COVID-19 Local Information

Photo by Doug Rodgers

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.

Click here for a complete List of all KPTZ COVID-19 PSAs

Free At Home Covid Tests
Low Death Rate
Mask Up
Hunker Down
New Testing Guidelines
Mask Gratitude
Dr Berry’s Vax Advice
Dr Berry’s Vax Advice
REM ProVax PSA
Jeff Co Restaurant Vax
3rd Dose Vaccination
Mask / Vax Invitation
Mask Mandate
Masks: Three Reasons
Mask Up Again
Stay Vigilant, COVID-19 Variant
Public Health Gratitude
COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments
COVID-19 Vaccinations
WANotify
Pandemic Fatigue
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

Free At Home Covid Tests

(January 18, 2022) Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests. The tests are available from the website CovidTest (dot) gov. Orders usually ship in 7 to 12 days.If you order your tests now, you can have them in hand when needed. If you need a COVID-⁠19 test now, please see other local resources for testing locations in your area.

Low Death Rate

(January 14, 2022) Did you know Jefferson County has one of the lowest Covid death rates in the U.S. – despite having one of the oldest populations? So far, our death rate is about half the Washington state rate, and about one-fourth the national rate. Dr. Allison Berry attributes our low Covid death rate to vaccination, masking, social distancing and requiring proof-of-vaccination at bars and restaurants. Everyone is experiencing pandemic fatigue, but the sacrifices we’ve made have had real benefits for our community. Let’s keep up the good work!

Mask Up

(January 14, 2022) Like the rest of the world, Jefferson County is experiencing a huge increase in Covid infections because Omicron is so contagious. Our Public Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry recommends limiting our social contacts, especially indoors, and upgrading from cloth masks to surgical or N-95 masks. If you’re not vaccinated, please get vaccinated. If you are vaccinated, getting a booster will enhance your protection. Thank you for playing your part!

Hunker Down

(January 14, 2022) Jefferson County’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Allison Berry, is urging everyone to hunker down to the extent we can in January, when Omicron is expected to peak – dwarfing all prior Covid surges. Please keep in mind that Jefferson Healthcare Hospital has only enough staff available to operate about two-thirds of its beds, so those beds are often 100% occupied. If we can limit new Covid infections, we can ease the unprecedented strain on our local healthcare system. Thank you!

New Testing Guidelines

(January 5, 2022) Our Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry suggests that everyone follow the latest guidance on isolation and quarantine ~ available on the Jefferson County Public Health website. Key updates:
– If you’re fully vaccinated but it’s now more than six months ago, and still haven’t got a booster ~ AND, you know you were exposed to COVID ~ the current quarantine guideline is for at least 5 days.
– If you test positive for COVID ~ stay home for 10 days unless you are truly asymptomatic at day 5. Then you could consider consistently wearing a quality mask and avoid high risk settings like long term care facilities.
– If you were tested and diagnosed with COVID, and you’re asymptomatic at day 5, you could potentially leave isolation early.
More at jefferson county public health (dot) o-r-g. Use the site menu to navigate or search for Covid-19 Testing.

Mask Gratitude

(November 18, 2021) KPTZ thanks you for wearing your mask!
When you wear a mask you are saying I respect my neighbors.
When you wear a mask you are saying I respect nurses and doctors.
When you wear a mask you are saying I respect other people.
Thank You!

Jeff Co Restaurant Vax

(September 3, 2021) A KPTZ reminder: All patrons entering an indoor restaurant or bar in Jefferson and Clallam Counties must provide proof they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Public Health Officer, Doctor Allison Berry. Indoor bars and restaurants can pose a high risk for COVID-19 transmission, since they encourage unmasking of large groups of people indoors. The goal is to make these safer places, and to reduce transmission in our communities, allowing our hospitals to keep functioning and our schools to stay open more safely. Acceptable proof of vaccination includes a completed CDC vaccination card, or a photograph of your proof of vaccination. A person is fully vaccinated when they have received all the required doses of a vaccine for COVID-19 and 14 days have passed since the final dose. Thank you for helping us keep Jefferson County safe.

3rd Dose Vaccination

(August 27, 2021) The third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is now available in Jefferson County on a limited basis, for people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. Those who are immediately eligible include cancer patients, transplant recipients, HIV and those in treatment using drugs that may suppress their immune system. Vaccinations are available from primary care providers and pharmacies for these groups, with expectations that they will be available to the general public as vaccine supplies become available. People do not have to get the booster where they got their original shot. The Department of Emergency Management is planning to open clinics for immunocompromised individuals. For more information visit the Jefferson County Public Health webpage or call the Department of Emergency Management at 360-344-9791.

Mask / Vax Invitation

(August 27, 2021) Here at KPTZ all of our staff of volunteers are 100% vaccinated. We believe that getting the vaccination and wearing a mask is something we can all do to combat COVID-19. We understand that being vaccinated does not guarantee you won’t get infected, however, it does reduce your risk of being seriously ill, or hospitalized. So join us here at KPTZ combat the virus by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask. Thank you!

Mask Mandate

(August 14, 2021) Even though Jefferson County has one of the highest vaccination rates in Washington, we’re seeing more infections now than at any time during the entire pandemic. Local infections are spiking because unvaccinated people who don’t wear masks are infecting other people. The rise in infections is putting everyone at risk, vaccinated or not. Some Washington hospitals have run out of ICU beds, and though temporary beds can be added, there aren’t enough qualified people to staff those beds. In Jefferson County, the elevated caseload has exceeded the capacity of our health department to follow-up on new cases, making it harder to contain outbreaks. Consequently, Dr. Allison Berry, our public health officer, is requiring everyone 5 years old and over to wear masks in all indoor public spaces including stores, restaurants and offices in both Clallam and Jefferson counties.

