JEFFERSON COUNTY COMMISSIONER WEEKLY MEETING COVID-19 SUMMARY 4/20/2020

Department of Health (Dr. Locke):

  • No new positive cases for Jefferson County reported from Sunday, April 19th.

Case / Test Data:

  • Jefferson County has peaked during this first phase of the virus transmission. We can expect to see additional phases developing until we can develop a robust testing and tracing protocol.
  • Jefferson County is ahead of the curve by 3 to 4 weeks. This is a good thing, but it also makes it harder to see if we are losing ground.
  • 775,000 COVID-19 cases nationally
  • 12,000 COVID-19 cases Washington State
  • 41,000 deaths nationally
  • 634 deaths in Washington State
  • In WA State, of all testing, 9.0% are positive
  • In Jefferson County, of all testing, 4.0% are positive
  • The Washington State COVID-19 website with county data is currently not accurate for Jefferson County. The site is showing that we have 11.0% of all tests are coming back positive, when in fact it is running a little lower that 4.0%. The disconnect is potentially from the national reporting lab network

Advisories:

  • Social distancing not only appears to be working – it is working.
    • Models assume social distancing at least through May 5th.
    • If we stop this mitigation too early additional virus phases will be upon us quickly
    • Doing so could cause positive rates to increase at 3×5 times (worse) rate than we are currently experiencing statewide.

Roadmap to Reopening:

  • How fast we move to re-opening will be based on how fast we can detect.
  • Robust and sustainable testing for only those who are symptomatic and who have been exposed to the symptomatic population, medical/hospital workers, long care facility teams, and first responders.
  • Testing program and protocol is critical, but testing is not enough.
  • Ability to analyze tests and investigate contacts through active and passive surveillance.
  • Outbreak investigations – positive cluster areas defined and mitigated.
    • There was one cluster event in Jefferson County at a residential care facility. That cluster was mitigated very quickly with no additional transmission.
  • Jefferson County is requesting clarification from the governor’s office to relook at some industries as being essential if social distancing protocols can be adhered to. Those would include, but not limited to:
    • Construction
    • Recreational
  • Caution should be heeded on portable immunity testing for anti-bodies. The companies producing the tests are unregulated and tests are typically unreliable.
  • The unknown about re-opening strategies is FEAR. The higher risk population will show a great deal of caution regard moving around safely.
  • We know the reopening is starting to happen because hospitals are starting to perform some elective surgeries.
  • DEM states the COVID-19 is like a 26-mile marathon race, it is important to know that we are in the beginning stages of this race and we are far from the finish line.
  • DEM is modifying and developing virus continency plan timelines for 30-day, 3-month, 6 month and 1-year scenarios.
  • Protests about stay at home. 70 to 80% of the population supports and agrees with the stay at home program. Even though it is inconvenient and annoying, they see the need.

Personal Protection Updates:

  • Jefferson County DEM continues to receive N-95 masks and gloves from WA. State Emergency Operations Center (EOC). There seems to be a shortage of gowns and eye protection. They expect more in the near term.
  • DEM states that 1,000 homemade masks have been produced and distributed. A large demand still exists

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.

PLA ANNOUNCEMENTS / CLOSURES OWSI NOTIFICATION

Port Ludlow Associates has asked us to forward the following


TEMPORARY CLOSURE – The Inn, Fireside, Golf Course and
PLA/OWSI Office will be closed until at least April 24.

LIMITED OPENINGS – Marina and Fuel Dock, call for times, 360-437-0513


OWSI

  1. The safeguards we have always taken to protect water quality are effective to keep it safe from viruses, including COVID-19.
  2. We do ask that when you are cleaning with disinfecting wipes that you do not dispose of them by flushing them down your toilets. Toilet paper is the only paper product that is safe to flush into the sewers. Disinfecting and flushable wipes do not break down in water, increasing the chance of sewer pipe line backups.
  3. If you are having difficulty paying your water bill due to the COVID-19 Virus, please contact us as soon as possible. We will offer payment arrangements and extensions to help. Additionally, we have temporarily suspended collections activities and shutoffs on residential service connections for non-payment.

owsi@portludlowassociates.com
360-437-2101 Office
877-826-5787 Emergency Phone

JEFFERSON HEALTHCARE RESPONDS TO COVID-19

The following are highlights from the Peninsula Daily News Commentary, March 18, 2020.
Jefferson Healthcare’s (JHC) COVID-19 plan is aimed at keeping our communities informed, safe and well during this pandemic. Planning work has three main components:
1) Monitor, test and communicate
2) Flatten the infection growth curve
3) Plan for increased health services utilization.
To assist our community:
  • JHC has launched a COVID-19 Nurse Consult hotline at 360-344-3094. It isavailable 7 days a week to answer questions and schedule appointments in the COVID-19/Respiratory Incident CommandStation.
  • JHC has dramatically increased the ability to test. JHC plans to keep a drive-thru testing station at the hospital as long as necessary – currently by appointment only.
  • To keep you informed, JHC is updating daily our COVID-19 Web page at: jeffersonhealthcare.org/covid-19.
  • JHC is also posting informative video content on our Facebook page.
  • JHC has inventoried all personal protection equipment (PPE), and developed use protocols to ensure staff is protected and safe while caring for patients.
  • JHC is restricting hospital visitors. JHC has made the difficult decision to postpone all support groups and wellness services and restrict access to the hospital and clinics for all discretionary purposes (like using the cafeteria). We expect our community members to understand and comply with this temporary restriction to keep our most vulnerable residents safe and well.
JHC has been closely monitoring the regional and local situations and, in collaboration with the Public Health Department, communicating with the public at every opportunity. JHC has a plan in place and a team of dedicated staff and providers fully committed to doing whatever it takes to get our community through this difficult time.
County Health Officer, Tom Locke, and senior JHC officials held a Panel Discussion on March 25. Follow this link to see it in its entirety:

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO STAY HOME 3/25/2020

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Governor Inslee has asked Washington residents to stay home. You might have questions about what that means. Here are some answers that may help.

