New case of COVID on Orcas

  • Wed Jul 22nd, 2020 4:28pm
  • News

Submitted by San Juan County

One new positive COVID-19 case has been reported on Orcas Island, which brings the total number of cases in San Juan County to date to 25. The initial case investigation is complete. Close contacts are in quarantine and the patient is isolating. The findings from the case investigation suggest the transmission source was a large off-island social gathering where some participants were unmasked.

Regarding the recent cases on San Juan Island: initial testing has not found any COVID positive individuals other than the five confirmed cases. Out of an abundance of caution, some close contacts remain in quarantine to minimize the chance of any further spread.

It has been said before, but it is so important that it needs to be highlighted again:

The greatest risk the islands are facing right now is close social contact between islanders and friends and family from outside of their household.

Cases are increasing dramatically in Washington and beyond. San Juan County is still in Phase 2, which limits us to no more than 5 contacts a week with those outside of our household. Clearly there are many not following this restriction, and clearly we are seeing new cases as a result. Recently Florida saw a surge of cases in their younger population, and a few weeks later saw an increase in hospitalizations as the surge spread to older individuals. Washington is now experiencing a surge in the younger population.

This crisis feels endless and it is hard to maintain so much sacrifice for so long. Preventing a roll-back to previous restrictions requires from all of us a dramatic reset of what “normal” life feels like. It’s not fun, but it matters, and it is what will continue to keep our islands strong.