JEFFERSON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT – WEEKLY UPDATE 4/6/2020

Department of Health

  • An announcement will be made later today, and the website updated to show an additional (6) positive COVID-19 cases in Jefferson County. This brings the county total up to 25.

Case / Test Data

  • Jeff Co. has a higher level of testing than do most rural counties.
  • Expectations are that we will experience a factor of 10X (250 in total during the whole outbreak) or more in positive cases.
  • Percent of positive cases per total tested is running at about 50% of statewide levels.
  • Washington is doing 10K tests a day… will be 2x that by next week.
  • Tests are being processed at UofW and local specialized testing locations for quick turn-around
  • National testing labs are no longer being used due to response time of test results which have run as high as 14 days.

Advisories:

  • 20% of people that are infected are a-symptomatic (no symptoms) or pre-symptomatic the 2 days prior to feeling any symptoms when your body is shedding the virus.
  • It is crucial to adhere to organized precaution efforts for the next 7 weeks.
  • King County cases expected to peak mid-April
  • Jefferson County cases expected to peak end of April
  • Highest risk of exposure will be during the next 4 weeks.
  • Case rates are climbing
  • Try to avoid:
    • In person grocery shopping during the next 4 weeks
    • Crowded areas even while social distancing
    • Vacation homes or short-term rentals.
  • If you are sick, do not leave your home.
  • Malaria drugs:
    • Testing should have results in two weeks.
    • These drugs could have some very serious, negative, unintended effects
  • Deaths from COVID-19 continue to be greater in the over 65 age group, with the 80+ being significant.

Updated protocol on grocery store visits.

  • If you do need to go to a grocery store:
    • Wash or sanitize your hands prior to going in the store
    • If wearing gloves, wash or sanitize those prior to going into the store
    • Adhere to the 6-foot social distancing protocol
    • Be aware that stores may be implementing one-way isles to help with distancing.
    • Do not touch anything unless you are taking it. especially perishables.
    • Wear a mask if you are comfortable in doing so.

Personal Protection Updates:

  • Washington State has a stronger supply of PPE – and has developed a more robust vendor supply chain.
  • Gloves – Non-medical personal that wear gloves often do not wash their hands enough due to a false sense of security that glove wearing gives.
  • Masks are good for source control but offer a false sense of security because of improper human use.
    • Masks can increase the risk of infectious spread if people touch the insides where droplets have been deposited.
    • Homemade masks with some filtering media between inner and outer layers are more relevant and act more like surgical masks.
    • Homemade masks should be thoroughly disinfected, washed and dried after each use.
    • People tend not to practice social distancing when wearing masks due to a false sense of security.

Jefferson Healthcare:

  • Has been planning for the surge that is likely to take place this month.
  • Only a limited number of infected patients have been admitted.
  • Although they normally only have 25 beds, there are ways in an emergency, to increase that number substantially
  • There are limited ventilators, however the number is enough for immediate requirements.
  • Jefferson Health is part of an area hospital collective which share resources or take overflow patients if needed.

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT LIMITED ACTIVATION (March 23, 2020)

On Monday, March 16, Jefferson County declared a county-wide state of emergency, and the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) announced a “Limited Activation” of Emergency Services. In a normal activation, the Jefferson County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) becomes the central coordination point to serve the County.

A Limited Activation means the EOC has been activated, with only limited personnel working at the EOC, and most activities will be performed by telephonic or electronic means.

In Port Ludlow a COVID-19 Task Force has been established which combines the resources of two PLVC Committees, Emergency Management and Health & Wellness.  The Village Council Emergency Management Committee is initiating a Limited Activation of the Block Captain network.  Block Captains will be reaching out to their respective neighborhoods via phone, email or in person, considering social distancing as a priority, to assess the community. Block Captains will answer questions as well as gather needs information.

The COVID-19 Task Force is working with the DEM and Jefferson County Department of Health to provide relevant information on the pandemic and develop methods to respond to our community. We will be sending out additional information about this shortly.

COVID-19 RESPONSE PLAN

OBJECTIVE:  To provide the entire Port Ludlow community with information relative to the coronavirus outbreak and be a resource to assist residents in obtaining supplies and services as required.

