Coastal Café

Beach Tours During the Time of COVID-19

(First airdate: October 14, 2020) The Pacific Northwest has a long history of offering educational beach walking tours on its beaches and along its shores, where families and naturalists alike learn about the wonders of our sea life. Marine Ecologist, Jeff Adams, with the University of Washington and Washington Sea Grant, works on a wide range of aquatic and watershed issues with colleagues from Washington State University and numerous other partnerships and particularly Jeff develops beach naturalist and watershed stewardship programs. Learn how Jeff and his colleagues continued their work and adapted beach tours during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Chaos, Coffee and Covid – Recovery Cafe

(Airdate: September 1, 2020) Catching up with Recovery Cafe manager Brian Richardson and volunteer extraordinaire Tom Young, we learn how a non-profit in the midst of opening with hopes to provide a vital service stays the course during our Pandemic. Consider the progress and promise of this community space with Missy Nielsen of Everybody Can.

Habitat for Humanity During COVID-19

(Airdate: July 21, 2020) The critical need for housing that has been laid bare by the Coronavirus. Permanent, affordable, healthy and low cost housing is  urgently needed. Jefferson County Habitat for Humanity offers that opportunity. Executive Director Jamie Maciejewski speaks with Missy Nielsen of Everybody Can to catch us up on how this organization is doing.

#155 Kelly Barlow, No Hands on in the Time of COVID

(Airdate: June 30, 2020) NO HANDS ON IN THE TIME OF COVID. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews massage therapist, Kelly Barlow, owner of one of the many local businesses that was forced to shut down during the COVID-19 crisis. Kelly had zero income for almost three months. She spent down her savings and tried (mostly without success) to find her way through the thicket of regulations to get federal or state aid. She’s now back with a very limited and thoroughly sanitized operation. By definition, massage is a hands-on profession. So Kelly’s also begun studying to expand her skill set. She was once in the catering business. Now she’s taking courses in nutrition, planning perhaps for a career expansion into nutritional consulting.

Stepping Up in the Midst of COVID Chaos

(First airdate: June 9, 2020) During this time of Covid Chaos and social distancing, folks have found creative ways to support and respond to the needs of others. Continuing our “Stepping Up” series Missy Nielsen of Everybody Can speaks to a couple of folks who stepped up. Fred Hammerquist, an avid outdoorsman and national park advocate for the Washington National Park Fund, managed to shake his cabin fever while serving his community. Joy Winfrey leans into her quilting skills, launching a mask-making challenge. Please join us to discover the micro-moments that are the building blocks of caring communities such as ours.

Special City & County Meeting on COVID-19 ~ 5/19

On Tuesday, May 19, KPTZ aired a joint COVID-19 emergency situation meeting. Jefferson County Commissioners, Port Commissioners, County Board of Health, and Port Townsend City Council convened together to address the option of applying for a variance for Jefferson County to move sooner to the governor’s Safe Start Phase-2 reopening activities. Our elected leaders reviewed public comments and heard from representatives of some of the different sectors.  

In addition to hearing from Dr. Tom Locke of Jefferson County Public Health Officer, featured speakers included Brian Kuh of EDC Team Jefferson, Arlene Alen of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, Debbie Williams and Frank Redmon of the North Hood Canal Chamber of Commerce, and Dave Robison of the Fort Worden Public Development Authority. This meeting was preparatory to the BOCC vote this Friday on whether to accept Public Health recommendations for the Washington Safe Start, Phase 2 options.

Joint Meeting 5/19/20, Part 1
Joint Meeting 5/19/20, Part 2
Joint Meeting 5/19/20, Part 3

Special City & County Meeting on COVID-19 Audio – 5/07

On Thursday, May 7, KPTZ aired a joint COVID-19 emergency situation meeting. Jefferson County Commissioners, County Board of Health, Port Townsend City Council convened together to address the option of applying for a variance for Jefferson County to move sooner to the governor’s Safe Start Phase-2 reopening activities.

Featured speakers were Dr. Tom Locke of Jefferson County Public Health Officer, Willie Bence, Director of Jefferson County’s Emergency Operations Center and Mike Glenn, CEO of Jefferson Healthcare. Dr. Locke discussed the attributes of Inslee’s Phase-2 plan, to be determined by our elected leaders. The next step will be a special County Public Health meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 14.

Joint Meeting 5/07/20, part 1
Joint Meeting 5/07/20, part 2
Joint Meeting 5/07/20, part 3

COVID-19 Local Information

Submit your Public Health questions to Dr. Tom Locke by emailing

State of Washington Thanks You
Tarboo Lake Covid Testing Needed
Covid JeffCo Pats on Our Backs
Masks and Shields
Masks Are Effective – Coughing
Jeff Co Public Health/Covid-19 Testing
Hand Washing
Top 10 Reasons to Wear a Mask
Washington Listens Call Line
Reopening / Your Behavior
Safe Reopening
Safer Reopening / Testing
Testing Caregivers
Dept. Emergency Mgt. – Mask Fabric
Masks for You
EOC Masks #1
Masks for You
Dr. Locke / Support Local Restaurants
COVID-19 Transmission Fact #1
COVID-19 Transmission Fact #2
COVID-19 Transmission Fact #3
Dr. Tom Locke / Mid-May
Face Masks Q&A
N95 / Surgical Masks
Don’t Call 911 to Report “Stay at Home” Violations
Don’t Flush Wipes
COVID-19 Mask Guidelines
Grocery Shopping
Stay Home