Masks for Protection #2

(August 4, 2021) Have you noticed how busy the road into Port Townsend is? The parade of cars doesn’t end. With the uptake in COVID-19 cases in our county I think it’s a smart idea to mask up again. We know that not everyone got vaccinated so it’s up to us to take precautions for our health and theirs’. So I’m wearing my mask outside in large groups and definitely masking up for indoor public places. Do you listen to KPTZ for the weekly updates on the pandemic? I think it is more important than ever to know the latest information on what’s going on. Monday mornings at 9:45, here at 91.9FM and streaming on KPTZ.org.

Masks for Protection #1

(August 4, 2021) Hi I’m Buzzy Donahue. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed again. How about you? Here we are over a year in a half in to this pandemic and there are more people in Jefferson County getting ill than there were this time last year. What happened? We did everything right, we stayed home, washed our hands more than we ever have, wore our masks when out, and yet here we are. Because not enough people have gotten vaccinated the pandemic is still here, more contagious than ever. I don’t know about you but I don’t bounce back when I get sick like I once did so I’m all for staying healthy. That’s why I’ve decided to mask up when I go into stores and even outside with large groups. That way I’m protecting you and me.

Masks: Three Reasons

(August 4, 2021) I wear my mask in public for three reasons:

  1. HUMILITY: I don’t know if I have COVID-19, as it is clear that people can spread the disease before they have symptoms.
  2. KINDNESS: I don’t know if the person I am near has a child battling cancer, or cares for their elderly mom. While I might be fine, they might not.
  3. COMMUNITY: I want my community to thrive, businesses to stay open, employees to stay healthy. Keeping a lid on COVID-19 helps us all!
    KPTZ thanks you for doing your part.

Mask Up Again

(July 27, 2021) Washington COVID-19 infections recently shot up 133% over two weeks, and the Delta variant accounts for more than 80% of new cases. Clallam County has recorded 15 Delta infections. The Delta variant is dangerous because it creates a much higher level of viral load, and can cause an infection in four days instead of six.
Dr. Allison Berry, health officer for Clallam and Jefferson counties, is joining health officers from neighboring counties in recommending everyone wear masks in indoor public settings, even if you’re vaccinated. And if you haven’t gotten your vaccine yet, please think about the people most at risk: children too young to be vaccinated and those with compromised immune systems.
We’ve all made sacrifices, but infections are spiking because too many of us remain unvaccinated, and too many unvaccinated people are spreading the virus by not masking up.
Please, do your part so no one has to mask their pie hole any longer than they need to. Thank you.

Post Vaccination Behavior

(March 11, 2021) Our state Department of Health has adopted recent CDC vaccination guidance. We can now cautiously lift some restrictions for those who are fully vaccinated.
You are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after your Pfizer or Moderna second dose, OR 14 days after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Fully vaccinated people may now gather indoors with others who are fully vaccinated, without wearing masks, and can meet with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 infection.
We all need to remain vigilant in the face of slowing, but continued viral transmission and more variants, regardless of your vaccination status. Please continue to follow CDC guidelines to keep us all safer until everyone who wants a vaccine can get one.
Thank you.

Stay Vigilant, COVID-19 Variants

(February 25, 2021) COVID-19 infections have been declining across the country as well as in Washington, where Jefferson County has the second-lowest number of cases per capita in the whole state.
That’s great news, but… Every expert from Dr. Fauci to our County Health Officer, Dr. Locke, is concerned about the recent COVID-19 variants first discovered in South Africa and the United Kingdom. Both of these are now in Washington state. The South African variant may render some vaccines less effective. The UK variant is much more contagious and fast becoming the dominant strain in the US.
We’re vaccinating people as fast as we can in Jefferson County, but until that job is done, it’s essential that everyone – vaccinated or not – continue to mask up, wash up, keep your distance, and avoid gatherings with people outside of your household.
If you think you may have symptoms or been exposed to someone with symptoms, please, get tested right away. Thank you.

Public Health Gratitude

(Feb. 10, 2021) KPTZ would like to express our gratitude to Jefferson County Health Officer, Dr. Tom Locke and Department of Emergency Management Director Willie Bence. And to all our public health professionals, our elected officials, also to the many volunteers who serve our community. Since the pandemic started, you’ve provided the tools and support to empower us to keep ourselves, our families, and our community safe. We appreciate all your hard work!

WANotify

(Dec. 2, 2020) Washington State’s Department of Health now offers WANotify, a simple, anonymous exposure notification tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The privacy-preserving technology works without collecting or revealing any personal data or location. WANotify can be easily enabled in iPhone settings, or downloaded as an app for Android phones. More information at doh.wa.gov.

Pandemic Fatigue

(Nov. 17, 2020) Now that we’re in the “third wave” of the COVID-19 pandemic, our state is experiencing a huge increase – not just in infections, but also, people have “pandemic fatigue.”
Yes, we’re getting pretty tired of wearing masks, staying six feet away from other people, washing our hands all day, and not being able to gather with our friends for a meal or a beer.
Like all pandemics, this one will eventually end. Early vaccine results are promising, but it appears we’re some months away from widespread vaccine availability.
So, fatigued or not, the most important thing for us all to do going forward, is maintain our efforts to slow the spread of infection ~ so our medical system isn’t overwhelmed.
Jefferson County has been doing a superb job. Thanks to all who continue to keep everyone safe!