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New case of COVID on Orcas brings county count to 38 | Update

  • Thu Nov 5th, 2020 11:44am
  • News

Submitted by San Juan County

A positive COVID test result has been reported for a Lopez Island resident. This is the 39th case in San Juan County.

The ongoing investigation indicates that transmission was likely due to off-island travel.

“As we are seeing, the risk is not only initial transmission to the islands, but the potential for community spread when a local case occurs. Our only way to minimize that risk is by making careful decisions on how we interact with others,” San Juan County Health and Community Services Director Mark Tompkins said. “Given the lack of cases since August, many of us have relaxed our precautions. Unfortunately, we are now entering a period where growing cases in the country and in our state, as well as loosened safety precautions, may lead to local outbreaks. If we want to hold onto our success as a community in keeping case numbers at bay, being safe and thoughtful has to be the priority.”

The recent surge in cases across the country provides an opportunity to refresh ourselves on how to keep ourselves and our community safe from COVID:

• If you’re symptomatic, stay home and call your healthcare provider about getting tested. Do not spend time in public, socialize, or otherwise interact with your community until you have been tested and have received negative test results. For more info about when to stay home and for how long, take a look at this Hot Topic.

• If you do test positive, please do all you can to provide accurate and complete information to the San Juan County Health Department contact tracing team. They will always respect your privacy and be empathetic to your situation. Fostering a non-judgmental environment in our community is one of their top priorities. Spring feels like a lifetime ago for many of us, but this Hot Topic from April does a nice job of highlighting the importance of empathy in supporting our collective mental health.

Since Oct. 26, a total of six new cases of COVID-19 were reported in San Juan County.

We are all aware of the fact that cases are increasing drastically, including here in the islands. The days of COVID feeling like a remote threat to San Juan County are over, and we’re back to having to take strong action to prevent serious impacts to our community

Now is not the time for the islands to relax. Cases are increasing drastically across the United States, and the long-expected wintertime surge is upon us.