Can I go outside? 

Yes. In fact, it is good for you to go for walks, check your mailbox, and sit in the sunshine. Just remember to stay at least six feet away from others, avoid travel, and avoid crowds.

Can my family or friends come visit? 

You should cancel or postpone in-person visits. But, you don’t have to isolate yourself! Keep in touch with your family and friends through phone and video calls, emails and letters, and virtual gatherings. You can use phone apps and social media platforms for group conversations and video chatting.

I live with other people who come and go. What do I do? 

Encourage everyone in your household to stay home unless they need groceries, prescriptions, or if they are still required to work. Anyone who goes out should wash their hands immediately when they get home. In your house, clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces, such as remote controls, phones, countertops, and doorknobs.

How can I protect myself if I have to go out? 

If you have to go out, carry hand sanitizer or disinfecting wipes, stay at least six feet away from others, cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, and wash your hands when you get home. It’s a good idea to also clean off any items you bring home with you before you use them.

How can I get groceries and prescriptions? 

Many grocery store chains will deliver goods and prescriptions. Stores are also reserving times for people who are older, pregnant, or have health conditions to shop. Check your local grocery store for more information. You can also ask friends and family to help you get what you need.

Should I cancel my vacation plans? 

Yes. It is best to cancel or postpone any plans that involve traveling or being around people.

Should I cancel my doctor appointments? 

Talk to your doctor about whether you should cancel your appointments. If you have a condition that requires treatment, your doctor may ask you to come in. Or, your doctor may be able to conduct your appointment over the phone or online.

Are my pets affected? 

There is no evidence that people can get sick from their pets. However, the CDC recommends that you wash your hands after touching your pets, their food, waste, or supplies. Call your veterinarian of you have questions about your pet’s health.

Should I wear a facemask? 

You don’t need to wear a facemask if you are not sick. If you are sick, you should wear a facemask, if you have one. You should also put on a facemask when you go to your doctor’s office.

Can I go to my place of worship? 

No. Governor Inslee’s directive prohibits all gatherings, public and private. However, many places of worship are offering services over the internet. You can work with your leaders or other community members to provide services online.

Will I get my Social Security benefits? 

Yes. If you get a phone call from someone who says there is problem with your Social Security account, hang up. Unfortunately, people are scamming others.   

What should I do if I start to feel sick? 

Call your doctor before you leave the house to get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have symptoms that are getting worse, have a chronic health condition, or have shortness of breath. If you are experiencing an emergency, call 9-1-1.

How long will this last? 

Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is for at least two weeks (from March 23, 2020).

COVID-19 TASK FORCE FORMED

Members of two Village Council Committees, Health & Wellness and Emergency Management, have been combined to form a COVID-19 Task Force to provide two-way communications between Port Ludlow residents and the experts for this pandemic. As the chairs of the two Committees, Jim and Kim Moffitt are heading up this effort and our two Block Captain Coordinators, Pat Lohrey and Mike Towner will help lead the effort. In addition, Paul Hinton and Phyllis Waldenberg from Health & Wellness and PLVC President Bill Dean are actively involved.
The first assignment of the Task Force has been to declare a Limited Activation of the Port Ludlow EM Block Captain program. This is in concert with the limited activation of the Jefferson County Emergency Operations Center. In both cases, individuals will not be meeting, but will be using electronic means to perform their duties. If you have a question or need, contact your Block Captain. If you don’t know who your Block Captain is, contact us through the PLVC website (www.plvc.org/contact) and we will respond to you as soon as possible.
Click HERE to see more details on how the Port Ludlow activation will commence.
We are anticipating the need to communicate what is going on in the area and share information with the County about our situation here in Port Ludlow. COVID-19 Communication with residents will be updated on a regular basis. This has started with take-out food options, along with grocery purchase availability. Opportunities for blood donation and consolidated contact information for Utilities and other subjects is being worked on.
Bill Dean
PLVC President

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 UPDATE (March 15, 2020)

Starting Monday, March 16 at 9:45 a.m., Dr. Tom Locke, Public Health Officer for Jefferson County, will be giving regular public updates about COVID-19 during the County Commissioner’s weekly meetings. (If Dr. Locke has a conflict, Public Health will provide the briefing on his behalf). The COVID-19 Updates are live-streamed for viewing on the Internet, and also are recorded for on-line viewing on demand anytime thereafter.

To get the most up to date information in our County, watch this live video!

To see live or recorded videos of the Board of County Commissioners’ meeting including Dr. Locke’s 9:45 a.m. update, go to www.co.jefferson.wa.us and click on “Videos of Meetings” on the lower left side of the screen. Choose “Streaming Live” or “Recorded.”

To get the latest information, click on the following links:
https://jeffersonhealthcare.org/covid-19 or https://jeffersoncountypublichealth.org/1429/COVID-19