County Public Health Report ~ 6/05/23

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. The summary below was provided by Jim Burke, producer of KPTZ’s Tuesday’s Local News.

On the COVID-19 front, Dr. Berry said there is less and less data available to track the extent to which COVID-19 is still present across the country, in Washington State, and in Jefferson County. Wastewater surveillance is possible in Port Townsend because of the sewer system and water treatment, but other areas of Jefferson County that are on septic systems provide no data. She said that hospitalizations are down across the US by 8%, but oddly deaths are up by 7%. In Washington all indicators are trending downward. There were 3 hospitalizations in Jefferson County over the last month and 2 new deaths to report: One patient was in their 90s and the other in their 50s, but both had underlying health conditions and were unvaccinated. She stressed that the outbreaks which are still occurring are among children, who are the least vaccinated group now, and also have many more opportunities for exposure to COVID-19. She recommends getting kids up to date on the vaccinations and, if your child is sick, to test them for COVID-19 and of course, keep them home. Previous infections are waning as protection from future illness, so she recommends everyone get up to date on vaccinations. In Clallam County there were no new deaths in May and just 2 hospitalizations due to COVID-19. Click here to see the Washington Department of Health COVID-19 data dashboard.

Health Reports to the BOCC will continue once a month, so listeners can send in questions to by noon on the last Friday of the month, June 30. (Please note that, as July 3 is a Monday, there might not be a County Commissioners meeting then.)