State of Washington Thanks You

The State of Washington would like to thank everyone for helping stop the spread of COVID-19:
– By wearing a mask, even when you’re outside.
– By keeping six feet apart, even when everyone you’re with feels healthy.
– And by keeping gatherings small, even if you’re just with close family or friends.
Together we can keep ourselves and our communities safe.
More information about stopping the spread of COVID-19 at

Tarboo Lake Covid Testing Needed

Friday, August 21. This is an urgent announcement from the Jefferson County Health Department:
Anyone who went to Tarboo Lake on Saturday, August 15 or Sunday, August 16 needs to get a COVID-19 test. Call your medical provider or the COVID testing clinic at 360-344-3094.
A Covid case reported earlier this week has been associated with a gathering at Tarboo Lake. Another case reported Thursday may also be related. The Health Department has so far identified 23 contacts to this incident and needs to reach all these people for them to quarantine.
Jefferson County continues to rise in COVID-19 cases. At large gatherings, people need to follow the mask and distance guidelines. Two cases were added on Thursday, August 20, bringing our total to 64.

Covid JeffCo Pats on Our Backs

Hi, Phil Andrus here, host of Cats in Our Laps. In 1977 when I decided to stake my future in Jefferson County, I was drawn by the physical beauty of the Peninsula, the nearby mountains and the sea, but also by the people I would meet, their openness and their sense of shared destiny. 

Now we’re living in the fateful year 2020, the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, and it is those very same values that sustain us, that make us a model of adaptation to a vicious virus. The mountains and the sea give us respite from the constantly dismal national statistics, and each other. Our friendliness and our sense of shared destiny keep masks on our smiling faces and distance where we would rather hugs would be. 

We are behaving ourselves so wonderfully well, we owe each other, all of us, even the skeptics, and especially our healthcare professionals, a resounding Thank You. How very lucky we are to be here, and to have KPTZ on our radios at 91.9.

Masks and Shields

This is Dr. Tom Locke, Jefferson County health officer.
To address the COVID-19 pandemic, Washington has a state-wide “no mask, no service” order.
This prohibits businesses from serving customers unless they are wearing masks.
If you are one of those few people who has a medical exemption to masking, you must refrain from entering businesses. Instead, you’ll have to arrange for curbside pickup, delivery, or have someone else – with a mask – do your shopping for you.
Please note a mask has to cover your mouth and your nose to be effective. Worn properly, masks can prevent 95% of transmissions.
A plastic face shield can give you additional protection, but does not protect anyone else. If you choose to wear a face shield, you must also wear a mask to protect other people from infection.
Masks are required in outdoor locations when social distancing cannot be maintained, and in all indoor public spaces. Thank you.

Masks Are Effective ~ Coughing

To stop the spread of COVID-19, cloth face masks protect others when you talk, cough or sneeze.
A mask is effective only when both your nose and mouth are covered.
Once your mask is in place, don’t touch! Keep it clean ~ wash it with soapy hot water, and heat-dry it.
Our Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke agrees with the CDC: cloth masks are effective to help stop the virus. Face shields are not recommended.
Be Safe, and Mask up, Jefferson!

Jeff Co Public Health/Covid-19 Testing

Coronavirus symptoms, even when mild, are unique to each person. And fever is a common factor, says Jefferson County Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke. Other symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and loss of taste or smell. See more at the webpage: jefferson (dot) wa (dot) u s. When exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or after coming in contact with someone who has the virus, you are encouraged to contact Jefferson Healthcare in Port Townsend and ask for a test. Jefferson Healthcare’s dedicated Nurse Consult Line is staffed seven days a week, 8am to 5pm: 360-344-3094.

Hand Washing

This Larry Stein from KPTZ. I’m in Seattle for awhile during this social distancing period. But wherever we are, we all have to wash our hands. I’ve found a silver lining – it’s how darn clean my hands feel. I really like the World Health Organization’s guidelines for washing your hands. You put the soap on and you scrub your hands before you put much water on them. You lather your hands, scrub the nails of one hand on the palm of the other hand. They give that wonderful technique where you wrap a hand around your thumb and scrub your thumb. You interlace your fingers from the bottom and then from the top to get in between your fingers really good. You do this all for twenty, thirty, forty seconds. Then you rinse it. Wow! It feels so good. I think after all this is over, my hands will be a lot cleaner. 

Top 10 Reasons to Wear a Mask

10. Kids can go back to school. Wear a mask and keep all kids healthy.
9. Small businesses can stay open. With more people out and about, wearing a face covering protects our economy.
8. Be a leader in the community. Demonstrate how to take care of others.
7. It’s rude to make other people sick. With a new virus that can be spread to others when we talk or breathe, cover your face to keep your germs to yourself!
6. Show essential workers they’re appreciated. Protect their health by covering your face.
5. Express yourself. Use your mask to uphold your freedom of speech.
4. Leaving home to go out. To see friends and family, or get your hair cut, keep everyone healthy.
3. Support your cause. Many nonprofits benefit from your purchase of a mask.
2. Save money on make up. Or cover a blemish. Whatever good reasons!
1. It literally saves lives. Fewer people will get sick if we all wear our masks.
Be a good neighbor! And, thank you.

