Virus Watch Reports

County Public Health Report ~ 6/29

During the weekly Public Health Briefing from Jefferson County Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke, we learned that Jefferson County last week added 6 COVID-19 cases. The count is now 38. Four of the recent added cases were asymptomatic and were discovered through test screening prior to medical or dental procedures. Also discussed: masking use, enforcement, and the efficacy of face shields. The four key facets for mitigating disease spread continue to include masking, physical distancing, hand washing and sanitizing, and not touching faces.

In addition, Willie Bence, Director of the Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management, delivered a briefing on potential arrival of masks with clear plastic over the mouth, for ease of communication with deaf people. He also spoke about face shields, and the availability of PPE. 

To submit your questions to Dr. Locke in the following week’s Board of County Commissioners meeting, send them to contactus@kptz.org.

Part 1: Dr. Locke – Public Health and Willie Bence – DEM Briefings
Part 2: BOCC Discusses Considerations of Moving to WA Safe Start Phase 3, prior to vote.

Shortly following the nearly complete meeting broadcast on KPTZ, the County Commissioners voted to submit an application for Safe Start Phase 3 reopening to the WA State Department of Health. The almost two-hour special meeting held today focused on the concerns about gatherings of up to 50 people indoors and out, and the concern of outbreaks around the region. It was agreed that once approval is received from the state, the Board of Health may revisit the elements of Phase 3 — or any phase — and put a hold any activity that they deem concerning.

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

KPTZ’s Through Science to Health ~ 6/26

Lynn Sorensen, RN, joined Chris Bricker and had a lively conversation regarding recent developments of the pandemic. They discussed the rise in young adults testing positive for Covid 19 and possible reasons for it. Politics have played a significant role in the country’s response to the pandemic and the wearing of masks has been front and center to a divisive controversy. June 26th is the first day of the governor’s order mandating the wearing of masks in public. Also the Jefferson County Phase 3 application has yet to be sent to the DOH. Jefferson County and Clallam County are still in Phase 2 and may be there until after the 4th of July weekend.

JCF’s Emergency Response Fund ~ 6/23

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jefferson Community Foundation President and CEO Siobhan Canty is a regular guest of Chris Bricker on Morning on the Salish, at 10:30am Tuesdays. Each week Siobhan shares updates on JCF’s work to strengthen the landscape of services available to people and the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, which has raised over $542,000 as of June 23. New donations are quickly relayed from the Fund to worthy nonprofits affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more at JCFgives.org

County Public Health Report ~ 6/22

During our weekly interview with Jefferson County Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke, we learned that Jefferson County now has an additional COVID-19 case. The count is now 33. As of yet no real case count increase has occurred following the recent protests. We expect our district to return to school in fall 2020. Also discussed: masking use, enforcement, and availability.

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

The Virtual Brewocracy Now ~ 6/19

Port Townsend City Manager John Mauro is on KPTZ with a new format that debuted on Friday, June 19, from 12:10 – 12:30pm. Discovery Road DJ host Tim Quackenbush hosted John’s virtual online meeting as a live broadcast, with updates on the fast-changing local world in and around Port Townsend. Topics included the Juneteenth mural that came together in less than a week, the use of plastic bags during the COVID-19 exemption, the complexities of allowing ride share services in Port Townsend, and the future use of the Port Townsend City Golf Course.

The experiment was a success! So stay tuned for the full rollout weekly time in July. John will take questions and encourage productive dialogue (and exemplar virtual meeting etiquette) as we steer through a range of topics.

Special City & County Meeting on Collaborative Planning ~ 6/17

Photo by Doug Rodgers

KPTZ live broadcast Wednesday’s special joint meeting of the Jefferson Board of County Commissioners, Port Commissioners, PUD, and the Port Townsend City Council. Elected officials of our four local governmental agencies unanimously agreed to establish a multi-governmental process for establishing a COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Plan.

The Intergovernmental Collaborative Committee (ICC) was formed, composed of elected officials County Commissioner Kate Dean, City Council Deputy Mayor David Faber, Port Commissioner Pete Hanke and PUD Commissioner Jeff Randall; and executive staff County Administrator Philip Morley, City Manager John Mauro, Port Executive Director Eron Berg and PUD Executive Director Kevin Streett.

JCF’s Emergency Response Fund ~ 6/16

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jefferson Community Foundation President and CEO Siobhan Canty is a regular guest of Chris Bricker on Morning on the Salish, at 10:30am Tuesdays. Each week Siobhan shares updates on JCF’s work to strengthen the landscape of services available to people and the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, which has raised almost $530,000 from over 560 people as of June 12. New donations are quickly relayed from the Fund to worthy nonprofits affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more at JCFgives.org.

