Intergovernmental Collaborative Group Meeting on KPTZ

On Wednesday December 16 at 5pm, KPTZ will broadcast a special meeting of the Intergovernmental Collaborative Group. The Intergovernmental Collaborative Group is composed of the elected officials of Jefferson County, the City of Port Townsend, the Port of Port Townsend, and Jefferson PUD. The ICG was established last spring for Jefferson county’s four elected entities to join forces and work together with the community to develop a COVID-19 Recovery & Resiliency Plan. The Plan is being presented and will be discussed at Wednesday’s meeting. Listen live on KPTZ.  

County Public Health Report ~ 12/14

Today, Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke shared about the recent Jefferson County increase in COVID-19 cases. He answered questions from KPTZ listeners about:

• The infection rate and death numbers are up, nationally and statewide.
• Jefferson County is the 3rd lowest infection rate, although we have dropped to 94/100,000. Cumulative case number is 195.
• The Pfizer vaccine is on its way, will be here shortly, and will be available through Jefferson Healthcare. First-line medical workers are first, then long-term-care residents, followed by government essential workers and then those over 65.
• You can reduce your risk through isolation for at least 7 days, have the PCR test on day 8, then stay in isolation until day 10.
• Evidence shows people are immune for at least 3 months following COVID-19 infection.
• The Pfizer vaccine research and trials information is public.
• Yes, our hospital does have the advanced treatment drugs on hand.
• Excess deaths: If death is from another cause, it is not counted as a COVID-19 test even if the person is infected.
• Good websites: CDC, WADOH, also NY Times and Washington Post information.
• Each test has pros and cons: none of the tests are 100% accurate.
• The old test swabs that were painful have been replaced by an easier, less invasive swab that is self administered.
• When flying, use a high-efficiency mask and meticulous hand sanitizing; take direct flights; avoid lengthier flights.
• You are more likely to become infected from droplets, which are larger, than from smaller aerosols.
• Municipal wastewater studies are not as useful, though these studies are valid.
• The Pfizer vaccine may offer reduction in severity of illness, but it is still unknown whether people can spread the disease. This will become known as more people take the vaccine.
• Proof of vaccination: everyone will have a record. At first, the same restrictions will apply, whether vaccinated or not. It requires a 70% vaccination rate for these to be lifted.
• The new CDC quarantine guidelines have been revised. For high-risk situations, the wait time is still 14 days. In some cases, 10 days may be sufficient. The 7 days with test quarantine is not practical, due to efficacy.
• For a PCR positive test confirmed case, with no symptoms, the quarantine is 10 days.

Submit your Public Health questions to Dr. Tom Locke by emailing contactus@kptz.org.

#166 – Dr. Molly Parker

(First airdate: December 15, 2020) DR. MOLLY PARKER: FAMILY CAREGIVER. Our Town Host Maryanne McNellis interviews Dr. Molly Parker, family medicine specialist at Jefferson Healthcare. After a childhood on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, Dr. Parker decided that she wanted her family to experience that same community closeness. Besides, she loves the variety of family medicine. She can be “catching babies” one day and diagnosing a nasty rash (or something much worse) the next. Of course, there’s also the pandemic to contend with! Dr. Parker talks about COVID-19 planning from behind the front lines. She’s also involved in a variety of medical initiatives. She helps train nurses to gather forensic evidence in sexual assault cases. As Director of Population Medicine, she’s attempting to change the reality that right now Jefferson County is a child care “desert.”

KPTZ’s Through Science to Health ~ 12/11

Through Science to Health’s conversation between Lynn Sorensen, RN and Chris Bricker, KPTZ host included a select reiteration of Jefferson County’s Health Officer, Dr Tom Locke’s COVID-19 update to the BOCC on December 7, 2020, along with current COVID-19 vaccines soon to be available in the US. Lynn stressed that the vaccine roll out will be in stages starting with the frontline healthcare workers, first responders, and nursing home residents and their caregivers. Also that the vaccine will not take the place of masks or other hygiene measures until at least 70% of the US population is vaccinated.

Dr. Locke’s Advice for Our Community

Local case count by month and cumulatively since the pandemic began. This graph shows the number of COVID-19 infections reported in Jefferson County. There were 167 cases from March through November. Another 18 cases were reported through December 8, bringing the total to 185 as of that day.
Data source: Jefferson County Public Health Department website, graph created by KPTZ.*

The COVID-19 pandemic is steadily worsening throughout the U.S., including Washington state and Jefferson County. Exposure risk is likely to remain high for the next three to four months. People are tired of having their lives disrupted and are willing to take more and more risks. Activities like social gatherings that were low risk during the summer are now much more likely to result in COVID-19 transmission.

