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.
Note: Due to the legal holiday this coming Monday, the next BOCC meeting is rescheduled to Tuesday, July 6, at the same time, 9:45 am. The following week, July 12’s meeting will resume on Monday morning.
According to County Health Officer Dr.Tom Locke, in Jefferson County, 67% have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine while 64% are fully vaccinated. That’s the second highest rate for a fully vaccinated population in the state, second only to San Juan County. In the 12-and-over-eligible population, 73% have had at least one dose and 69% are fully vaccinated.
COVID-19 restrictions imposed by Governor Jay Inslee are coming to an end this Wednesday. Retail establishments will not require a mask for entry. However, unvaccinated individuals still are required to wear masks indoors for their own protection, given the more transmissible variants that now predominate.
Vaccinated people and those under 5 years old are not required to mask, however they should still wear masks indoors in crowded settings. Anyone who is immune suppressed, taking immune-suppressing medications, who is on cancer chemotherapy, or who has had a cancer that affects their immune system should speak with there physician. Look to the Public Health Webpage for messaging around these changing guidelines.
Emergency Management Director Willie Bence said because of the decreased demand for vaccinations, COVID-19 pop-up clinics are being wrapped up for the time being. Local pharmacies and Jefferson Healthcare Express Clinic will continue to offer vaccines. The County has a good supply of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson on hand. The community masking program will stand down, too. Community volunteers have distributed masks to community groups, grocery stores, and local businesses free of charge since the beginning of the pandemic. The Department of Emergency Management Call Center (360-344-9791) will remain open but will not be staffed completely during business hours. Questions requiring an immediate need can be fielded by the Nurse Consult Line at Jefferson Healthcare at 360-344-3094.