Jefferson County’s “proof of vaccination” requirement for indoor dining will stay in place until the county’s two-week COVID-19 case rate drops, Public Health Officer Dr. …
Jefferson County’s “proof of vaccination” requirement for indoor dining will stay in place until the county’s two-week COVID-19 case rate drops, Public Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry told local business leaders in a letter last week.
Officials with the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce had recently asked Berry about how long the mandate — adopted in early September — would stay in place.
In a Nov. 23 letter to the chamber, the Port Townsend Main Street Program, and the wider county business community, Berry said the county was still experiencing a high rate of COVID-19 cases.
“When we enacted the proof of vaccination requirement for indoor dining in Jefferson County, our two-week COVID-19 case rate was 486 cases/100,000 residents,” Berry wrote. “Today, that rate is 193.”
Though the county has seen COVID case rates in the low to moderate range, Berry stressed that is not currently the case.
“When we talk about COVID-19 transmission, any case rate above 75 is considered high, a rate between 25 and 75 is moderate, and a rate less than 25 is low,” she noted.
On Monday, Jefferson County’s two-week COVID-19 case rate was 192.61.
There have been 1,297 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Jefferson County from March 2, 2020 through Nov. 29. Nineteen residents have died from the disease, and one resident was still in the hospital with COVID this week. The county has seen 78 cases of COVID-19 hospitalizations of residents since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Throughout the majority of the COVID-19 response, Jefferson County has seen case rates in the low to moderate range. When I signed the proof of vaccination order in September, I announced that I would plan to revoke it when we saw case rates sustained in the moderate range for two weeks. At that point, it will be safer for us all to move back into crowded indoor spaces regardless of our vaccination status,” Berry wrote.
Berry, who became Jefferson County’s public health officer after the start of the pandemic, in July, stressed in her letter that a cooperative approach was needed to combat COVID and keep schools and businesses open, and to keep hospitals from overflowing.
She thanked local business leaders for their efforts in keeping people safe and healthy during the pandemic.
“You are all playing a crucial role in slowing the spread of the virus,” she wrote.
“Safety precautions protect the most vulnerable members of our society – our neighbors with chronic illnesses, our elder relatives, and our children,” Berry said in the letter.
“At Jefferson County Public Health, we know that these past two years have been extremely challenging. Please know that your vigilance is important and effective. As you do, I look forward to a time in the near future when we can all breathe a little easier,” she added.