Dr. Locke’s advice is to try to forgo as much preventable risk as possible, including club meetings, social events, non-essential travel, and alike. We’re experiencing the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will almost certainly be worse than anything we’ve previously experienced. 

On a hopeful note, vaccines are on the verge of licensure and deployment. Vaccine supply will be very limited at first, but as winter gives way to spring supplies will improve and the end of this long public health emergency will finally be in sight.

– Dr. Tom Locke, Jefferson County Public Health Officer

*For current cumulative case count in Jefferson County, since December 8, visit the WADOH website.

Update on KPTZ’s Fort Worden Home

Dear KPTZ friends,

This is a long overdue letter to let you know about progress in building KPTZ’s new home in Makers Square at Fort Worden – almost as overdue as construction itself! Yet before discussing our monumental project, I’d first like to say I hope you and yours are doing okay. Our lives have been turned upside down by the pandemic, compounded by social and political upheaval, and I think all of us are feeling challenged.

The development of our new home at Fort Worden has been a complex and complicated process. When COVID-19 shut nearly everything down last March, it also shut down all construction at Fort Worden’s Makers Square for three months. Very little work had been done on our space by then – just some rough framing of studios. When construction resumed in June, Fort Worden was a different place. The collapse of the hospitality industry due to the virus crippled the Fort Worden PDA, our building partner in the Makers Square project.

Yet our new home is taking shape quickly now, and we expect a certificate of occupancy by the end of December. It is very exciting seeing KPTZ’s new home emerging!

Click here to read the entire message

Give Love ~ Give Hope ~ Give Jefferson!

KPTZ supports United Good Neighbors who for over 60 years have championed local organizations that provide for the basic human needs of individuals and families in Jefferson County. UGN’s annual Give Jefferson campaign supports frontline efforts to deliver food, shelter, healthcare, education, and hope to those most in need in our community.  To all who are weathering uncertainty and recovering from crisis, Give Jefferson offers hope and the reassurance that we are not alone. In 2020, all donations to Give Jefferson will be matched by All In WA, a coordinated statewide relief effort providing immediate support for workers and families impacted by COVID-19. Visit UGN’s website for more information and a list of partner organizations.  

Ric and Top Kop

(Airdate: October 2, 2020) Ric and Top Kop from Kinetics Sculpture Race on COVID-19 Kinetics.

County Public Health Report ~ 12/07

Today, Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke shared about the recent Jefferson County increase in COVID-19 cases. He answered questions from KPTZ listeners about:
*Case count in WA state is up by 20%, which overwhelmed the state’s data system causing it to be down some in the past week.
* Jefferson County has the lowest case rate in the region.
* People with public health backgrounds are welcome to volunteer to assist Jefferson Co. Public Health with contact tracing.
* Distancing is the most important technique for avoiding the virus. Outdoors, at least 6 feet. Masking does not substitute for physical distancing. Even though not required, wearing a mask while bike riding is also recommended.
* Current recommendation is to stay home and stay healthy for at-risk individuals. Doctors’ offices are not at high risk for transmission.
* Cooked take-out meals are minimum risk, and helps the local economy.
* The real risk in dining out is when gathering with non-household members. The safest way is to dine only with one’s own household.
* Best time for testing is 5 days following a close contact with someone who contracts Covid-19.
* The 25% occupancy (of fire capacity) is up to the store itself to maintain. 
* Discussion of vaccines: the government has purchased enough for the entire US population, so they will be available at no out of pocket cost.
* Vaccination levels need to be at least 70%, and perhaps more, before it will be possible to stop wearing masks.
* Vaccines have not been tested on children under 18, which will delay rollout of the vaccine to youth.
* WANotify phone app system is recommended, for anonymous contact tracing of both time and distance.

Department of Emergency Management Director Willie Bence said that 45,000 additional N95 masks are being delivered, prioritizing hospitals and first line workers. This represents an increase in capacity.

Submit your Public Health questions to Dr. Tom Locke by emailing contactus@kptz.org.