Washington Listens Call Line

(30-second PSA) The Washington Listens program supports anyone in Washington experiencing stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or any of the events that have occurred because of it. The Washington Listens call line offers support services to help people deal with their stress from the outbreak and build recovery. Call 833-681-0211 Monday through Friday 9am to 9pm and weekends from 9am to 6pm. The number again, is 833-681-0211. Washington Listens!

(60-second PSA) The Washington Listens program supports everyone in our state, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. All services are anonymous, and available to any state resident ~ everyone in Washington ~ for children and youth to older adults.

Through the Washington Listens call line, support services are available to help people deal with their stress from the outbreak and build recovery. This includes providing someone to talk to, groups to help work through the stress together, resources to self-manage, and connection to resources.

The Washington Listens support line at 833-681-0211 is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 9pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 6pm. Washington Listens is available to anyone in Washington to speak to a support specialist. The number again, is 833-681-0211. Washington Listens!

Reopening / Your Behavior

Public Health professionals have given us tools and guidance on strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Taking these measures keeps us safer. If the level of community participation in these recommended practices is not giving you the protection from infection that you seek, you can still limit your public interactions to reduce your participation in more public settings.

Safe Reopening

The progression for safely reopening our local economy calls on us to willingly take healthy measures of mask wearing, sanitation, and physical distancing.

Individuals over age 65 are encouraged to remain at home until Phase 4 of the Governor’s orders, especially those with underlying health conditions. Wearing a mask and distancing are safe practices for essential shopping trips, appointments, and outdoor activities.

Safer Reopening / Testing

If you expose yourself to a high risk setting, your responsibility is to then quarantine. If you do actually have an infection, entering back into the public could spread the virus.

When you quarantine for 14 days to wait for onset of symptoms, this reduces transmission of infection, should you progress to disease.

Accuracy of COVID-19 test results is dependent on timing.
If tested before there’s enough circulating virus to be detected, may give a false negative result.

Dr. Locke, Jefferson County’s Public Health Officer, recommends waiting to be tested until onset of symptoms ~ from the list, including fever or chills, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, or nausea.

The health of our entire community depends on each of us, playing our part.

Testing Caregivers

Symptoms get you access to COVID-19 testing, rather than your participation in high-risk exposure settings. So reviewing the CDC symptom list is the guide for knowing when to be tested.

The exception to this involves caregivers of high-risk persons, who may develop life-threatening conditions if their caretaker has asymptomatic or symptomatic infection. The caregiver needs to include this information in any interaction with a health care provider.

Dept. Emergency Mgt. – Mask Fabric

Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management is asking for donations for masks, also gift cards for JoAnn Fabrics.
Those wishing to donate funds or gift cards can mail them to:
..Department of Emergency Management
..81 Elkins Road
..Port Hadlock, 98339
To donate fabric that can be made into masks, please contact Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management office to make arrangements.

EOC Masks #1

The most protective measures to stop the spread of new infections during this pandemic are to wash our hands, stay at least 6 feet away from others, and wear a face cover.
Since face masks are a new thing, many of us have scrambled to find them.
Face Masks Challenge Port Townsend is a community of seamstresses who volunteer to make cloth masks according to guidelines from our local Emergency Operations Center.
Listen to KPTZ for info on where you can find these. And, stay well!

Masks for You

This is for you!

First of all, I wear a mask in public ~ not for ME, but for YOU.

I know I could be asymptomatic ~ and still give you the virus.

No, I don’t “live in fear of the virus.” I just want to be part of the solution, not the problem.

I don’t feel like the “government is controlling me,” I feel like I am contributing to our community.

Wearing a mask doesn’t make me weak, scared, stupid or even “controlled.” It makes me considerate.

The world doesn’t revolve around me. It’s not all about me and my comfort.

If we all could live with other people in mind, this whole world would be a much better place.

This is for you.

Dr. Locke / Support Local Restaurants

Jefferson County Public Health Officer Dr Tom Locke spoke at the recent City and County COVID-19 emergency situation joint meeting and stated: “I really do support organized efforts to encourage greater use of takeout and keep our restaurants alive. If you want those restaurants to be here when this is all over, you have to support them now and through this entire process.”

In a recent KPTZ Compass interview Dr. Locke added the following:
“That’s going to be a push of ours in the weeks ahead, just trying to save restaurants. We’ve got to get people to commit to doing a certain amount of take-out every week.” KPTZ joins with Dr. Locke in encouraging all of us to support local restaurants.

COVID-19 Transmission Fact #1

When an infected person coughs or sneezes, this means two hundred million viral particles are released. Some of the virus hangs in the air, some falls onto surfaces, most fall to the ground.

When you’re facing another person, having a conversation, if that person sneezes or coughs straight at you, it’s pretty easy to see how possible it is to inhale a thousand virus particles and become infected.

Remember: The Likelihood of Infection equals Exposure to Virus, multiplied by Length of Time.

Information from Dr. Erin Bromage: “The Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them” 

COVID-19 Transmission Fact #2

When an infected person coughs or sneezes, even if not directed at you, some infected droplets – the smallest of small – can hang in the air for a few minutes, filling every corner of a modest sized room with infectious viral particles.

Then, if you enter that room within minutes after the cough or sneeze, and take a few breaths, you potentially will have received enough virus to cause an infection.

