Until last week, all seven people who had died from COVID-19 in Clallam and Jefferson counties were mostly in their 80s, the highest at-risk age group for contracting the virus.
That changed with the death, reported Friday, of a Clallam County man in his 50s.
He contracted the virus while travelling out of state before dying at his home, Clallam County Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry said at her regular Friday briefing.
As Clallam remains the most vaccinated county in the state and “well within” the moderate-rate category for the viral infections, Berry said his passing signals that North Olympic Peninsula residents should, with vigilance, continue wearing masks in public and practicing safety protocols.
“It is a critical reminder that COVID-19 is still very much alive and well, and circulating, especially outside of our community, though we still have some here as well,” Berry said.
“It is a critical reminder of how serious this infection can be, even to younger people.”
There has been one death a month from the virus reported on the Peninsula.
A woman in her 90s and a woman in her 80s died in Jefferson County in November and December.
Three women in their 80s, a woman in her 70s and a man in his 80s have died in Clallam County since August.
Like the man whose death was reported Friday, most had underlying health conditions or age was a factor.
Clallam County, which passed the 1,000-cases mark the last week of February, stood at 1,012 as of Saturday, Berry said in a text message.
That’s an increase of 0ne reported case since Friday.
Jefferson County held steady at 336 cases as of Saturday, county Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke said.
“This is another week of very low COVID-19,” he said.
Thirty percent of Clallam County residents had received at least one shot of a two-dose vaccine and 18 percent were fully vaccinated as of Friday, Berry said. Vaccination slots at Port Angeles High School were filled up for Saturday but available, as of Friday, for Sunday.
Twenty-nine percent of Jefferson County residents had received at least one shot and 16 percent both doses, Locke said Saturday.
Locke was driving to Chimacum to prepare for a mass vaccination event for the end of March, when both counties are expected to move into the broader-vaccine-distribution Phase 1B2 stage.
Clallam and Jefferson are in the 1B1 category for now.
It allows vaccinations of residents 65 and older and 50 and older who live in multigenerational households or caregivers older relative or children.
Added last week to the eligibility pool were pre-kindergarten-to-grade-12 educators and staff and all childcare providers regardless of age.
“We do have enough vaccines and vaccine slots to vaccinate this entire group in our community within the next two weeks,” Berry said.
Clallam County residents register at vaccine.clallam.net/register.
Jefferson County residents register at https://jeffersonhealthcare.org/covid-19-vaccine.
Stage 1B2 starts March 22. It opens the vaccination door to critical infrastructure workers in congregate settings such as grocery stores, food banks, transit agencies, correctional facilities and the agriculture and…
Read More News: COVID death youngest on Peninsula | Peninsula Daily News