Compass for 12/05/20

As the Olympic Peninsula, in lock-step with most of the nation, enters a new period of elevated risk for COVID-19, with the threat of an overwhelmed health-care system being forced to ration care, this week on the Compass we bring back Jefferson County Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke to talk about the safest path forward.

KPTZ’s Through Science to Health ~ 11/27

In this special edition of Through Science to Health, Lynn and Chris speak with two graduates of Port Townsend High School who are now working as medical professionals in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wisconsin.
Jesse Maupin, Hospitalist at the University of Wisconsin Medical Hospital, and Will Bringgold, who is doing his pulmonary and critical care medicine fellowship at University of Wisconsin in Madison, offer their perspective from the front lines.

They candidly and compassionately speak of the long hours, increasing staffing needs, and the sincere need for community support and empathy to help them with the day-after-day challenges in patient care during these times.

Jesse has written a letter to the Leader, which will be published in its December 2 edition. The title: “Empathy in the Time of COVID.”

We’re S.M.A.R.T. at KPTZ!

KPTZ Program Director Larry Stein plays it S.M.A.R.T. on his Thanksgiving eve Bring Your Records show, with a disposable microphone mask to keep it safe amid the recently Rising COVID-19, Rising Risk.

We’ve all done a great job of keeping the spread of COVID-19 at bay, and with new advances in vaccines, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel!
But it’ll be a good number of months before we can say “hasta la vista, baby” to the virus. And cases are on the rise. So, our Department of Emergency Management is asking you to be COVID S.M.A.R.T. !
That’s S-M-A-R-T:
S: Sanitize frequently.
M: Mask appropriately ~ even with family and friends outside your household.
A: Air Flow ~ When socializing try to stay outside. If you’re inside, use fans and open windows to keep that air moving.
R: Room between people ~ Stay six feet apart whenever possible.
T: Technology for gatherings ~ Use video conferencing technology instead of in-person visits.
Keep up the great work, everyone! Jefferson County will get through this…together.

United Good Neighbor Campaign 2020…. Give Jefferson! Give Hope.

(Airdate: November 24, 2020) The extraordinary impacts of COVID-19 triggered an unprecedented demand for aid, and challenged local organizations to rapidly respond with essential programs and safety-net services. Missy Nielsen of Everybody Can speaks with Megan McClaughlin of United Good Neighbors in how our community can rally around these needs. Listen in and learn how you can participate through the Give Jefferson campaign.


County Public Health Report ~ 11/23

Today, Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke shared about the recent Jefferson County increase in COVID-19 cases. He answered questions from KPTZ listeners about:
• Numbers are worse: nationally, overall cases increased 54% in 2 weeks, and deaths are also up, with lagging count behind the increase in case count.
• Jefferson County increased by 53 cases in the last 2 weeks. Testing turnaround is slower. Clallam having a similar surge. Other areas of the state are even worse.
• The ability to do high-quality contact tracing is limited when the case levels are higher. Jefferson County has 11 trained contact tracers, and so far they have been able to keep up with the pace.
• The holidays are a big concern, and it’s highly everyone recommended stay home with one’s own household.
• He recommends that healthy people schedule needed health care appointments, rather than postponing.
• COVID-19 has a residual effect on people’s health afterwards, with lingering effects for 10% of confirmed cases.
• Mask type studies on cloth masks vs. disposable masks are not conclusive.
• There are delays in testing due to higher case loads, based on staffing issues.
• Vaccines will go to first-tier responders who have first-line contact with people who may be Covid-infected. By April, the hope is that everyone can be vaccinated. So far, side effects have been mild.
• Because of higher infection rates, to be at lower risk, you should shop at less busy store times.
• Increase air exchange with ventilation system and open windows.
• Schools have reduced classroom teaching, pending reduction of transmission rate.

And, from Department of Emergency Management Director Willie Bence:
• A field hospital is a temporary popup hospital and if it becomes needed there is potential for opening a regional field hospital. At this point, models are not showing this to be needed. Maintaining staffing is the current concern.
• An outreach campaign “COVID SMART” is embarking, featuring Sanitation, Masks, Airflow, Room Between People, Technology for Gatherings.

Submit your Public Health questions to Dr. Tom Locke by emailing contactus@kptz.org.

Update on KPTZ’s Fort Worden Home

Dear KPTZ friends,

This is a long overdue letter to let you know about progress in building KPTZ’s new home in Makers Square at Fort Worden – almost as overdue as construction itself! Yet before discussing our monumental project, I’d first like to say I hope you and yours are doing okay. Our lives have been turned upside down by the pandemic, compounded by social and political upheaval, and I think all of us are feeling challenged.