Remember – The Likelihood of Infection equals Exposure to Virus, multiplied by Length of Time.

Information from Dr. Erin Bromage: “The Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them” 

COVID-19 Transmission Fact #3

One single cough releases about three thousand droplets, and the droplets travel at fifty miles per hour. Most droplets are large, and fall quickly, but many stay in the air and can travel across a room in seconds. One sneeze alone releases about thirty thousand droplets, with these droplets traveling at up to two hundred miles per hour. Most droplets are small and travel great distances, easily reaching across a room.

Remember- The Likelihood of Infection equals Exposure to Virus, multiplied by Length of Time.

Information from Dr. Erin Bromage: “The Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them” 

Dr. Tom Locke / Mid-May

This is Dr. Tom Locke, Jefferson County Health Officer. In the past month we have seen a dramatic decrease in COVID-19 cases in Jefferson County. This tells us that physical distancing works, and enough people are doing it to make a real difference.

It’s important to remember that we are still in the very early stages of this pandemic. Until there is a vaccine or effective antiviral medications, social distancing is the best tool we have for protecting ourselves and the vulnerable members of the community. That means restricting travel, keeping six feet apart in public, and when we can, wearing masks.

We need to wash our hands frequently, cover our coughs and, very importantly, stay home if you are sick. If you think you may have symptoms of COVID-19 please call the Jefferson Healthcare hotline at 360-344-3094.

Face Masks Q&A

Here are some Questions and Answers about wearing masks.

Q: Should healthy people wear a mask?
A: The Centers for Disease Control recommends wearing a cloth mask when out in public and not within social distance guidelines. Children age 2 and younger should not wear face covers.

Q: Why wear a mask?                                                             
A: It helps protect those around you. Evidence shows that COVID-19 can spread by just talking or breathing, even when you seem healthy. 

Q: What type of mask is best?
A: Wearing a cloth mask to cover your nose and mouth. Ideally, masks should have at least two layers of a tightly woven fabric that’s breathable and washable, like cotton. If you don’t have a mask, you can also use a bandana or scarf as a face covering. 

Q: What’s the best way to wear a mask?
A: Before putting on your mask, wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer. With clean hands, cover your nose and mouth with the mask and secure it, making sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask. It’s important not to touch the front of your mask.

Q: How can you clean a used mask?
A: Cloth masks or face coverings should be washed after each use. Clean them using hot, soapy water — either by hand or in a washing machine — then on a hot cycle in the dryer. Disposable masks should not be used more than once.

N95 / Surgical Masks

New federal guidelines regarding masks stresses that N-95 respirators and surgical masks must be prioritized for use by healthcare workers and first responders. These types of filter masks are life-saving protection for staff who perform intubations and other procedures that generate infectious sprays. Without them, our front line workers face increased risk.   

If you have filter barriers, unused N95 respirators or surgical masks, and you want to protect our front line staff, you can donate them. There are dropoff stations around town, including at both libraries. Thank you!

Don’t Call 911 to Report “Stay at Home” Violations

To address the Coronavirus, Governor Jay Inslee has issued the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, closing nonessential businesses and prohibiting both public and private gatherings.

For more information about the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, go to, where you can also find additional resources for addressing the coronavirus.

You’re asked NOT to call 9-1-1 to report suspected violations of Stay Home, Stay Healthy. Please remember that our 911 system is for emergency calls only. Only call 9-1-1 to report a medical emergency, a fire, a crime in progress, or other life-threatening situations.

For additional information about the CoVid-19 situation please visit the Washington State Department of Health website.

Don’t Flush Wipes

The City of Port Townsend’s Wastewater Operations Manager reminds people not to flush any sanitizing or baby wipes down the toilet. 

Including the wipes that say ‘flushable’ on the label. Only toilet paper down the toilet.

The wipes do not break down and instead can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to the city’s collection system and treatment plant equipment.

No wipes of any kind or paper towels should be flushed. Instead, throw them in the trash.

COVID-19 Mask Guidelines

In an epidemic as fast moving as Covid-19, it’s not surprising that new information from scientists means current guidelines need adjustments. Federal health officials recently announced their efforts to update guidelines on wearing barrier masks for anyone leaving their home for an essential trip.

These recommendations have added one more tool to starve the virus in its efforts to find a new host. The thinking is this: If you combine the practice of social distancing, sanitizing all surfaces you touch, the addition of a home-made barrier covering or mask can increase the odds of not getting infected. This can be thought of as the trifecta: three ways to keep the infection away from you and your loved ones. Stay healthy!

Grocery Shopping

From Jefferson County Public Health, here are some tips for grocery shopping – we all need to be careful and change our behavior.

First, avoid crowding, don’t go in if it looks crowded; instead choose a different time.

Wash your hands when you go in – this helps protect the entire community.
Wash your hands again when you leave – this is to protect you.

Maintain 6 feet of physical distance in the store, in case someone coughs or sneezes.

Minimize your handling of things. Take whatever you touch. Once you touch something, consider your hands contaminated.

People are cut off from socialization, so you may want to talk with people you know but remember to keep your distance, and don’t go to stores to socialize.

Finally, ordering take-out is encouraged. It also helps our local restaurants. Remember, don’t congregate at the pick up spots.

