing for asymptomatic people. To get tested, call your primary care provider. If you do not have a local primary provider: in Sequim, call 360-582-2930; in Port Angeles, call 360-565-0550; on the West End of Clallam County, call 360-374-6998, x2 between 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday (do not walk in, as you need to call first for instructions).
• The Washington Insurance Commissioner has waved all fees associated with testing for those who are insured. If you are uninsured, go to wahealthplanfinder.org to see if you qualify for free or low-cost health insurance. Testing is available throughout the county and should be covered if you have no insurance.
• Antibody tests can show if you’ve been infected with COVID-19 in the past, but some are more accurate than others. The test developed by the University of Washington is highly accurate and has been shown to not cross-react with other coronaviruses. If you would like to receive antibody testing, your primary care provider is the best place to contact for that service. Most insurance companies do not cover antibody testing at this time. It’s important to know that a positive antibody test does not guarantee that you are immune to COVID-19, so no matter your results, always practice safe physical distancing, wash your hands, and wear a mask when you can’t keep that distance.
• Contact tracing by the Health Department is critical to disease containment. So far this process has prevented at least two potentially large-scale outbreaks in Clallam County.
If you are struggling, reach out to a friend or family member for support. The personal crisis line is available 24/7 at 1-888-910-0416. There is also a 24 hour crisis online chat at www.imhurting.org. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-8255 and is available 24 hours a day.
It is still imperative to maintain physical distancing and continue all the precautions we are accustomed to. Just because are now in the reopening process, now is not the time to stop good hygiene. We know that physical distancing is the most effective method for preventing new infections. For us to be both physically and economically healthy, all of us to must strictly adhere to the mandates issued in Phase 2 Guidelines.
During this time, it is very important to continue to get your regular medical care, fill your prescriptions, and get your vaccinations. If you have a medical emergency, do not hesitate to go to the hospital or emergency room. Our medical facilities have made sure they are safe and ready to take care of you. Please make sure all of your child’s vaccinations are up to date. Call your health care provider or clinic and ask what safety practices they have established for seeing children. Many clinics see children only in the mornings.
Normal cleaning products like soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers and bleach-based cleaners all work well to kill this virus. The Washington Poison Center urges people to be cautious with cleaning products, do not mix cleaning products, as mixing can create hazardous gases. Do not use household cleaning products on food or your skin. Keep these products out of reach of children. Supervise children when using hand sanitizer, as ingestion could lead to alcohol poisoning. Call the Poison Helpline at 800-222-1222 for help with any questions or poison emergencies.
Public access wifi
A link has been posted to public access WiFi sites in Clallam County; his may be most valuable for students needing to access academic work.
Gov. Jay Inslee’s proclamations
1. Governor’s Proclamation on Opening K-12 Schools Phased Reopening of K-12 Schools (June 11, 2020): www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/20.09.2%20COVID19%20Phased%20Reopening%20of%20K12%20Schools.pdf
1. Governor’s Safe Start Washington: A Phased Approach to Recovery (May 4, 2020): www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/SafeStartWA_4May20.pdf?utm_ medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery
2. Governor’s Proclamation on Transition from Stay Home to Safe Start (May 31, 2020): www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/20-25.4%20-%20COVID-19%20Safe%20Start.pdf
3. Governor’s Update Concerning Health of Agricultural Workers Health of Agricultural Workers (May 28, 2020): www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/20-57%20-%20COVID-19%20Concerning%20Agr%20Workers%20Health%20%28tmp%29_0.pdf
