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County Public Health Report ~ 6/21/22

The following is a summary of the presentation during the Public Health briefings at this Tuesday’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 and used with the permission of Jefferson County Government.

Jefferson County Public Health is streamlining its COVID-19 case data reporting as it transitions from an emergency response to a more sustainable and long-term approach to monitoring the virus. “Our public health nurses continue to spend many hours, including on weekends, compiling data in order to keep up with daily COVID-19 reporting,” said Dr. Allison Berry, Health Officer for Jefferson and Clallam Counties. “Our job is to give people the information they need in order to assess their own risks and make informed choices about how to stay healthier. At this stage of the pandemic, I believe transitioning to once-a-week reporting will provide the public with that information, while allowing our nurses to return more attention to our other public health programs.”

The first-ever weekly report is expected to publish on Monday, June 27 and appear every subsequent Monday. The weekly reported data will include the two-week case rate; the number of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths as well as all-time totals; a percent positivity of tests performed at Jefferson Healthcare; a bar chart showing hospitalizations by age and vaccination status. Jefferson County Public Health’s nurses have issued a COVID-19 report Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, since March 2020. Today, some of that data is no longer helpful when determining risk factors. For example, there is little evidence a person’s sex influences their risk of being infected with COVID-19. So, cases among those identified as female and those identified as male will no longer be included in the report. In addition to shifting to weekly reporting, data will now appear on a dashboard designed with new data presentation software. The public will be able to view and interact with a line graph of case rates over time. Hovering over certain data will reveal more information about how that data was collected. Jefferson County Public Health values input from members of the public. Anyone with questions or comments may send an email to [email protected].

Submit your Public Health questions to Dr. Allison Berry and Willie Bence by emailing [email protected]. Note: The weekly deadline for these to be submitted is on Fridays at noon, to be answered at the following Monday’s BOCC meeting.