Stay Home

Please be aware, this is a critical time when people are asked to Stay Home and Stay Healthy. To minimize the spread of COVID-19, we’re encouraged to limit any outings, particularly visits to the store. Travel as little as possible, and if you do need to go out, be sure to maintain physical distance. Remember it’s good to recycle and reuse, whenever possible. And during these challenging days, thanks to everyone for caring!

Photo of Blue Camas in PT Prairie by Doug Rodgers.

COVID-19 Information Features

Dr. Tom Locke Recommendations for Protesters and Caregivers

Submit your Public Health questions to Dr. Tom Locke by emailing

COVID-19 and Kids

How to talk to your child about the Coronavirus – Part 1
How to talk to your child about the Coronavirus – Part 2

Dr. Tom Locke Recommendations for Protesters and Caregivers

June 18, 2020. Recently during a public broadcast of the weekly COVID-19 briefings to the Board of County Commissioners, our local Public Health Officer, Dr. Tom Locke made recommendations for any Jefferson County residents who may have participated in the ongoing Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the Seattle area. He recommended they should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19, which can include cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fever, shaking chills, headache, fatigue, body aches or sudden loss of the sense of smell or taste. This self-monitoring should occur for at least 14 days since their last exposure. This is the longest period of time it may take for symptoms to show if you have been exposed and infected. If any of these symptoms develop, testing for COVID-19 should be done.

For area residents who also take care of people at high risk for COVID-19 complications (i.e. elderly parents, nursing home residents, individuals with chronic heart or lung disease or immunosuppression), these individuals should consider being tested one week after their last exposure to a large crowd to screen for asymptomatic infection that may be spread to others.

Dr. Locke currently does not recommend testing for people who attended the Black Lives Matter protests on the Olympic Peninsula, although anyone who has been in a large crowd of people where masking is not being observed and physical distancing of 6 feet or more cannot be maintained should monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days and get tested if they develop symptoms. COVID-19 is much less prevalent on the Olympic Peninsula in comparison to King County and the risk of transmission in large groups here is lower.

Peaceful protest is an important constitutional right and the Black Lives Matter protests are a historic opportunity to express opposition to institutional racism and police misconduct. Unfortunately, this does not lessen the risk of COVID-19 transmission in situations where large crowds gather, unmasked, speaking loudly, and being subjected to tear gas attacks (which cause intense coughing) and are in close proximity to each other. All of these factors make the recent Seattle demonstrations a high-risk exposure for COVID-19. Testing will allow those with the infection to be appropriately treated and to take the actions necessary to prevent further spread of the infection.

How to talk to your child about the Coronavirus,
from all of us at KPTZ – Part 1

April 15, 2020. Let’s talk about how to talk with children about the coronavirus. Madeline Levine, a clinical psychologist, tells the story of a boy, about 8 yrs old, asking his mother if he can have a playdate with a friend. She responds, “ OK, but I’ll only pencil it in. In case, you know, the world ends.” This seemingly lighthearted response may be confusing, or terrifying, to her son. Many parents may unknowingly communicate their own fear concerning this serious pandemic. Our fear – or discomfort – with the unknown can affect our judgement and decision making. Many of us can relate to this when we think about being in a serious situation in which we nervously laughed.

The following information about children is meant to aid parents when talking with them about the pandemic we face. Children under 5 think magically, so trying to explain the specifics of the coronavirus pandemic would not tend to comfort them. Typically, young children do as well as their parents are doing and will look to you for clues on how to react. Letting them know that you will take care of them provides comfort and a feeling of security. Use simple and matter-of-fact instructions about hand washing and social distancing to inform them that “this is how we can help ourselves and help others, and stay healthy.”

Children 5 to 10 years old have begun to think more logically but are still concrete in their way of thinking. They may lag in their understanding of abstraction or sarcasm. If they overhear someone expressing their fear about the virus they may come home saying, “Are we all going to die?” It is appropriate to state, “No, we are not all going to die. What is it you heard that makes you think that could happen?” It’s good to keep an open line of communication with your children in order to find out what they are hearing. You can correct any misinformation they might hear. It is appropriate to minimize exposure to TV news which is often overly dramatic and fear raising. It is not just what your children overhear, but more importantly, how they interpret it. 

Young adolescents (11 to 15 years old) think much more logically and can understand abstract concept – that is, the bigger picture. They are more likely to understand sarcasm, yet it is wise not to assume that they do. Adolescents are stressed just by being a teenager. You might hear your teenager say, “This sucks. I’m not staying home. None of my friends are sick.”  You can express understanding by saying, “We know you miss hanging out with your friends.” Remind them that other people, especially relatives and friends, are counting on them to stay home so that COVID-19 is not spread further into the community. This reinforces the concept that adolescents can be very self-centered but are also very socially conscious and want to help.

As parents, our task is to calm ourselves so that we don’t alarm our children with our own fears and anxiety. Limiting our exposure to all the media and news can be helpful. This particular time in the world is a great opportunity to share with our children the behaviors we all can engage in to reduce stress, such as games, meditation, walking, nature. And we can work on developing new ways, as a family. In times of uncertainty like the current pandemic, adults and children will all be stressed by the many changes that have occurred in our lives.