4. Governor’s Safe Start Washington: A Phased Approach to Recovery (May 4, 2020): www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/SafeStartWA_4May20.pdf
5. Governor’s Extension to his “Stay Home Stay Healthy” Proclamation (May 4, 2020): www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/20-25.3%20-%20COVID-19%20Stay%20Home%20Stay%20Healthy%20-%20Reopening%20%28tmp%29.pdf
6. Gov. Inslee announces easing of outdoor restrictions (April 28, 2020): medium.com/wagovernor/inslee-announces-easing-of-outdoor-restrictions-8ed2c3d62050
7. Gov. Jay Inslee’s Phase 1 Construction Restart: COVID-19 Job Site Requirements (April 24, 2020): www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/NovelCoronavirusOutbreak2020COVID19/PPEPrioritization
8. Washington State Department of Health updated Guidelines for Allocating PPE (April 10, 2020): www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/NovelCoronavirusOutbreak2020COVID19/PPEPrioritization
9. Governor’s proclamation extending closing of schools (April 6, 2020): www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/20-09.1%20-%20COVID-19%20School%20Closure%20Extension.pdf
10. Governor’s proclamation extending “Stay at Home” Order (April 3, 202): www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/20-25.1%20-%20COVID-19%20-%20Stay%20Home%2C%20Stay%20Healthy%20Extension%20%28tmp%29.pdf
11. Governor’s Updated List of Other Businesses That Qualify as Essential During Washington’s Stay-at-Home Order (March 31, 2020): https://mynorthwest.com/1798058/gov-inslee-essential-business-update-stay-at-home/
12. Governor’s Amendment to Original Proclamation (March 24, 2020): https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/20-25%20Coronovirus%20Stay%20Safe-Stay%20Healthy%20%28tmp%29%20%28002%29.pdf
13. WA Essential Critical Infrastructure (following Governor’s Proclamation), March 23, 2020: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6817901-FINAL-WA-Essential-Critical-Infrastructure.html
14. Governor’s Proclamation (March 23, 2020): www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/20-25%20Coronovirus%20Stay%20Safe-Stay%20Healthy%20%28tmp%29%20%28002%29.pdf
15. Clallam County Emergency Proclamation (March 17, 2020): websrv7.clallam.net/forms/uploads/ci20200318135302.pdf
More COVID-19 information
1. Sequim CPOD Free Food Distribution: Sequim distribution
2. Port Angeles CPOD (Community Point of Distribution) Free Food Distribution, see Fire District 2: Port Angeles distribution
3. New CDC guidance on COVID-19 symptoms (June 5, 2020): New CDC Guidance
4. Clallam County Environmental Health can be reached at at 360-417-2506.
5. Safe Start Phased Reopening: Safe Start
6. Information from the CDC on keeping your pets healthy during COVID-19
7. Business reopening guidance from State of Washington:
11. Workplace and employer resource, recommendations from the Washington Department of Health
12. From the Governor’s Office a Phase 1 – Higher Education and Critical Infrastructure Workforce Training Restart COVID-19 Requirements Link
14. Department of Health COVID-19: DOH COVID-19 Page
15. Center for Disease Control and Prevention
16. King County Information: King County COVID-19 Information
17. World Health Organization: Novel Coronavirus 2019
18. Harvard Medical School’s coronavirus answers
23. Link to Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department religious observance advisory
24. Small Business Administration (SBA)
26. Public health recommendations for bleach dilution
27. University of WA study on predicted peak COVID-19 Peak Infection Data
28. Salish Regional Toll-Free Crisis Line that serves Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap counties
29. Washington State Prioritization Guidelines for Allocation of PPE
32. National Institute of Health (NIH) study on length of time the COVID-19 virus may remain on surfaces
33. COVID-19 Federal Resource Matrix for Rural Communities
36. WHO recommendations for wearing masks.
38. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) guidance to the public transportation industry
39. Washington Connection: for families and individuals to apply for a variety of services such as Food, Cash, Child care, Long-Term Care and Medicare Savings Programs
40. Information from the FDA regarding current COVID-19 Antibody testing
42. Seniors needing help with meals
44. Public Health Seattle King County’s blog, Public Health Insider
45. Guide to Responsible Recreation: Healthy Recreation Informational Poster