Two Clallam County residents were confirmed on Wednesday to have died of COVID-19.
Both the deceased man and woman were in their 80s, vaccinated but not boosted, and both had underlying health conditions with at least one in a long-term-care facility, said Dr. Allison Berry, health officer for Clallam and Jefferson counties.
“This highlights the continued need for folks over the age of 65 to get not only vaccinated but boosted,” Berry said.
About 70 percent of Clallam County residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and of those, nearly 80 percent of adults older than 65 have been fully vaccinated.
“Clallam County has the fourth-highest vaccination rate in the state now, but even with such high rates, we still have folks who are more likely to be adversely affected by COVID-19,” Berry said.
Jefferson County’s rate is even higher, with 76 percent of the total population having been fully vaccinated and 81.4 percent having initiated vaccination.
Berry will discuss the shift from treating COVID-19 as a pandemic to living with it as an endemic disease when she speaks at Friday’s online Chamber Cafe hosted by The Chamber of Jefferson County. As with all Chamber Cafes, there’s no fee to attend the 10 a.m. program, and no membership required, although advance registration is required at jeffcountychamber.org under “Events.”
“COVID is morphing,” the chamber’s invitation reads, so Berry will discuss the changing landscape along with “next steps to the ‘new normal.’”
The new COVID deaths brought Clallam County’s total since the pandemic began to 107.
Jefferson County has not reported any new deaths from COVID-19. Its death toll since the start of the pandemic is 28.
Both counties saw slight increases in cases since Monday with Clallam County reporting six new cases, bringing its total over the past two years from 10,875 to 10,881.
Jefferson County added four new cases since Monday, bringing its total since the pandemic began from 3,130 to 3,134.
The case rate in Clallam County dropped from 132 cases per 100,000 population on Monday to 107 cases per 100,000 on Wednesday.
Jefferson County’s case rate was reported last Friday at 189 cases per 100,000. The county will update its case rate again on Friday.
Case rates are a reflection of cases reported during a two-week period. They are computed using a formula based on 100,000 population even for counties that do not have 100,000 people living in them.
Berry said Jefferson County will move to a twice-weekly COVID-19 update next week, with reports coming on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Two people from each county have recently been hospitalized with COVID-19. All are in hospitals outside the Peninsula with one Clallam County resident in intensive care.
Jefferson County Senior Reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz contributed to this story.