The development of our new home at Fort Worden has been a complex and complicated process. When COVID-19 shut nearly everything down last March, it also shut down all construction at Fort Worden’s Makers Square for three months. Very little work had been done on our space by then – just some rough framing of studios. When construction resumed in June, Fort Worden was a different place. The collapse of the hospitality industry due to the virus crippled the Fort Worden PDA, our building partner in the Makers Square project.

Yet our new home is taking shape quickly now, and we expect a certificate of occupancy by the end of December. It is very exciting seeing KPTZ’s new home emerging!

I am incredibly proud of our station for its dedication to serving the community during this global public health crisis. With rigid safety protocols at our Mountain View station, our deejays and talk show hosts have continued to provide solace and joy through music, as well as pertinent information to help us cope with the pandemic challenge. Our volunteer news team has greatly expanded our local news service, a trend I hope will continue to grow as we move into our Makers Square facility.

Yet the pandemic is having a severe impact on KPTZ’s budget because we are not able to conduct the traditional on-air fund drives that provide 80% of our income. Community radio probably has the worst business plan around: Through great effort and cost we produce a quality product that we eagerly give away for free, 24 hours every day. Losing our major fundraising tool is potentially crippling.

I must ask you to help us bridge our pandemic funding gap.

Our plans for growing new services in our new home are ambitious, but we can only realize those plans with your support. I know it is not an easy time for anyone, and for many people the pandemic has had devastating economic impacts; but if you are able to make a contribution to KPTZ, even a modest contribution, we shall appreciate it gratefully.

Online donations can be made by clicking the Donate Now! button above; we also appreciate contributions through mail to the address below. Enrolling in recurring payments, like a subscription, is extremely helpful for our budgeting, and also we can accept stock/certificate donations. Please contact us if you need any further information to make your donation.

Thank you ever so much for your time, and hopefully for your contribution. Stay safe and well, and we’ll see you on the other side of the pandemic!

Cheers,
Robert Ambrose
President, KPTZ Board of Directors
Host, Rhythm Connection, Tues 1-3

Give Jefferson

KPTZ joins United Good Neighbors to proudly support the nonprofits, staff, and volunteers dedicated to providing basic human needs for the residents of Jefferson County. In 2020, the extraordinary impacts of COVID-19 triggered an unprecedented demand for aid, challenging local organizations to respond with critical programs and safety-net services. UGN’s annual Give Jefferson campaign ensures that food, shelter, healthcare, and education are made available to folks you interact with everyday. To all who are weathering uncertainty and recovering from crisis, Give Jefferson offers hope and the reassurance that we are not alone. Visit UGN’s website for more information. 

UGN supports these local organizations: 
Bayside Housing & Services
Clallam Jefferson Pro Bono Lawyers
COAST Shelter
Community Boat Project
Community Wellness Project
Connected Students Initiative
Dove House Advocacy Services
ECHHO
Food Bank Farm & Gardens of Jefferson County
Foster Supports of Jefferson County
Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County
JC MASH
Jefferson Clemente Foundation
Jefferson County Farmers Market Association
Jefferson County Association of Food Banks
JCIRA
Jefferson Interfaith Action Coalition
Jefferson Teen Center
JUMP Playground
Kaleidoscope Play & Learn
Olympic Angels
Olympic Neighbors
PHLUSH
Saint Vincent de Paul of East Jefferson County
Skillmation
The Benji Project
Weekend Nutrition Program
YMCA of Jefferson County

County Public Health Report ~ 11/16

Today, date Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke shared about the recent Jefferson County increase in COVID-19 cases. He answered questions from KPTZ listeners about:

• The country and our county are in exponential growth phase, with state case increase of 124% in the past 2 weeks.
• Locally in Jefferson County, 31 new cases in the last week. Four were from household and close friend spread, others were from out-of-county visitors or from visitors here; extended family infections; cluster in a pod;
• There is a 7-day threshold following exposure, meaning that if the person who was exposed is negative on Day 7, they are likely not to become infected or infectious.
• Tests of the new vaccine are looking to be viable strategies. It is thought that it will require 70% of the population to be vaccinated in order to be effective.
• Baking for others is considered to be minimum risk.

Don’t forget, you can submit your Public Health questions to Dr. Tom Locke by emailing contactus@kptz.org.