County Public Health Report ~ 8/07/23

The following is a recording 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.

The most recent monthly COVID dashboard report on The Jefferson County Public Health website, dated July 19, said there were 2.4 billion copies of the SARS-COVID-2 gene per person, per day in Port Townsend wastewater. That data indicated an upward trend in the presence of COVID-19 in our community as KPTZ News reported last week. Since that time, however those numbers have fallen off, which brings us to the Board of County Commissioners meeting yesterday, August 7 and reports from Director of Emergency Management Willie Bence and Public Health Officer for Jefferson and Clallam Counties, Dr. Allison Berry.

Dr. Berry, of course had the latest COVID-19 numbers and information about vaccines available in the fall for anyone over 60 and they include the flu vaccine, a COVID-19 XBB booster which covers most of the current Omicron variants and a new vaccine for RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus.) There was one COVID-19 death in Jefferson County this past month of a patient in their 90s who was not vaccinated. That brings the death count here to 40. She went on to answer listener questions including one about Vaccines and Mammography, and pointed out that vaccines can cause lymph nodes in the armpits to enlarge. She assured everyone that Radiologists have been acutely aware that this normal immune response can show up in mammograms and the pandemic has brought this issue into focus. If you can time the vaccinations and the mammograms a few weeks apart, that’s great, but if you cannot, go ahead and do both when you can. She stressed that both are very important.