County Public Health Report ~ 6/15

Jefferson County Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke addressed concerns related to COVID-19 testing for people attending the recent protest rallies, as well as reporting a new confirmed case in Jefferson County. Potential timing for the County’s move into Phase 3 of the governor’s Safe Start Recovery Plan and expectations for the public, were addressed. Both Dr. Locke and Department of Emergency Management Director Willie Bence relayed guidance about the recommendation for face coverings when in public.

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

JCF’s Emergency Response Fund ~ 6/09

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jefferson Community Foundation President and CEO Siobhan Canty is a regular guest of Chris Bricker on Morning on the Salish, at 10:30am Tuesdays. Each week Siobhan shares updates on JCF’s work to strengthen the landscape of services available to people and the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, which has raised more than $521,634 to date. If you belong to a nonprofit working to help those in need as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, grant applications will be accepted on a weekly rolling basis for emergency funding. Go to JCFgives.org to learn more. 

County Public Health Report ~ 6/08

Dr. Tom Locke addressed the concerns related to the recent protest rallies, as well as the County’s observance of Phase 2 of the governor’s Safe Start Recovery Plan. Key topics included the ordinance in effect that requires face coverings when in public, and the increase in testing capacity both locally and at the statewide level.

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

Brewocracy Now ~ 6/05

Port Townsend City Manager John Mauro is on KPTZ at a new time, on alternate Fridays shortly after 12 noon for Brewocracy Now. Discovery Road DJ host Tim Quackenbush joined John live in the studio, for updates on the fast-changing local world in and around Port Townsend. Topics included the update on Port Townsend’s Open Streets Project, how the City is meeting fiscal challenges from the pandemic, and the responsibilities of the Port Townsend Police, in assuring racial equality in our community..

JCF’s Emergency Response Fund ~ 6/02

This week Jefferson Community Foundation Director of Nonprofit Services Jen Kingfisher joined Chris Bricker on Morning on the Salish to talk about the much needed work of JCF, along with the outstanding organizations rising to the occasion in support of the vast community needs. As of May 29, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund has raised more than $483,227, and has disbursed $425,910. If you belong to a nonprofit working to help those in need as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, grant applications will be accepted on a weekly rolling basis for emergency funding. Go to JCFgives.org to learn more. 

County Public Health Report ~ 6/01

Monday’s 9:45am live broadcast from the Board of County Commissioners meeting began with timely statements from Sheriff Joe Nole, and from acting Port Townsend Police Chief Troy Surber, addressing recent tragedy and unrest involving law enforcement and how his department is trying to prevent discrimination. These comments preceded the weekly Public Health Briefings from Dr Tom Locke and Willie Bence, related to the Safe Start Phase 2 plan now in effect. Jefferson County’s 31st COVID-19 case was revealed by Dr. Locke, who presented guidance for the new public health order for citizens to wear masks when in business establishments and out in public.

KPTZ’s Through Science to Health ~ 5/29

Today Lynn Sorensen, RN and Phil Andrus discussed the recent directive, dated 5/28/20, by Dr Tom Locke, Jefferson County Health Officer regarding the ‘mandatory’ wearing of cloth masks in public if unable to keep the social distance and always to enter a business or restaurant. Phil asked: if visitors arrive without masks, what can be done for them? Lynn suggested that the Visitor Center have free masks to give out to visitors. She also commended all the seamstresses who have given of their time and sewing expertise to continue to offer free cloth masks to the public.

Other counties, Clallam and Kitsap will both be in Phase 2 as of June 1st. Phil asked how will this affect Jefferson County. Lynn spoke to the divisiveness of cultures and the risk of ‘vaccine nationalism’; that is, when a working vaccine has been produced, will that country share it with the world? The U.S. and China are in a competitive stance at this time.

County Public Health Report ~ Tuesday 5/26

This Tuesday morning, KPTZ broadcast the Public Health Updates, live from the Board of County Commissioners’ meeting.

Last Friday, our Commissioners approved the variance for moving into the governor’s new Safe Start Phased Plan and this was approved by the State Department of Health over the weekend. This will lift some of the current restrictions on business, restaurants and other activities here in town.

Dr. Tom Locke, Public Health Officer for Jefferson County and Willie Bence, Director of Emergency Management, provided information and guidance in order to ensure the health of our citizens.

KPTZ’s Through Science to Health ~ 5/22

On Tossed Salad, host Phil Andrus and guest Lynn Sorensen, RN, discussed the Safe Start plan’s Phase 2 variance for Jefferson County, which is expected to be approved by the Washington Board of Health to begin after Memorial Day.  They also talked about the difficulty in producing a COVID-19 vaccine. Lynn explained that the best possible vaccine would be one dose, would not have to be refrigerated, its production and distribution would be well coordinated, and all 7.5 billion people on earth would get vaccinated. That would be a miracle. And it’s not expected to happen.