Jefferson County Public Health Officer says COVID-19 vaccine isn't coming soon

Infections drop to new low in JeffCo

Posted 9/18/20

Jefferson County is seeing the lowest level of COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic, Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke told the Jefferson County Board of Health at its meeting …

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Jefferson County Public Health Officer says COVID-19 vaccine isn't coming soon

Infections drop to new low in JeffCo

Posted

Jefferson County is seeing the lowest level of COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic, Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke told the Jefferson County Board of Health at its meeting Thursday.

Locke said there was good news on the pandemic, relatively speaking.

"COVID rates are dropping in Washington state, so things are improving slowly," Locke told health commissioners.

"Things have improved dramatically in Jefferson County. We currently only have one active case and one active contact," Locke said. "So this is kind of our all-time low."

The number of COVID-19 cases has stayed constant at 71 cases since Friday, Sept. 11.

According to Jefferson County Health, a total of 7,699 patients have been tested, with test results being negative for 7,600.

Test results are still pending for 28 people.

The two-week COVID-19 test rate per 100,000 population (Aug. 30 through Sept. 12) was at 3.13 Friday, Sept. 18, which equates to one case in the last 14 days.
Locke also discounted recent reports in the press that have highlighted a potential COVID-19 vaccine being ready in the coming months.

"Don't believe what you see in the press. A vaccine is not coming in 2020. And it is just far more complicated than people realize," Locke told health commissioners.

Hope remains, he said, that a vaccine will be available near the start of next year.

"But we are doing planning for implementation; we've started that," Locke added. "And that's a reasonable thing to do. It's going to be a huge undertaking."

A more immediate success has been the restarting of classes in Jefferson County.

"The schools have started up. Brinnon will actually be completing their third week after tomorrow," Locke told the county health board Thursday.

Remaining schools will be wrapping up their second week, he said.

"Which is quite an achievement, since a lot of schools in Washington state have not even attempted in-person education yet, including those in Kitsap and in Clallam," Locke added.

"My message to them is: It's a ton of work. It takes a lot of support from public health and health care providers. And everyone has risen to the task. I think our protocols will be kind of the model for our region. So far, so good," Locke added.

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