County Public Health Report ~ 6/21

The following is a summary of the presentation made by Dr. Tom Locke, our local Public Health Officer and Willie Bence, Director, EOC, Jefferson County, during the Public Health briefings at this week’s Board of County Commissioners(BOCC) meeting.

County Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke told the Commissioners today that Jefferson County’s infection rate has risen, with 22 cases reported in the last two weeks. Clusters of unvaccinated, unmasked people in indoor gatherings were affected. Locke said these unmasked indoor gatherings are going to be “a pattern throughout the summer. When unvaccinated people get together, especially in indoor spaces, they should be reminded that they still are required by a secretary of health order to wear a mask in those settings. But whether they’ll actually do it or not is an open question.” Vaccination rates in Jefferson County are still among the highest in the state. Of those eligible for the vaccine 12 and older, 72.3% have had at least one dose and almost 69% are fully vaccinated. Among those 65 and older, 86% are fully vaccinated. Locke explained that the Gamma variant – the Brazilian variant – is now prevalent in the state and seems to be linked to outbreaks in British Columbia where it is active.

Director of Emergency Management Willie Bence announced three pop-up vaccination possibilities this week: 
– Wednesday: Tri-Area Food Bank – 9:30am to 2pm – Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – by appointment or walk-in. 
– Friday: Sunrise Coffee in Boat Haven – 3-7pm – Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – by appointment or walk-in.
– Saturday: Jefferson County Farmers Market – 10am-1pm – Johnson & Johnson. 

To make an appointment, call 360-344-9791 or visit the Public Health Webpage. Vaccinations also are available at local pharmacies, Jefferson Healthcare through the Express Clinic, and thorough your local physician. 

Bence said DEM has plans to continue these vaccination efforts through the end of July. He reported that the vaccination effort by DEM was buoyed by the help of hundreds of volunteers who have logged more than 250,000 hours, equating to $200,000 worth of monetary value through the end of June.