County Public Health Report ~ 8/09

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, along with Dr. Tom Locke, who has stepped back to serve as Deputy Public Health Office. Also Willie Bence, Director, Director of Emergency Management, gave a report. The summary was provided by and used with the permission of Jefferson County Government.

County Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry said the Jefferson County’s COVID-19 numbers are not looking good; now there’s a case rate of 197/100,000 – the highest numbers reported during the pandemic. She said “Hospital Strain” is real, emphasizing that all healthcare workers should be vaccinated. Berry said this is a critical phase of the pandemic and there is a high risk of overwhelming our healthcare system.

Breakthrough infections represent 10% of the positive cases reported in Jefferson. The cases are mild, and none have transferred to others. Berry said that there is recurring misinformation spread about the vaccine. It does not affect pregnant women or their fetus. “COVID-19 is dangerous on mom and on pregnancy itself,” she said. “If you are thinking of getting pregnant, get vaccinated.” 

Dr. Berry said that a masking requirement is likely in our future given our capacity limitations in indoor spaces. COVID-19 tests are available at Jefferson Healthcare’s drive-through testing station and at Jefferson County Public Health. Test kits are available at local pharmacies and online.  If you feel ill, please get tested.

Given the expected hot weather later this week, Emergency Management Director Willie Bence said that cooling shelters will be open in south county. Information will be available via NIXLE, this county Facebook page, reader boards, and newspapers.  To receive notifications from NIXLE: text jeffcodem to 888777.

Submit your Public Health questions to Dr. Allison Berry 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.