The following is a summary of the presentation during the Public Health briefings at this week’s Board of County Commissioners meeting made by Jefferson and Clallam County Public Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry. Also Willie Bence, Director of Emergency Management, gave a report. The summary below was provided by Jim Burke, producer of KPTZ’s Tuesday’s Local News.
Dr. Berry said the national COVID-19 trends are mixed. Cases and hospitalizations are declining, but over 400 people are still dying every day across the US. The Northeast and the West coast are starting to see another rise in cases, and this includes Washington State where cases are up 11% overall, but especially among older patients in long-term care who are getting sick and being hospitalized due to COVID-19, on the east side of the state where vaccination, even in those facilities, is less common.
In Jefferson County, the two-week COVID-19 case rate is 460 per hundred thousand, a definite rise from last week and that keeps Jeffco in the high category. No one is currently hospitalized. 108 new cases were added this week for a total of 5,961 cases. Jefferson County’s total count of COVID-19-related deaths is still 31. Dr. Berry says the rise in cases is being driven by a rise in cases in schools at this point.
In Clallam County the two-week COVID-19 case-rate is 170 per hundred thousand, 59 new cases for a total of 15,636 cases since the pandemic began. 2 people are hospitalized at this time. Clallam County’s total count of COVID-19-related deaths is still 124. There has been only one detected case of MPV in Clallam County.
Everyone 12 and over who has had a booster shot more than two months ago is now eligible for the bivalent booster shot, and Dr. Berry says there is now ample supply. So now, even if you are not in a high-risk group you can and should seek out the bivalent booster.
Commissioner Eisenhour asked Dr. Berry what will happen on October 31, when the COVID-19 emergency declaration ends. Funding for Dr. Berry’s work will decrease dramatically, so in November the frequency of Public Health Briefings will go to once a month. If you have any lingering COVID-19 or monkeypox or any other public-health-related questions for Dr. Berry, you might want to send them in over the next four weeks.
Submit your Public Health questions to Dr. Allison Berry and to Willie Bence by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: The weekly deadline for these to be submitted is on Fridays at noon, to be answered at the following Monday’s BOCC meeting.