Weekly COVID recap with San Juan County

Submitted by San Juan County

Note: Current positive case numbers are available online at the County Case Count Page, sanjuanco.com/1682/COVID-19-SJC-Case-Count. 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 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 Nov. 25, total cases in San Juan County have increased from 63 to 66. Two of these new cases are on San Juan Island, the other is on Lopez Island.

Orcas Island

There are zero positive cases being actively monitored on Orcas Island at this time and no new cases since the last report.

Lopez Island

There is one positive case being actively monitored on Lopez Island at this time. The transmission for the new case on Lopez Island occurred off-island before travel home. Close contacts are limited to household members.

San Juan Island

There are a total of three positive cases being actively monitored on San Juan Island at this time. The new cases on San Juan Island involve two members of the same household. Initial transmission almost certainly occurred as a result of off-island contact with an infected individual. Close contacts are limited to household members.

Overall picture

The week of Dec. 6 through 12 will provide a clearer measure of the impacts of holiday travel and the result of our collective efforts to minimize risk. A large number of islanders canceled or scaled back holiday plans. Hopefully, that will help avoid a spike in cases.

Vaccine efforts continue. There are still many unknowns at this point, including details on what the priorities for distribution will be. Those decisions are being made at the state and federal level. However, it does seem certain that medical workers in high-risk settings will be the first priority, and the first doses of vaccine could be available to that group as soon as mid-December. When the first doses will make it to island medical providers is still unknown, but these are clear and welcome signs of progress.

It remains likely that it will be well into 2021 before the vaccine has been fully distributed. As the vaccine effort comes into focus, regular updates will be provided to the community.

It sounds dramatic perhaps, but now is not the time to relax. The disease is still out there, it is real, and thousands of people in the United States are dying each day. No one in our community wants to take the risk of suffering from severe COVID symptoms, and infection now would be even more traumatic, with a vaccine in sight.

Hang in there. As islanders, we are working our way through this one day at a time. It has been a truly inspiring effort all around.