Some fun things to do that reduce stress are: dancing, singing (make up songs about having to stay home), making videos, drawing (children often reveal a lot of what they are feeling when they draw), painting, play wrestling, yoga, shooting baskets, kicking a soccer ball, making empty boxes into tents or caves, bicycling, cooking together, and assorted games are all fun activities that let families blow off some steam and get away from daily concerns. One of the more illuminating activities is to let your child teach you a game or concept. It’s fun for the parent and allows the child to feel that they can be in the teacher / knowledgeable role.

We hope that this information will help you to rise to the occasion during these most challenging times. Stay tuned to 91.9FM KPTZ, and stay healthy!

How to talk to your child about the Coronavirus,
from all of us at KPTZ – Part 2

May 18, 2020. Let’s talk some more about how to help children and their parents cope with the pandemic and the needs to quarantine. 

Like many difficult subjects, talking to children about the pandemic may leave parents tongue-tied and searching for words. Children are actually quite good at accepting explanations of things, as long as they can see that their parents are composed. Typically it is us, the adults, who are uncomfortable with certain subjects, such as death, mental health, divorce, pregnancy, and adoption, to name a few. 

If you are uncomfortable talking about the coronavirus and its risks, it may be helpful to have another adult to help you, or use a therapist to help discuss the issue. A classic example of this is when a child asks his or her parent where babies come from. The parent embarrassingly stumbles through some semblance of the birds and the bees lecture only to find that the child wanted to know if you got babies through Amazon. A good first step is to have the child tell you what they think. For example, you can ask, “Where do you think babies come from”? Or in this case, “What have you heard about the new virus going round?

Children under 5 years old will not understand concepts like a worldwide pandemic, death, losing your job, financial problems, and so on. Use simple language such as: the virus is a bad cold that can make you really sick and we are being asked to stay home, so that we don’t get sick, and so that others don’t get it from us. 

Children will feel more in control by knowing what they can do to help, for example: washing their hands, staying home, wearing a mask, and social distancing. Most children will have follow-up questions at some time. Keep your answers simple and try to directly address their worry or confusion. Older children can be given more advanced information, but simple is still best, depending on their maturity. It’s a good idea to check with your child to see what their understanding is of your explanation. Remind them that this is an open topic and they can talk about it any time. Think about where they are getting their news from: their friends or the internet. A good practice is for the adults to screen information from the news and inform their children in an age-appropriate manner. If you don’t know the answer to a question, you can use this as an opportunity to research together by going to a reliable source of information, such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

The pandemic is a worldwide period of transition that we are all experiencing. Transitions happen throughout our lives and some are more stressful than others. Some common ones are; starting school, marriage, moving, teen years, loss of job, or being bullied. Our ability to navigate through these changes in our life is an example of what we mean by coping. Do we have the resources to handle this ourselves or do we need help from family or friends? Sometimes professional help is needed because we may not be coping as well as we thought.

Here are some examples of behaviors in children that may benefit from working with a therapist:
– Up to 6 years of age: loss of previously gained childhood milestones, such as, toileting, eating independently, sleep difficulty; eating more or less than usual, clinging, tantrums, crying often.
– 7 to 12 years: decline in school functioning, eating more or less than normal, isolating themselves from family or friends, poor hygiene, less cooperative, sleep issues.
– 13 to 18 years: decline in schoolwork, eat and sleep changes, isolating, oppositional behaviors, acting out with drugs, alcohol, or sex.

What you know about your child’s everyday functioning is your key to detecting changes in their behavior. This goes for adults as well. Find your inner Columbo! Being a good detective is a useful parent skill. You may not be able to visit your child’s pediatrician, or to your own doctor, but you can call in to start assessing what is going on. Doctors can rule out medical conditions, and can refer you to a therapist if needed. 

Lastly, we the adults need to monitor our own feelings and behavior. Are you more irritable lately, cranky, having less patience, feeling more anxious due to the virus and quarantine? Depression can also be a problem, as many people cannot work, and may be facing severe financial hardship. The best way to take care of your family is to take care of yourself!

You can Google “How to talk to children about the coronavirus “ for more information. Thanks for listening to 91.9FM KPTZ. Stay healthy and Stay Safe!

KPTZ’s COVID-19 Update on Monday, March 30, 2020

On Monday, March 30 at 9:45am, Dr. Tom Locke, Jefferson County Public Health Officer and Willie Bence, Director of Emergency Management provided public updates during the County Commissioners’ weekly meeting about COVID-19 and our county’s preparedness.

KPTZ broadcast via 91.9FM and streamed at this timely COVID-19 information, which was also videostreamed live and recorded for online viewing any time thereafter at the Jefferson County website.

Click on the triangle above to listen to the recorded broadcast.

KPTZ’s COVID-19 Update on Monday, March 23

On Monday, March 23 at 9:45am, Vicki Kirkpatrick, Jefferson County Public Health Director, and Willie Bence, Director of Emergency Management provided public updates during the County Commissioners’ weekly meeting about COVID-19 and our county’s preparedness.

KPTZ broadcast via 91.9FM and streamed at this timely COVID-19 information, which was also videostreamed live and recorded for online viewing any time thereafter at the Jefferson County website.

Click on the triangle above to listen to the recorded broadcast.

Special City & County Meeting on COVID-19 Audio ~ 3/19

On Thursday, March 19 KPTZ aired a joint meeting at City Hall of the Port Townsend City Council and the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners for their COVID-19 strategy meeting. This informative meeting featured speakers including Dr. Tom Locke of Jefferson County Public Health, Willie Bence of Jefferson County’s Emergency Operations Center, Siobhan Canty on behalf of Jefferson Community Foundation, PT Main Street, Local Investing Opportunities Network (LION), and the Port of Port Townsend. There were other speakers and comments read from our local citizenry.

