County Public Health Report ~ 8/22/22

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.

Cases of Omicron are falling across the US and that’s true for Jefferson as well. Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry today said that our case rate is 463/100,000 with a 13% positivity are, down from last week. Our case ascertainment rate hovers around 40%. Two people who were hospitalized last week have been discharged, however one person is still a patient at Jefferson Healthcare. Dr. Berry said the Port Townsend sewer measurement for COVID-19 is also down by about 15% from last week. “COVID-19 can still be very dangerous and especially if you’re over 65 It’s really important to move forward and get your second booster at this point” she said. “The most important thing any of us can do to protect ourselves and others is to stay up to date in our vaccines, and then also to wear a high quality mask when we’re indoors around others.

Omicron-specific boosters are going to be available a bit earlier than originally scheduled – now as soon as mid-September. It is unknown how much vaccine will be delivered to Jefferson. Dr. Berry said the shot will be prioritized for those at highest risk, particularly those over 65. Public Health will again work with DEM and healthcare colleagues to gear up for vaccination clinics. Plans are currently in development. The vaccination should be available through Jefferson Healthcare and local pharmacies as well.

MPV is not circulating in Jefferson County, but there has been a diagnosed case In Clallam. Reports are that the man did not contract it through sex, but at a dance party through skin-to-skin contact. Contact tracing has taken place. “We know that this virus is disproportionately affecting the gay community but it can affect anyone,” Dr. Berry explained. “It’s just spread through prolonged skin-to-skin contact. If you have any rash that’s atypical for you, particularly a painful one, please do get tested right away.”

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 week’s BOCC meeting (on Tuesday, September 6 due to Labor Day).