With exposures or positive tests, nearly 100 hospital workers kept home

A total of 98 hospital employees have been precluded from work at North Olympic Peninsula facilities, health officials said.

Seventy-five employees at Olympic Medical Center and at least 23 employees at Jefferson Healthcare were out of work Monday due to exposure or testing positive for COVID-19, the agencies reported.

COVID case numbers in Clallam and Jefferson counties weren’t updated on Monday due to office closures in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but both reported COVID-19 hospitalizations.

There were 13 patients at OMC with COVID-19 — 11 unvaccinated — and four were in the intensive care unit (ICU). Jefferson Healthcare admitted two patients with COVID-19 over the weekend, and one was moved to the ICU. Their vaccination status was not available at press time.

Meanwhile, Olympic Medical Center made operational changes to its Front Street testing site while prioritizing testing for OMC Employees.

Patients who are seeking a COVID-19 test for symptoms, exposure, pre-operation or travel should use the Front Street Clinic, located at 901 E. Front Street in Port Angeles, said Ryan Hueter of OMC communications.

The clinic is open from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.

“In an effort to reduce wait times at the Front Street Clinic, patients can now complete intake forms for both vaccination and testing at home,” Hueter said.

Both forms are available in pdf form at olympicmedical.org/covid-services.

Asymptomatic patients seeking testing at the Front Street Clinic can go inside the clinic while symptomatic patients are required to use the drive-through.

Additionally, walk-in Clinics in Port Angeles and Sequim will no longer offer standalone COVID-19 tests, and the testing site at 1031 Caroline St. is reserved for testing of OMC employees.

“If patients need to seek care at the walk-in clinic for COVID-related issues, they will see a provider and be evaluated; a provider visit will be billed,” Hueter said.

Amy Yalen, the director of communications for Jefferson Healthcare, said people who have been exposed in the last five days and those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days should plan to avoid routine medical appointments to decrease the risk of infection to others.

“We would like to remind our community to reserve the Emergency Room and Express Clinic for those who require immediate medical attention,” Yaley said.

The hospital continues to offer PCR testing for patients who are symptomatic but do not require immediate medical attention. The tests have a result turnaround time of 72 to 96 hours.