Three more COVID-19 cases confirmed on Peninsula

Clallam County reported one new case of COVID-19, dropping what had been a rapidly increasing infection rate in the past two weeks.

The new case, locally transmitted, moved the infection rate to 93 cases per 100,000 population, down from the high point of 97.4 cases per 100,000 on Saturday, county Health Officer Dr. Allison Unthank said.

The rate remained in the state’s high-risk category, which has been defined at 75 or more cases per 100,000 in the past two weeks.

Clallam County has confirmed 186 total cases since the pandemic began in March, with 46 active cases and one fatality.

Jefferson County’s infection rate, while still much lower than Clallam’s, continued to rise with two more cases reported Sunday.

The county, with a relatively low population, has 12 new cases within the past two weeks, giving it a rate of 37.6 per 100,000 in the past weeks, county Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke said.

That rate was 18.8 per 100,000 people on Friday, and Locke said that figure could be higher today.

“This is as expected with the rates in Kitsap and Clallam as high as they have been,” he said.

Jefferson County is still in the low end of the moderate-risk category, which is between 25 and 74 cases per 100,000 over a two-week period.

Jefferson County had 67 total cases, with 15 active and no fatalities.

Locke said another case is being investigated locally, but it involves an out-of-county resident and will not be counted in Jefferson County’s numbers.

The bulk of the new cases on the Peninsula are being traced to private parties and gatherings, Unthank has said.

Locke said it “really underscores the danger of end-of-summer parties.”

Locke said there will be a special Jefferson County Commissioners meeting on Aug. 31, and there will be a COVID-19 briefing. The commissioners typically do not meet on the fifth Monday of the month.

Locke said that while the latest COVID-19 developments on the Peninsula haven’t been good, he plans to focus today on some positives.

“We’re going to highlight all the things we’re doing right,” he said.

“The vast majority of businesses are doing an outstanding job. The success stories happen when everyone in the community has a role and a stake. The failures are when people think it’s just the governor’s or public health departments’ responsibilities.

“I believe we’re halfway through this, if we’re lucky,” Locke added. “There is a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s just not real close at this point.”