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COVID-19 UPDATE

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Update on Jefferson County COVID-19 Case Count

March 21, 2020
Thomas Locke, MD, MPH Jefferson County Health Officer
Case Count Update:
615 Sheridan Street Port Townsend, WA 98368 www.JeffersonCountyPublicHealth.org

Two additional positive cases of COVID-19 infection have been confirmed in Jefferson County residents. Both cases are female, one in her 70’s and another in her 20’s. One case appears to have had significant out-of-county exposures, the other more likely had an exposure to the coronavirus infection within Jefferson County. Significantly, a number of Jefferson County residents have been exposed to these confirmed cases and have been placed in 14-day quarantine.

Tests results on these new confirmed cases took over 1 week to be processed by the testing labs, reflecting the ongoing problems with timely access to testing results. In addition to extreme testing delays, we continue to see shortages of specimen collection supplies. Jefferson Healthcare has set up testing sites for community members who are ill and meet the priority criteria for testing. Detailed guidelines for testing are available on the Jefferson Healthcare website. All community members considering testing should call the Nurse Hotline to see if testing is advisable. Under no circumstances should community members who are NOT ill seek testing. Those with mild illness are advised to stay home and recover consistent with statewide recommendations.

It is important for Jefferson County residents to realize that in-county transmission of coronavirus is increasing. We will almost certainly see new cases in the days ahead. Jefferson County Public Health will continue its core mission of investigating cases, identifying contacts, and recommending appropriate isolation and quarantine measures. It is also vitally important that Jefferson County residents heed Governor Inslee’s orders banning public gatherings, enforcing social distancing, and strongly recommending individuals at high risk for COVID-19 complications avoid situations where they could be exposed to this infection. Now is the time for high risk individuals – those who are over 60, who are pregnant, or who have chronic medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease – to “shelter in place”. Travel outside the home and in public places should be limited to only essential, unavoidable activity. Rigorous hand washing and respiratory hygiene (cover your cough) are more important than ever. Community members who have fevers and respiratory symptoms MUST stay home until recovered for 72 hours whether they are tested or not.

Community Health Developmental Disabilities 360-385-9400
360-385-9401 (f)

Jefferson County Public Health
Always Working for a Safer and Healthier Community

Environmental Public Health
360-385-9444
(f) 360-379-4487

COVID-19 Information for you

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The information and links below have updated information for you related to the Coronavirus outbreak.

https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus

Jefferson County Public Health would like to offer Coronavirus information and resources for businesses, groups, and the public.https://publichealthinsider.com/2020/02/24/what-happens-if-the-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-spreads-here-a-conversation-with-our-health-officer/

COVID-19 fact sheet posted on the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) Coronavirus webpage.
https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/NovelCoronavirusFactSheet.pdf

Frequently Asked Questions section at the bottom The DOH Coronavirus webpage. This will be updated as new questions are identified. This includes “How Can I Be Prepared For a COVID-19 Outbreak”.
https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus

Guidance for Businesses and Employers from DOH and CDC offers helpful information for employers and employees. https://www.doh.wa.gov/Coronavirus/Workplace
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

DOH has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

FYI PETITION: REQUIRE ALL NEW SHOOTING RANGES IN JEFFERSON COUNTY, WASHINGTON TO BE BUILT INDOORS.

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The Jefferson County Planning Commission has recommended to the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) that:

ALL NEW SHOOTING RANGES BE BUILT INDOORS, IN  COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL ZONES, GRANDFATHERING IN THE JEFFERSON COUNTY SPORTSMEN'S ASSOCIATION RANGE, WHICH LEASES COUNTY PROPERTY.

This recommendation was reached after an extensive, required public decision-making process, which is now nearing its completion. The planners voted 7-0, with one abstention on Nov. 20, 2019.

By signing this petition you are indicating that:

- You are a resident of Jefferson County, WA.
- You support the Planning Commission's recommendation stated in bold, capitalized type above.

Click here for details and to sign this petition.

FYI: Seattle Times Editorial Board Re: Assault Weapons Ban

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By The Seattle Times editorial board

"A disappointingly familiar routine has played out in Olympia three years running: Attorney General Bob Ferguson proposes an assault-weapons ban, for which bills are filed in the Senate and House. Then, after moving discussion of America’s horrifying series of mass shootings, the bills quietly disappear without a floor vote in either chamber."

"Enough is enough. The Legislature’s 2020 session cannot be the fourth consecutive one — and the third in which Democrats control both houses — in which lawmakers hide from a decision. America’s plague of wanton public gun violence will not solve itself. The Legislature should ban sales of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in 2020, as Ferguson has once again proposed. For the first time, Gov. Jay Inslee has joined this request; more lawmakers should follow suit." Click link to READ MORE.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/editorials/state-lawmakers-must-pass-assault-weapons-ban/

The Leader: Planning Commission: ‘No outdoor shooting ranges in Jefferson County’

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Posted Wednesday, November 27, 2019 3:00 am
Lily Haight
lhaight@ptleader.com

Jefferson County’s volunteer planning commission has advised the County Commission to block all new outdoor shooting ranges.

