Department of Emergency Management
IN A PANDEMIC YEAR
Safer Gatherings This time of year, families and friends will be making choices about whether or not to gather for celebrations, game days or other seasonal events. Gathering in groups—even with people we know—may spread COVID-19. The more people we interact with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the risk of becoming infected.
The safest action, especially if you’re in a high-risk category, is to avoid gatherings and find different ways to celebrate. Visit the Safe Gatherings webpage at https://coronavirus.wa.gov/information-for/you-and-your-family/safer-gatherings/celebrations-during-covid for information on alternatives to gatherings, ways to have safer gatherings, and how to have conversations with friends and family about fall and winter gatherings.
If you choose to celebrate with friends or family (outside your household) in person, you are increasing the risk of COVID-19 infection. Help to lessen the risk by keeping the group small, gathering outside if possible, and wear masks. Make sure you have room for guests to spread out and avoid sharing food and beverages.
If you haven’t had any virtual meetings with family and friends yet, this is the perfect time to sign up. Here are some sites that are easy to use and free of charge:
- Secret gift exchange | Assign each family or friend a name, and ask them mail or do a no-contact delivery of a small gift they make or buy to their assigned person. Open gifts on a group video chat and try to guess who gave what to whom.
- Remote potluck | Rather than getting together, you can assign dishes to friends and family and deliver them to one another’s homes. Or deliver just the ingredients for a dish or meal. Then, log in to your favorite video chat app to cook or dig in.
- Game night | If you thrive on competition, make your virtual gatherings about more than just conversation. Trivia, charades, and even board games, can all work great online. Or try out a virtual bake-off, talent show or a scavenger hunt where teams race to find common and not-so-common items around their house. This is also a fun one to set up for kids so they can connect virtually with friends.
Wildfire Information and Conditions:
Click on the links below to view documents about wildfire preparedness and best practices. Additional information and updates about wildfire conditions can be found at https://www.dnr.wa.gov/programs-and-services/wildfire-resources.
County 2020 Burn Ban Canceled
As of yesterday, Sept. 30, 2020 the 2020 countywide burn ban as stipulated per county code 43-05 has been canceled. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources on the Olympic Peninsula stated the fire danger is low. Land clearing burning will be allowed by permit only, according to Jefferson County Fire Marshal Brian Tracer. Fires used for debris or rubbish disposal are not considered recreational fires and are illegal. All burning is subject to immediate closure at any time in the event air stagnation conditions or poor environmental conditions exist as determined by the State Dept. of Ecology, and the Olympic Region Clean Air Authority and the Dept. of Natural Resources.
COVID-19/Respiratory Illness Nurse Consult Line:
In response to growing concerns about COVID-19 Jefferson Healthcare launched a dedicated 360-344-3094 to answer specific questions regarding the virus and address exposure concerns. Incoming calls are answered to determine initial individual questions and concerns, nurses will follow up within 24-48 hours to perform detailed evaluation. If individual meets requirements for COVID-19 testing the nurse will schedule an appointment at our dedicated COVID-19/Respiratory Evaluation Station, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
The COVID-19/Respiratory Evaluation Station is by appointment only through the Nurse Consult Line. If individuals are experiencing severe respiratory symptoms after hours or can’t wait for a nurse call back they should go to the Emergency Department. We discourage individuals with mild respiratory and cold symptoms from seeking care at the Emergency Department or Express Clinic prior to consulting with the Nurse Consult Line.
Out of an abundance of caution to protect our most medically vulnerable community members, we are discouraging unnecessary visits to the hospital, including the cafeteria until further notice. For our community, preventing the spread of the virus is important and everyone can help. Practice good hand hygiene; stay home from school or work when you feel sick, wash hands often with soap and water and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
To visit Jefferson Healthcare’s COVID-19 website for information and updates, click here.
Board of County Commissioner Meetings with COVID-19 Updates
At the Board of County Commissioners meetings that take place every Monday morning at 9AM, Dr. Tom Locke, Public Health Officer for Jefferson County, will provide COVID-19 updates. The COVID-19 updates are live-streamed for viewing on the internet and are also recorded for on-line viewing on demand anytime thereafter.
To see live or recorded videos of the Board of County Commissioners meeting including Dr. Locke’s March 16 update, go to www.co.jefferson.wa.us and click on “Videos of Meetings” on the lower left side of the screen. Choose “Streaming Live” or “Recorded.”
KPTZ 91.9FM is both live broadcasting as well as archiving Dr. Locke’s weekly meetings as podcasts. Go to KPTZ’s website to listen in.
Jefferson County Washington Emergency Management works to prepare the county and it’s communities for hazards and disasters that affect the Olympic Peninsula and our area.
What We Do
The primary objectives of the Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management are:
■ Public Education:
Presentations & printed materials related to emergency preparedness
Warning & alert; response; damage assessment; primary conduit with state and/or federal disaster assistance
■ Field Operations:
Provide support to agency and jurisdictional partners.
The Emergency Operations Center becomes the central coordination point to serve the city and county.
The Department of Emergency Management was established by Jefferson County to plan for, administer, and execute a comprehensive program of disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery according to the requirements of the law. We also serve the City of Port Townsend by interlocal agreement.