New virus case in Jefferson County

Total of 32 cases in the county

Posted 6/15/20

Health officials confirmed a new case of the coronavirus in Jefferson County over the weekend. 

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

New virus case in Jefferson County

Total of 32 cases in the county

Posted

Health officials confirmed a new case of the coronavirus in Jefferson County over the weekend. 

Public health officer Tom Locke said the investigation into the case began on Sunday, June 14. 

“There’s still some unanswered questions,” he said at his weekly briefing to county commissioners on June 15. “It certainly does appear that the transmission appeared within the county, but there might be some multi-state links involved. There’s going to be a lot of contacts, and a number of potential sources.”

While many counties in Western Washington are seeing the number of cases level off, Locke said eastern counties in the state are seeing continued increases of case numbers. 

“In Washington state it’s looking like we may be moving out of the leveling off phase into an increasing phase,” Locke said. “There’s some very concerning things going on in Eastern Washington. Especially in Yakima, Benton and Franklin counties things are looking like they were looking in King County and Seattle back in March.”
The rate of growth is not only going up, but becoming exponential, he said. 

This could be because of the agricultural industry in Eastern Washington. 

“You have a migratory workforce, living conditions that are often very crowded, sometimes substandard, impaired access to healthcare and optimal sanitation,” Locke said. “In terms of production facilities, the poultry and meat packing plants are designed for people to work in very close proximity.”

Locke said the growth of cases cannot be attributed to protests and rallies that have occurred across the country in the past few weeks. 

“There’s a two- to three-week lag between events that can increase transmission and when we can actually measure it,” he said. “If there’s going to be a surge related to the racial justice demonstrations that have been occurring, this week is when we would start to see that.”

While protesters attempted to be mindful of social distancing and wearing masks, Locke said the use of tear gas, which can cause coughing and respiratory distress, by police could increase risk of transmission. 

“People being locked up in holding cells is also a risk for exposure,” he said.

Comments

5 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment
Jeffco Essential

“Multiple contacts” is very vague. Does the most recent case involve a member of the essential workforce? I am a member of that workforce and I see over 100 people a day where I work-increasingly seeing people from out of state, many who refuse to or balk at wearing masks/practicing social distancing.

Wednesday, June 17
John Johnson

why do I see traffic attendants at the Port Townsend ferry dock not wearing mask

Wednesday, June 17
DHinman

Most of the restaurant workers I've seen around Port Townsend are not wearing masks. The Waterfront Pizza employees are among the worst offenders - no masks, no gloves, no sanitation at all!

Wednesday, June 17
KWC

I like Water Front Pizza but will not be going there any more. Their adherence to the masking policy was horrible and the space is tiny. If they are not willing to wear a mask to protect their patrons they don't deserve my business.

The Co-op was a wonderful experience and they have Covid protections dialed in. Carl's building supply has been doing it right since day one, and the Chimacum Farm Stand has also been an early leader in protecting their employees and customers.

Tuesday, June 23
nandomano1406

Amazingly scary to drive through our PT on the last three weekends, and see so many people not wearing masks, nor social distancing. I agree--I won't go into any business that doesn't protect their staff and customers by having their staff wear masks. Merchants should also be able to refuse entry to customers who don't wear a mask, in order to protect their staff and other customers. Wish Governor Inslee would "just do it" state-wide (not just Yakima County) and require everyone working in, or entering a business, wear a mask...period. Regardless, get smart and on the Safety Train people! Wear a mask--or, you're risking your, and everyone else's life that you come in contact with.

Tuesday, June 23