2020 Coronavirus Updates

With recent reports of Coronavirus confirmed in Washington State, Centrum wants to provide you with updated information concerning our response to this issue, and how it may impact our workshops in Port Townsend, Washington. We will update this webpage periodically and publish news via our social media channels as conditions evolve.

Most recent postings will appear at the top of the following series of links.  PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS AND/OR RESCHEDULINGS ARE BEING POSTED HERE.

May 23, 2020 UPDATE: As summer approaches, the county stats are fairly stable, with (to date) 13 affirmed cases here and 1,342 confirmed negative test results. We all share concerns about accelerating tourism in the coming months, which could impact our small community rapidly if distancing and other protective measures are not adhered to.

May 13, 2020 UPDATE: There was one new positive case in the county in the last week–we are up to 29 since the outbreak. Confirmed negative tests are now at 1,026. There have been no COVID19 deaths in the county, and 27 of the 29 cases are deemed “recovered.”

May 1, 2020 UPDATE:  Continued good news. No new cases since April 9.  Negative results are now at 798.

April 27, 2020 UPDATE:  Happy to report, still no new cases.  Negatives are at 759.

April 23, 2020 UPDATE:  Still no new cases since April 9, but now 710 confirmed negative test results here.

April 19, 2020 UPDATE: Fairly encouraging news. No new positive test cases in the past ten days. Confirmed negative test results are up to 677.

April 14, 2020 UPDATE: Still holding at 28 confirmed cases (no new cases in days) and now at 651 confirmed negative test results.

April 13, 2020 UPDATE:  No new positive cases here. 631 confirmed negative test results as of this morning.

April 9, 2020 UPDATE: 1 new positive case today (up to 28). The negative count is now at 619.

April 8, 2020 UPDATE:  No new confirmed cases this morning, but our confirmed negative results are now at 566.

April 7, 2020 UPDATE:  Jefferson County now reports 27 confirmed cases, up 50% since April 3, and 555 confirmed negative test cases.

April 5, 2020 UPDATE: Thirteen new negative confirmations and zero new positive results since Friday.

April 3, 2020 UPDATE:  Jefferson County now reports 19 confirmed cases, and 487 confirmed negative test results.

April 2, 2020 UPDATE: Gov. Jay Inslee Thursday announced an extension of his emergency stay-home order through the end of May 4, to halt the spread of the new coronavirus. The extension means the entire stay-home order will remain in effect a full six weeks, through 11:59 p.m., Monday, May 4th. That makes Tuesday, May 5th the first day for businesses and other activities to open back up.

April 1, 2020 UPDATE:  Now 17 confirmed cases and 469 confirmed negative cases in Jefferson County.  Centrum will be making announcements about its 2020 summer season today at 4 p.m.

March 30, 2020 UPDATE: Now 16 confirmed cases and 426 confirmed negative test results in our county.

March 27, 2020 UPDATE: Now 12 confirmed cases and 306 confirmed negative test results in our county.

March 26, 2020 UPDATE:  The County now has eleven (11) confirmed cases and 261 confirmed negative cases and over 180 tests pending. The Governor’s “Stay Home-Stay Healthy” initiative is in effect; most businesses are closed for two weeks. There is evidence of neighbors on trails and spending time with their families, per regulations. The community of Port Townsend is abiding by state directives in a unified effort to spare impacts on our healthcare network and those at higher risk.

March 25, 2020 UPDATE:  Audio interview on KPTZ with Robert Birman (recorded March 22)

March 24, 2020 UPDATE:  We now have nine (9) confirmed cases in Jefferson County and 220 confirmed negative test results. Also, Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (Parks) and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced the temporary closure of all state-managed parks, wildlife areas and water access areas for at least two weeks starting Wednesday, March 25. The closure is in response to Gov. Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order issued yesterday. Entrance gates and facilities will be closed, and on-site public services will be suspended. Essential staff will be present to preserve and protect resources. Camping and other overnight accommodations on state-managed recreation lands will remain closed through April 30.

March 23, 2020 UPDATE: Governor Jay Inslee issued a statewide order for residents to stay at home for the next two weeks. Two additional cases of COVID-19 in Jefferson County residents were reported to Jefferson County Public Health (now 8). There are 162 negative confirmations as of today. A case investigation into the first of these was completed and numerous contacts have been notified and advised to begin a 14 day quarantine starting on their last day of exposure. The exposure source of this individual is unknown and likely to be within the community. This case represents the 7th lab confirmed case of COVID-19 in a Jefferson County resident. The resident is male and in his 40’s. He presented critically ill and was transferred to a Seattle area hospital for intensive care. This case offers a stark reminder that coronavirus can cause life threatening illness in people younger than 60 years of age. Advancing age or the presence of chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, and immune system suppressing disorders are risk factors for the more severe forms of COVID-19.

March 22, 2020 UPDATE: Two additional positive cases of COVID-19 infection have been confirmed in Jefferson County residents (now 6). Both new cases are female, one in her 70’s and another in her 20’s. One case appears to have had significant out-of-county exposures, the other more likely had an exposure to the coronavirus infection within Jefferson County. Significantly, a number of Jefferson County residents have been exposed to these confirmed cases and have been placed in 14-day quarantine. We have 122 confirmed negative test results here.

March 18, 2020 UPDATE:  No new confirmed cases in Jefferson County–still four in total.  The confirmed negative test results is now up to 103. There are 135 tests pending. Centrum staff is now officially working from home until further notice to assist in mitigating any contact or spread of the coronavirus.

