Submitted by San Juan County
Note: Current positive case numbers are available online at the County Case Data Dashboard at www.sanjuanco.com/1682/COVID-19-SJC-Data-Dashboard. As indicated on that page, these numbers are only updated after case confirmation is complete, usually daily. It is possible that other information sources in the community may be quicker to report on new cases, but ensuring privacy and accuracy is critical for this official information source.
Since the last update on Friday, Jan. 8, total cases in San Juan County have increased from 88 to 96. Seven of the new cases are on San Juan Island, one is on Orcas Island.
Note that approximately 42 individuals who are close contacts of positive cases are currently in active quarantine.
The single new case is connected to a previous case for which the transmission source has been tied to off-island travel. One positive case is being actively monitored on Orcas Island at this time.
There are no new cases and no positive cases being actively monitored on Lopez Island at this time.
San Juan Island
Of the seven new cases on San Juan Island the following information is known:
• Two of the new cases are close household contacts of a previous case. The transmission source is tied to the hosting of an off-island visitor.
• Three of the remaining new cases are related to off-island travel.
• The transmission sources of the final two cases are still under investigation.
Clearly, the islands (and San Juan in particular) continue to see large numbers of new cases (though relatively speaking, our case rates are still low by many measures). Nearly all these cases have been directly tied to off-island travel. A few have been connected to the hosting of off-island visitors. This is exactly what we knew would happen during and after the holidays. Hopefully, we’ll see a decline in cases starting next week – but given the spikes we are seeing elsewhere; this surge may not go away anytime soon.
As always, a major concern is overwhelming our healthcare infrastructure. In the region of Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan, and Island counties the percentage of hospital beds devoted to COVID patients has increased by 61 percent. This is a dramatic and worrying trend.
For more information on Gov. Jay Inslee’s new two-phase reopening plan, visit www.sanjuanco.com/DocumentCenter/View/21689/Hot-Topic-40-New-Two-Phase-Plan. Note that on Jan. 15, the Washington State Department of Health determined that the North Region (including San Juan County) would remain in Phase 1 for at least another week. The surge in COVID hospitalizations mentioned above is currently the reason for remaining in Phase 1.