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Here’s what we know so far regarding the COVID-19 outbreak for Clallam and Jefferson counties, plus regionally, nationally and internationally:
Monday, July 20
• Eighty-five crew members on an American Seafoods ship docked in the Aleutians tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, according to the company.
The American Triumph, a factory trawler, departed Oregon on June 27 and headed to Alaska with 119 crew members to fish for pollock, the company wrote in a statement. Seven crew members reported COVID-19 symptoms two weeks after the ship departed, and they were tested in Unalaska shortly after arriving on Thursday. Six of the seven tested positive.
After testing all the remaining crew members, 79 more workers were found to be positive, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases on the American Triumph to 85, according to a statement from the city.
• Top Republicans in Congress met Monday with President Donald Trump at the White House on the next COVID-19 aid package as the crisis many hoped would have improved has dramatically worsened, just as emergency relief is expiring.
New divisions between the Senate GOP majority and the White House posed fresh challenges. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was prepared to roll out the $1 trillion package in a matter of days. But the administration panned more virus testing money and interjected other priorities that could complicate quick passage.
“It’s not going to magically disappear,” said a somber McConnell, R-Ky., last week during a visit to a hospital in his home state to thank front-line workers.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Monday any attempt by the White House to block testing money “goes beyond ignorance.”
• A daily record of nearly 1,000 coronavirus cases was reported Sunday in Kentucky, a spike that the governor said should be a “wake-up call” for the state’s citizens to abide by mask and social distancing restrictions.
Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear announced in a news release that there were 979 new cases reported Sunday, including 30 involving children 5 years old or younger.
• As the coronavirus pandemic subsides for now in the hard-hit Northeast, public health officials in the region are warning about another potentially bad summer for eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and other insect-borne illnesses.
With more people spending more time outdoors amid the coronavirus pandemic, health officials are also warning about the risk of contracting other insect-borne illnesses.
• As the number of new coronavirus cases continues to rise in Washington and across the country, President Donald Trump said Sunday that many of the cases “shouldn’t even be cases.” He said that case numbers include young people who “have the sniffles and we put it down as a test.”
• In Washington, 920 new cases were recorded Saturday, bringing the total in the state to 46,946 cases. Three more people died from COVID-19, with the total toll reaching 1,447.
• Scientists at Oxford University near London say their experimental coronavirus vaccine has been shown in an early trial to prompt a protective immune response in hundreds of people who got the shot.
British researchers first began testing the vaccine in April in about 1,000 people, half of whom got the experimental vaccine. Such early trials are usually designed only to evaluate safety, but in this case experts were also looking to see what kind of immune response was provoked.
In research published Monday in the journal Lancet, scientists said that they found their experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced a dual immune response in people aged 18 to 55.
• More than 6 million applied for food stamps during the pandemic, growing the program three times faster than in any previous three months.
• Via The Associated Press: What you need to know today about the virus outbreak.
For more local coronavirus stories, click here.
The count of cases and deaths is a moving target, with jurisdictions reporting sometimes-contradictory numbers. Ours might not match what other media are reporting.
• As of 7 a.m. July 20, 809,339 individuals have been tested in Washington state, with 46,946 confirmed cases (meaning the person has the virus) and 1,447 deaths, according to the state Department of Health.
• 1,447 deaths statewide.
• 13,153 cases in King County. 635 deaths.
• 9,125 cases in Yakima County. 195 deaths.
• 4,349 cases in Snohomish County. 181 deaths.
• 3,749 cases in Pierce County. 113 deaths.
• 398 cases in Kitsap County. 3 deaths.
• 50 cases in Jefferson County. 0 deaths.
• 68 cases in Clallam County. 0 deaths.
For other county numbers, visit www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus.
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Washington 211 COVID-19 Call Center. Do you need information or answers to your questions and concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)? You can call 1-800-525-0127 or text 211-211 for help. You can also text the word “Coronavirus” to 211-211 to receive information and updates on your phone wherever you are. You will receive links to the latest information on COVID-19, including county-level updates, and resources for families, businesses, students and more.
Do you need support due to stress from COVID-19? Call Washington Listens, a line that provides nonclinical support to people experiencing elevated stress due to COVID-19. People who call Washington Listens will speak to a support specialist and receive information and connection to community resources in their area. The program is anonymous and no identifying information is maintained. People who staff Washington Listens will receive basic training needed to provide support to individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. To reach Washington Listens, call 1-833-681-0211 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Read the Washington Listens fact sheet.
COVID-19 information & best practices
What is the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, known as SARS-CoV-2, is the virus strain identified in January that causes COVID-19, coronavirus disease, and is spreading from person to person.
While the virus has the potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia in some people, about 80 percent of cases are relatively mild.
• Key symptoms of COVID-19: shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, cough, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.
• In mid-May, the CDC quietly added congestion, runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea as sign of COVID-19.
• Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure.
• Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.
• COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus. We are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about how this virus spreads.
What to do if you’re sick
• If you suspect you have COVID-19, isolate at home during illness. Restrict activities outside of the home except for getting medical care. Call ahead unless you are in crisis.
• Call 360-417-2430, a hotline that provides local information on the infection.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
As a reminder, according to the CDC, here are recommended everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
• The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
For more information on using cloth face coverings and how to make your own, click here.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
• Once home from work, school, running errands, etc., immediately wash your hands.
• Consider purchasing the following supplies: extra fluids and hydrating drinks (Gatorade and Pedialyte); food for when you’re sick (soups, broths, crackers, honey, nonperishable items); pain and fever medications (acetaminophen or ibuprofen); cough drops and cough medications; prescription medications; tissues; household cleaners (bleach, alcohol, soap, disinfecting wipes).
• You should wash your phone, too. Here’s how.