March 17, 2020 UPDATE: Jefferson County has posted a hotline phone number for any residents or visitors who believe they have have symptoms of COVID-19.  That number is (360) 344-3094. Negative confirmations are now up to 98 (from 72), and out-of-county confirmed exposures are up to 4 (from 3), with 73 tests pending.  Centrum staff begin working from home tomorrow, March 18. We can be reached by e-mail or phone at our usual contacts and we will reply to all messages as promptly as possible.

March 15, 2020 UPDATE: To date, 126 tests specimens have been collected in our county. 72 of these tests have been returned as Negative for COVID-19. 52 tests are still pending. No cases of coronavirus infection linked to exposure in Jefferson County have yet been documented.

Two additional positive cases has been added to the Jefferson County case count for residents of Jefferson County, one who has been residing in a long-term care facility in King County since early February. This individual is a male in his 70’s who was exposed to the novel coronavirus in the King County long-term care facility and has been admitted to the Seattle VA Hospital for care. Jefferson County Public Health has completed its case investigations. No Jefferson County residents were exposed to this individual during the infectious period and no quarantine recommendations have been issued. Another 40-year old is the second, with links to apparent exposure in Seattle.

March 13, 2020 UPDATE: Governor Jay Inslee on Friday ordered the closure of all public and private schools in Washington state through at least April 24 as the novel coronavirus tightens its grip in the region. His new order dramatically expands that to every school across the state, from kindergarten through 12th grade, affecting 1.2 million students. The closure order takes effect on Tuesday and continues through April 24, with the first possible day of regular school classes on April 27. Inslee also issued two other executive orders Friday:

One would require all colleges, universities and technical schools in the state to offer online learning through at least April 24. The second would expand the ban on gatherings of 250 people or more to the entire state. Previously the order applied only to King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

March 12, 2020 UPDATE: Jefferson County testing continues, and while we remain at one (1) confirmed case, the negative test results have grown to nineteen (19) as of mid-day on March 12. 36 individuals who have undergone tests have not yet received their results. Some April programming is being changed in response to the epidemic. Our previously-scheduled chamber music concert on April 5th with the Callisto Trio has been rescheduled to September 27. Our partnership with the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, Water World, planned for the week of April 26, will not take place at that time. We are exploring possibilities to move that workshop to the fall at this time. Modifications to upcoming planned artist residency talks will be announced next week.  Our scheduled April 13th Communiversity lecture is happening, but Centrum will hold this event “in the cloud,” as a virtual moderated discussion with the head of Citizen Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. We are fine-tuning the technical issues for this virtual event and will share details on our Communiversity page on our website.

March 11, 2020 UPDATE: Washington Governor Jay Inslee has announced a ban on gatherings and events of more than 250 people in the Seattle metro area. The ban applies to King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, home to almost four million people. Centrum is in Jefferson County. The order would not prohibit the operation of workplaces and is not expected to include school closures according to an Associated Press source, in an attempt to stop the spread of the new coronavirus. Centrum staff is reviewing a response plan tomorrow morning to set out proposed deadlines for impacts and announcements regarding programming through the remainder of 2020.

March 10, 2020 UPDATE: According to Jefferson County Department of Health, we now have eight (8) official negative test confirmations for residents in our county, with still one (1) confirmed case per the March 6 update below. Our staff is meeting today. We expect to refine event policies/protocols this week. Large-scale announcements for Centrum summer programs will likely occur after March 27, although short-term event decisions will be announced as they are reached. We are considering current impacts on Communiversity and Chamber Music events for April this week.

March 9, 2020 UPDATE: As of this morning, there remains one (1) confirmed case of COVID-19 in Jefferson County, with 136 in total in the state of Washington. King County has 83 confirmed cases, Snohomish 31, all others are in single digits, although 14 cases are yet-to-be-assigned to a county. Centrum is drafting policies, this week, to address upcoming workshops and performances. We regard the risk threshold, as defined by WA State Department of Health, to be at TH2, which says, “There is evidence that unmitigated or uncontained community transmission of the disease is occurring in 2 large jurisdictions within the state.” Guidance from the Dept. of Health, under TH2, states, “Consider canceling or rescheduling events if it is located within an area that has community transmission of disease or if a large number of attendees are anticipated to come from these impacted areas.” We have not yet canceled public events at Centrum, but are offering exchange credits for our public gatherings this month for those who wish not to attend.

March 6, 2020 UPDATE: The Washington State Public Health Lab has now reported the first case of a Jefferson County resident with confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This Jefferson County resident is a male in his 60’s who received care at a Seattle-area hospital. He has been discharged from the hospital and is recovering at home. Initial exposure to COVID-19 was likely during a visit to a family member in Kirkland, WA, where community-level transmission is occurring. This individual spent time in Jefferson and Clallam County during the early stages of his illness. Potential contacts are being notified and advised about what precautions they should take. We do not believe this case represents evidence of community-level transmission of COVID-19 on the Olympic Peninsula.

WA State Map – March 5

Links to vital resources in Washington State:

Washington State Department of Health

Coronavirus Fact Sheet

Symptoms of CoVid-19: Most people who have CoVid-19 have very mild common cold-like symptoms or may have no signs of illness at all. About 20% have more severe influenza-like illness with fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Of these, some will develop severe illness requiring hospitalization and advanced medical care. There is no antiviral medication available to treat CoVid-19. Several drugs are being tried experimentally for hospitalized patients. Treatment for the non-critically ill involves rest, fluids, and symptomatic treatment (fever reducers, cough medicines). Most people can be treated at home and recover within the first 1-2 weeks.

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