Joint Meeting 3/19/20 part 1
Joint Meeting 3/19/20 part 2
Joint Meeting 3/19/20 part 3

KPTZ’s COVID-19 Update ~ 3/16

On Monday, March 16 at 9:45am, Dr. Tom Locke, Public Health Officer for Jefferson County and Willie Bence, Director of Emergency Management provided public updates during the County Commissioners’ weekly meeting about COVID-19 and our county’s preparedness.

KPTZ broadcast via 91.9FM and streamed at this timely COVID-19 information, which was also videostreamed live and recorded for online viewing any time thereafter at the Jefferson County website.

Click on the triangle above to listen to the recorded broadcast.

Commissioner meetings to include Dr. Locke’s COVID-19 updates are scheduled to happen at this same time Mondays over the coming weeks. These are opportunities for all local government, members of the public, and businesses to tune at 9:45am to hear accurate public health information on COVID-19 from our Public Health Officer; and from Willie Bence on how the County is preparing both now and for the future.

KPTZ Coronavirus (COVID-19) Watch Continues

As your community radio station, KPTZ’s Emergency Team and our dedicated News crew are working on ways to keep the local public informed with updates about the fast-breaking Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease. It’s our goal to be prepared if – and, so we’re told – when any cases occur on the Olympic Peninsula. A helpful Information Sheet addressing public concerns, is available:

Update on COVID-19 and Jefferson County
(updated March 5)

Jefferson Healthcare has set up a dedicated COVID-19 Respiratory Illness Nurse Call-in Line to answer questions and address concerns regarding the virus. The Call-in Line number is 360-344-3094, and is active daily from 8am to 5pm. For contacting your health care provider, is very important to call first, before going to the doctor’s office or Emergency Department ~ unless there is an urgent health condition. [This paragraph updated March 4.]

KPTZ’s Emergency Team is in communication with both the local Department of Emergency Management and the WA Department of Health. We will continue making announcements on 91.9FM and streaming as well as posting here any pertinent information as it unfolds. Stay tuned!

WA DOH Coronavirus (Covid-19) Resources & FAQs

Live Broadcast ~ ICG Presentation on Our Local Economy 10/27/20

On Tuesday, October 27 at 5pm, KPTZ will live broadcast the ICG presentation from Michael H. Shuman, who will speak on the topic of Rebooting Our Community After COVID-19. A leading expert on community economics, Mr. Shuman works with communities to help them develop local reinvestment strategies. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant economic challenges for our community, and planning for recovery and resiliency is already underway: our elected leaders at Jefferson County, the City of Port Townsend, the Port of Port Townsend, and Jefferson County PUD have joined together to form the Intergovernmental Collaborative Group, or ICG, to begin this recovery planning effort. 

KPTZ’s October 27 Local News and Community Calendar, normally scheduled for 5pm on Tuesdays, will immediately follow this special ICG presentation broadcast. An additional airing of Our Town with host Maryanne McNellis’s interview of KPTZ Board President Robert Ambrose will begin at 6:10pm, with information about KPTZ’s upcoming move to Fort Worden in 2021. Alternative Radio, which usually airs at 6pm, will return next week at its usual time.  

Tune in via 91.9 FM, listen at, or livestream the meeting from the Jefferson County website

County Public Health Report ~ 10/26

At today’s Public Health Briefings for the Jefferson County Commissioners, Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke and Willie Bence discussed:

Dr Locke:
• We are now in the third wave of the Covid pandemic, with Jefferson County now at 86 cases.
• Some Phase 3 activities are allowed here, even though Jefferson County is still under Phase 2 of the Safe Start program.
• School opening continues to go well, as example to other counties.
• The issues of indoor spread, since aerosols are causing spread.
• Encourages Flu vaccines to reduce risk of COVID-19.
• Discussion of testing accuracy and availability

Willie Bence:
• Mask availablity
• La Nina weather pattern may bring colder, wetter weather. Our Department of Emergency Management is preparing.
• People should prepare for storm situations with flashlights and supplies.

Community Tides ~ 10/23

Siobhan Canty, President & CEO of Jefferson Community Foundation, and Chris Bricker from KPTZ get together twice a month to talk about new developments, new paradigms, and the “new normal” facing Jefferson County as we transition toward 2021. This week on Community Tides Siobhan & Chris celebrate Good People doing Good Work.

Siobhan reports on new grants awarded from the COVID-19 Fund, and gives us a fresh and full landscape overview based on what is in the proposals – community needs for financial assistance, food, and more.

They also recognize some of the wonderful individuals behind the scenes who make Good Work happen in Jefferson County.