PARTICIPANTS:  

  • Health & Wellness Committee
  • Emergency Management Committee
  • Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management (DEM)

ELEMENTS:

  • Use PLVC eblast system to communicate information and status
  • Post information on PLVC website
  • Use NextDoor social media system to further communicate info and status
  • Share all information with SBCA & LMC
  • Develop and maintain resource lists for food, prescriptions and supplies (open?)
  • Monitor Weekly Jefferson County Commissioners’ Meeting COVID-19 Update
  • Monitor Jefferson Healthcare website and information
  • Monitor Jefferson County Emergency Management website
  • Monitor Jefferson County Department of Public Health website
  • Limited activation of Block Captain Program to assist residents
  • Encourage residents to contact Block Captain with questions or problems
  • Encourage residents to use PLVC website to obtain information or assistance

Fireworks Prohibited on National Forests

Public Service Announcement: Pacific Northwest Region Olympic National Forest
Olympia, WA, June 29, 2018 – As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, fire officials want to remind visitors that fireworks are prohibited on all national forests.
“Fireworks of any kind are prohibited on the Olympic National Forest,” says Micah Johnson, Zoned Fire Management Officer, “we welcome visitors to our public lands, however, we ask that everyone stay safe and deal with fire responsibly.”
Fireworks are banned on national forests at all times, regardless of weather conditions. Violators can be subject to a maximum penalty of a fine of $5000 and/or up to six months in jail. Additionally, anyone who starts a wildfire can be held liable for suppression costs.
At this time, no other fire restrictions for the public are in place on the Olympic, but visitors are asked to be mindful of Washington’s increasingly dry conditions when visiting the national forest this summer.
If you plan on having a campfire, please remember:
  • Know before you go whether campfires are allowed where you are visiting and check if fire conditions have changed
  • Use a designated fire ring when available
  • Keep fires away from low-hanging vegetation
  • Keep water and a shovel nearby
  • Extinguish all campfires before leaving – remember, if it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave
Enjoy a great Fourth on your public lands, and play safely and conscientiously. Additional campfire and wildfire safety information can be found at www.smokeybear.com.

REGISTER TODAY! Emergency Prep Workshop Series for Vulnerable People.

The Port Ludlow Village Council Emergency Management Committee (PLVC-EM) will host STEPUP, a two-part “Special Training in Emergency Preparedness for Unique People”, on Monday, September 18, from 1pm-4pm, at the Beach Club, and 1pm-4pm, Wednesday, September 20, at the Bay Club. Unique people in this context are those with disabilities, Senior Citizens and the vulnerable population

Deb Reithmeyer, Program Coordinator for Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management (JCDEM), will facilitate the two-part workshop that will cover many unique topics, including sheltering in place, caring for your service animal or pet during a disaster, compiling your important documents prior to a disaster, among other related topics.

STEPUP is sponsored by the JCDEM and offered free of charge. However, seating is limited at both venues, so please pre-register today with Deb at dreithmeyer@co.jefferson.wa.us or 360-344-9728 so she knows how many people to expect. There will be a drawing for a Stuffed Grab and Go Backpacks at each session, but you must be present to win.

Please CLICK HERE to learn more about how to get ready and/or help your neighbors to do the same by becoming a PLVC-EM volunteer.

APPOINTMENT OF NEW DISASTER PREPAREDNESS DIRECTOR

Rob Stern has been appointed Disaster Preparedness Director by the PLVC Board of Directors. Port Ludlow has been without a Director for almost a year and Mr. Stern brings significant experience to this role. He is the founder and principal of Defense Research, LLC, which develops advanced media for civil defense and emergency response information systems. He has developed a Citizens’ Emergency Response Guide which contains considerable disaster preparedness information and self-help articles. It can be accessed at www.911emg.com. The Port Ludlow Disaster Preparedness organization involves about 100 volunteers throughout the Community and its mission continues to be threefold:

  • Educate residents
  • Be a communications vehicle
  • Foster self-help when needed

Following a disaster, information can be radioed to Communications Centers at the Bay and Beach Clubs and then is relayed to Jefferson County Emergency Management and Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue. An updated Disaster Preparedness Plan will be developed by Mr. Stern along with assistance from North Bay Coordinator Joe Lanjiahr and South Bay Coordinator Pat Lohrey. The first event of the new organization will be a Community Preparedness presentation by the American Red Cross in March. Details to follow.