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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:
Friday, July 17
• With infection spreading through social gatherings, Oregon set yet another single-day record on Thursday with 437 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, the Oregon Health Authority reported.
The latest daily tally, the highest since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, raised the state’s case count to 13,509. Two more deaths were reported on Thursday as well, raising Oregon’s death toll from the disease to 249. The dead, both from Malheur County, were a 97-year-old man with underlying medical conditions and a 58-year-old woman whose health conditions are being confirmed.
• Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp sued the city of Atlanta over its face-mask requirement just after President Donald Trump arrived in the city without wearing a mask, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Friday.
In an interview on CBS “This Morning,” Bottoms questioned the timing of the lawsuit filed shortly after Trump’s Wednesday visit to the city, calling the litigation “really odd.”
“I pointed out that Donald Trump violated that order when he landed at our airport and did not wear a mask,” she said.
• A return of stringent coronavirus restrictions in Israel, another daily record of reported cases in Japan’s capital and outbreaks in remote areas such as China’s Xinjiang region underscored Friday the ongoing battle to quash COVID-19 flare-ups as the world’s latest hot spots pushed the confirmed global case tally toward 14 million.
India said the country’s total confirmed cases surpassed 1 million, the third-highest number behind the United States and Brazil, and its death toll reached more than 25,000. That followed Brazil’s announcement Thursday evening that its confirmed cases exceeded 2 million, including 76,000 deaths.
• A new report looking at the impact of opening Washington schools in the fall says that various measures — including masks and physical distancing — may be able to ensure sending students back to the classroom doesn’t increase transmission of the coronavirus, but only if community-wide activity of COVID-19 remains low.
• Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday announced a revised coronavirus restriction, limiting indoor and outdoor social gatherings for counties in the third phase of a four-stage reopening plan to 10, down from 50.
• Clallam County is facing a $2.6 million to $3.6 million revenue shortfall because of COVID-19, Chief Financial Officer Mark Lane told commissioners this week.
• Two more cases of COVID-19 in Clallam County and one in Jefferson County were confirmed, it was announced Thursday, bringing the total number of cases on the North Olympic Peninsula to 118.
• Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is suing Atlanta to block the city from enforcing its mandate to wear a mask in public and other rules related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kemp and Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, in a suit filed in state court late Thursday in Atlanta, argue that Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has overstepped her authority and must obey Kemp’s executive orders under state law.
• Officials across Texas are rushing to mobilize overflow mortuary space as communities brace for a surge in coronavirus deaths following Fourth of July festivities. Already, July has had a succession of record-setting days in terms of new cases, deaths and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 as the pandemic takes hold in the state.
• California recorded its highest number of new cases Tuesday, exceeding 10,000 new cases in one day for the first time, according to The New York Times’ database.
• Unless Congress acts to extend or adjust it, the additional $600 per week in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Program (FPUC) benefits, available under the federal CARES Act, will stop after next week. FPUC is entirely federally funded and available only at federal discretion. As of July 11, the state’s Employment Security Department has distributed $4.4 million in FPUC benefits. Read the full release here, and then visit WorkSourceWA.com for information about local WorkSource offices as well as job listings and resources for job seekers and employers.
• 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 p.m. July 16, 753,174 individuals have been tested in Washington state, with 44,313 confirmed cases (meaning the person has the virus) and 1,427 deaths, according to the state Department of Health.
• 1,427 deaths statewide.
• 12,558 cases in King County. 631 deaths.
• 8,805 cases in Yakima County. 190 deaths.
• 4,181 cases in Snohomish County. 179 deaths.
• 3,486 cases in Pierce County. 108 deaths.
• 345 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.