The planners voted 7-0, with one abstention, on Nov. 20 to recommend the county’s ordinances be amended to require that all new shooting ranges be built indoors, grandfathering in the Jefferson County Sportsmen’s Association range, which leases country property.

“There is a lot of community support around this position,” said planning commissioner Lorna Smith, who worked with fellow commissioner Cynthia Koan to draft the new language. “The main factor behind that support is the many benefits of indoor shooting ranges.”

Click here to read more.

FYI: Jefferson County PUD Assistance Programs

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Jefferson County PUD Assistance Programs

Senior Low Income Bill Credit

Qualifying low-income senior citizens, age 62 and older, who participate in this program can receive a $39.50 credit on their electric bill each month. A program for qualifying low-income senior citizens 62 years of age or older whose total household income after allowable deductions does not exceed the limits prescribed by RCW 84.36.381(5)(b)(ii). Combined disposable income for members of the household must currently be $30,000 or less.

Standard Low Income Bill Credit

Qualifying low-income customers, regardless of age, who meet this criteria receive a $39.50 credit on their electric bill each month. This program is available for all qualifying low-income customers whose gross household income does not exceed 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) as published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (Various deductions and exclusions are allowed for different types of income.)

Questions? Contact their Customer Service Representatives at 360-385-5800 Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

You can apply for these and other PUD assistance programs at: https://www.jeffpud.org/assistance/

FYI: The Last Salmon: Short Films & Discussion About the Pebble Mine

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Meaningful Movies Port Townsend Bristol Bay, Alaska is home to over half of the world’s Sockeye Salmon. A robust and sustainable fishing economy brings in $1.5 billion in revenue annually, and the local population subsists off of salmon as they have for 10,000 years. One of the largest open pit mines in the world is in the process of being permitted for construction in the heart of this watershed. The Pebble Mine is slated to produce 10 billion tons of toxic waste, 3000 for every person on earth. Join us to learn why the threat of large-scale mining in Bristol Bay is our problem here in the Puget Sound. This event will feature a series of short videos followed by a discussion and Q and A with experts on the topic. Trailer and More Info: https://meaningfulmovies.org/events/the-last-salmon-short-films-and-discussion-about-the-pebble-mine/ Sponsors: Meaningful Movies Port Townsend, Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, QUUF Green Sanctuary Environmental Action Committee, QUUF Social and Environmental Justice Council, QUUF Native Connections Action Group, Trout Unlimited, and Save Bristol Bay.

Jefferson Democrats call for clear regulations on commercial gun ranges

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Urging commissioners against appeal of state board decision

by Zach Jablonski
Monday, October 28, 2019 1:30am

PORT TOWNSEND — The Jefferson County Democrats have submitted a resolution to the Jefferson Board of County Commissioners asking for “clear regulations for commercial gun ranges.”

The resolution comes after the state Growth Management Hearings Board sided with the Tarboo Ridge Coalition, determining that it has jurisdiction over gun range ordinances Title 8 and Title 18 — classifying them as land ordinances and deeming them invalid — and that the county failed to conduct a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review for Title 8, in violation of state law RCW 43.21C.030.

The requirements the resolution asks commissioners to consider are:

Click on this link to read more: https://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/jefferson-democrats-call-for-clear-regulations-on-commercial-gun-ranges/

Jefferson County Democrats urge county commissioners to adopt ‘clear regulations’ for commercial gun ranges

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Members of the Jefferson County Democrats voted unanimously October 17 for a resolution calling for the County Board of Commissioners to adopt “clear regulations for a new commercial gun range ordinance.”

They also directed party chair Marty Gilmore to present the resolution to the board in open public session at the first available opportunity. Gilmore plans to speak at the Monday, Oct. 28, meeting of the board of commissioners.

The party’s resolution urged the board to take these actions:

  • Abide by the decision of the state Growth Management Hearings Board
  • Abandon the expense of an appeal to Superior Court of the GMHB’s decision
  • Request, as necessary, more time to work with the community and the county Planning Commission in facilitated community meetings to scope legal and enforceable regulations
  • Include countywide citizen involvement in the development process
  • Develop a new ordinance or ordinances that conform with the individual right to bear arms
  • Define clearly what constitutes a commercial shooting facility
  • Conform the ordinances to all applicable Washington state and federal laws and include requirements for a full review under the State Environmental Policy Act
  • Require an operating permit
  • Place clear and concise “bright line” limits on the location, size, intensity and operating hours of commercial shooting facilities
  • Include enforcement provisions and adequate safety measures.

(more…)

FYI: Tarboo Ridge Coalition Meetings

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TRC appealed two County ordinances concerning new commercial shooting facilities to the state Growth Management Board (GMHB). On September 16, 2019, the GMHB found the ordinances in violation of state law and invalidated them. A public hearing will be held within 60 days. The Jefferson County Planning Commission has been tasked with making recommendations for changes to comply with the Board’s decisions.

Attend an Informational Meeting presented by TRC

Help us spread the word. Email or print this FLYER.

Monday, October 14, 2019
7-8 pm
Tri-Area Community Center
10 West Valley Road
Chimacum

Monday, October 21, 2019
7-8 pm
Laurel B. Johnson Community Center
923 Hazel Point Road
Quilcene

Port Townsend Date COMING SOON: https://tarbooridgecoalition.org/