#163 – Robert Ambrose: Leading KPTZ To The Next Level

(Airdate: 10/20/2020) Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Robert Ambrose, the chairman of the board of KPTZ. Robert has an adventurous past including stints in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, England and the San Francisco Bay area before settling in Alaska. He and wife, Jessica, decided that they did not want to raise their sons in an urban center. They found life quite different in rural Alaska. It suited them well. He was a stay-at-home dad for a while and Jessica was in public health. But the call of the local community station soon had Robert more than just a little involved. All was good. But years later Jessica died in a tragic accident. Robert was undone and after some travel and life reassessment he decided to move. He was lucky to find Port Townsend. His passion for community radio is so deep that he pitched a show to Larry Stein, KPTZ’s program director, even before he got to town. Soon he was on the board and quickly after that became chairman. So now he’s in charge of all of KPTZ’s efforts. He’s leading the team through some tough times. The station is growing and adapting to the challenges of the Covid pandemic.. It also needs funds to help renovate quarters at Fort Worden. The show is scheduled to air on Tuesday, Oct. 20 and Sunday, Oct 25.  

Compass for 10/10/20

After working pretty much without a break since February, when COVID-19 went pandemic, Jefferson County Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke decided to finally take a few days off at the beginning of October to go camping and cycling.  While he was away, the White House became the hottest COVID hot spot in the nation and the President himself was hospitalized for several days with the disease.  In this week’s Compass we talk with Dr. Locke immediately upon his return from his rest-break about the dangerous messaging coming from the top level of government as case numbers rise nation-wide, pointing towards a much-feared surge that could once again overwhelm our health care systems as we enter the cold months of the year.

The Compass airs Saturdays at noon and repeats on Mondays at noon and five pm.

Community Tides ~ 10/9

Explore new developments, new paradigms, and the new normal facing Jefferson County, with KPTZ’s Chris Bricker and Siobhan Canty, President & CEO of the Jefferson Community Foundation.

This week on Community Tides, Chris and Siobhan speak with Sarah Rubenstein, Communications and Outreach Director for Port Townsend Schools. She’s also an integral part of the Maritime Schools Initiative.

We feel different today than we did six months ago. Parents, students, administrators, teachers and schools have faced a thousand choices and myriad changes.  Sarah discusses the planning and developments that have taken place over this time, the social and emotional aspects of it all, and the programs in place that support in the school system and its students throughout Jefferson County.

Siobhan talks about the Foundation’s involvement in this process, and she asks Sarah about how the general community can become engaged, including those in their own risk category and not able to become directly involved in helping our students.

Good news from the Foundation!  Due to a substantial anonymous donation, there will be a new round of funding from the COVID Response Fund.  Any non-profit or public-serving entity is welcome to submit funding proposals to the Foundation.

#162 Mike Howell: Sandwich Shop in Purgatory

(Airdate: 10/6/2020) Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Mike Howell, owner of Howell’s Sandwich Shop in downtown Port Townsend. Mike opened his eatery only two years ago. Business took off rapidly – his first two years were stellar. Sure, a major winter storm blew out his windows the first year. But that was nothing compared to coping with Covid. With limited seating and hours he’s struggling to stay afloat. Howell’s only has about 1,000 square feet. Mike’s fortunate that he has a deck with a dynamite view. But now that winter is coming on, that asset might not help that much. His first two years were heaven and now he’s facing hell. He calls it “purgatory” and hopes to climb out soon. Here’s another small home town businessman that we all need to help support. The show is scheduled to air on Tuesday, October 6, and Sunday, October 11.

Eric James Peterson

(Airdate September 11, 2020) Eric James Peterson, former drummer from The Electric Hellfire Club and owner of The Ritz in San Diego, on how COVID has impacted music venues, and beyond.

Paul Rogers

(Airdate September 11, 2020) Paul Rogers, of Those Darn Accordions, on the life of a COVID-era accordionista

Resiliency of the Heart – Art Matters

(Airdate: 9/29/2020) Local 2020, through action groups, works toward local sustainability and resilience – integrating ecology, economy and community through action and education. For the past three summers, “Resiliency of the Heart Action Group” has  hosted monthly art happenings. All ages worked together to create art, music, poetry, and photography.  Listen in as Missy Nielsen of Everybody Can speaks with Adrianna Santiago about how Covid 19 has both inspired and created challenges to this Local 2020 group.

Everybody Can airs on alternating Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:40 pm.

County Public Health Report ~ 9/28

At today’s Public Health Briefings to the Jefferson County Commissioners, Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke discussed:

  • Jefferson County case count remains at 71, no new cases in 2 weeks.
  • The local schools have been in session for a month and are examples for other counties, statewide.
  • KPTZ questions: dilute bleach, isopropyl alcohol are sanitizing agents. Alcohol-based wipes are a preferred product.
  • For gyms, distancing guideline is 300 square feet between people, or a 17-foot radius.
  • PCR antigen test is the “gold standard” for Covid testing.
  • County Commissioners are looking at ways for Jefferson County to maintain, encourage and support behaviors that keep the incidence of Covid-19 cases low in our area.

Submit your Public Health questions to Dr. Tom Locke by emailing

Through Science to Health ~ 9/18

Through Science to Health series with Chris Bricker, KPTZ host, and Lynn Sorensen, RN, discuss the politics of the ongoing news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic information, coverage that is often confusing and opposing in nature depending on the source.

Lynn reviews a recent article in the Washington Post regarding the difference between those who gather for a Trump rally and those who gather and participate in a protest march as far as risk of transmission of coronavirus infection.

Is the worst of the pandemic behind us? A new term, long-haulers syndrome is being applied to some people who have ‘recovered’ from Covid 19 but are still suffering from multiple symptoms such as brain fog, severe fatigue, and trouble breathing.