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County Public Health Report ~ 8/01/22

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 and used with the permission of Jefferson County Government.

During today’s Commissions meeting, County Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry said Jefferson County COVID-19 case rates are down this week compared to last. Jefferson has a case rate of 690/100,000 and a relatively high percent positivity rate of 17%. One person is hospitalized. Dr. Berry again recommended wearing a high-quality mask in indoor settings to reduce transmission and to get fully vaccinated and boosted – that’s three doses for anyone under 65 and four doses for everyone over 65 and those who are immunosuppressed. Covid tests are sold over the counter at major pharmacies; they are free at Public Health. Tests also are available through the libraries, south County fire stations and the Bookmobile. You may also order them: sayyescovidtest.org. Tests are good for 18 months from time of manufacture. Dr. Berry said they probably last longer than that if stored at room temperature. Masks are good as long as they fit your face. If the elastic becomes stretched and the fit is not tight, or if it becomes soiled, then it’s time for a fresh one.

Monkeypox is in Washington State. There have been 118 cases; in Kitsap County, there were two cases diagnosed last week. The virus is spread through contact – close skin contact that is prolonged with another person. Monkeypox presents as a rash that’s atypical for you. It can appear anywhere on your body and it’s generally quite painful with raised red bumps that eventually scab over and look like chickenpox, shingles, and herpes. If you believe you’ve been exposed, contact your healthcare provider. There is limited availability of vaccine. For the general population, the total risk of Monkeypox is low. Safe practices like limiting sexual partners, using protection, and avoiding very crowded, close-in person contact keeps the risk relatively low.

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.