One new COVID-19 case confirmed in Clallam County

One new confirmed case of COVID-19 was discovered in Clallam County on Tuesday

One new confirmed case of COVID-19 was discovered in Clallam County on Tuesday, while both Clallam and Jefferson counties continue to be in the state’s low-risk category.

Clallam County has had 227 confirmed cases since March, while Jefferson County has had 71 confirmed since March, public health data said.

The new case rate in Clallam County rose by one, up to 18 cases per 100,000 population in the past two weeks, thus staying in the state’s low risk-category, said Dr. Allison Unthank, Clallam County health officer.

The case rate in Jefferson County is 3.13 infections per 100,000 residents for the past two weeks, which is in the very low-risk category, said Dr. Tom Locke, Jefferson County health officer.

In addition to the low case numbers, Jefferson County also has less than five people in quarantine. They were all close contacts of previously confirmed cases, Locke said.

There have been 215 residents recovered from COVID-19 in Clallam County and 61 residents in Jefferson County, public health data show.

The newest case in Clallam County is suspected to have been from a workplace exposure in Kitsap County, and while showing symptoms, Unthank said the man is “relatively young and doing just fine; he’s home isolating.”

Both health officers continue to be concerned about the high levels of smoke — very unhealthy to hazardous — that have blanketed the North Olympic Peninsula since Friday.

“In the unhealthy range, we recommend folks limit their time outdoors, and you can return to strenuous exercise, but it does need to be indoors,” Unthank said.

The health officers are cautiously optimistic about avoiding the spike in COVID-19 cases they had anticipated from get-togethers during the Labor Day holiday weekend, but they won’t know until this weekend if either county will see an increase.

“This would be day seven or eight, and usually people who are going to be symptomatic start to get symptomatic like day six to seven,” Locke said. “So far, that’s not occurring and nor have I heard signs of it elsewhere in the state either, but we still have a ways to go.

“But I think if we get through this week and into the weekend without any detectable spike, that can certainly be a good sign.”

If virus transmission stays low, that will open the door for some in-person schooling in Clallam County beginning in early October, Unthank said.

“No Labor Day cases yet, so fingers crossed for that to continue,” Unthank said. “If we can make it through the end of this week without a significant spike, that would be very promising for being able to bring some kids back into schools in October.”