Peninsula COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise as Clallam adds 58 since Nov. 19

Clallam and Jefferson counties added 13 COVID-19 cases combined as the North Olympic Peninsula continued its a recent outbreak.

Clallam added 10 cases Sunday, giving the county 58 new infections since Thursday. The county has had 423 positives since March with 128 active cases. The two-week infection rate was listed at 149 per 100,000, well into the state’s high-risk category, although that figure is expected to be updated today.

Meanwhile, Jefferson County had three more cases Sunday. The county has had 145 positives since March with 25 active cases and an infection rate of 100 per 100,000, although that figure will be recalculated today.

While both counties’ infection rates have increased dramatically, they are still far below the state average, which was 251.9 per 100,000 during the past two weeks, according to the state Department of Health. Spokane County, which has been a problem area for the past several weeks, has an infection rate of 457 per 100,000.

At least three school districts in Jefferson County plan to return to virtual learning beginning next week, while schools in Clallam County may soon follow suit.

Both counties, like much of Washington, are seeing an uptick in cases leading into the Thanksgiving holiday. Kitsap County had 45 new cases Saturday, while King County had 577 and Pierce County 177. Statewide, there were 2,314 new cases Friday, 2,505 on Thursday and 2,215 last Wednesday.

There were 83,845 active cases in Washington on Saturday, compared with 41,086 active cases on Sept. 8, when infections were at their low point in the state.

Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke will talk about recent COVID-19 developments at his weekly update to the board of county commissioners at 9:45 a.m. today.

“We’ll go over the numbers and what’s driving them, and our response plans,” Locke said.

Locke also said he will discuss some worst-case contingencies with commissioners. He said right now the level of contact tracing being done in Jefferson County is within the county’s capacity.

“We haven’t exceeded our contact tracing capability yet. But we need a contingency plan if we do,” he said.

Locke said one development is that, with the crush of new cases statewide, it is taking a little longer for people to get test results back. Those results were taking 24 hours to 36 hours, and now they are taking 48 hours to 72 hours.

Locke’s update can be viewed at www.tinyurl.com/jeffcomeetings. Questions will be taken from listeners on community radio station KPTZ in Port Townsend.

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