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10 cases, 56 quarantined, and a possible variant

  • Written by Sharon Kivisto

There have been 10 new cases of COVID-19 reported by San Juan County Health Department on San Juan Island this week (March 27-April 2, 2021) and  56 close contacts  of positive cases are in active quarantine. According to San Juan Island School District Superintendent Fred Woods, the 56 include the Friday Harbor High School Track team  and members of one Friday Harbor Elementary School cohort. 

The spread of COVID-19 is not through the schools, according to  Woods. It appears to have been spread through social interactions outside of the schools. San Juan Island School District will issue a press release  around 5 p.m. Friday, April 2 with more information.

As part of the safety measures to reduce potential exposure,  the elementary school students are assigned to a cohort of about 8-10 fellow students. This limits contact throughout the school. At the high school, cohorts aren't possible due to logistics. The high school student body has been divided into two groups. One attending school in the morning, the other in the afternoon.

In an email sent out April 1 to some county members, San Juan County Health Officer Dr. James had bad news about the cases in San Juan County - a potential variant, a patient in ICU and a case that was particularly infectious:

"Today [April 1] there are 2 more new cases [on San Juan Island], and one is in the ICU. It is becoming more difficult to find the source of cases, and community spread is more and more likely.

"At this point, we have 9 active cases  we are managing and 56 people in quarantine. We also tested 49 close contacts today. And we identified, evaluated, and tested 45 new people in the past two days. .

"Worse one of the individuals warranted testing by sequencing for possibly being a variant infection, but was likely imported rather than acquired here.

"A different case had contact with another known case, but the date of their onset of symptoms was 10 days after contact with their index case, meaning that the patient was particularly infectious. Transmission late in the course of infection is very uncommon and may also represent possible variant disease."

The county Health Department said in its weekly update released Friday, April 2, 2021 that the 10 latest cases include: 

-One of the cases is tied to a previously reported positive case.

-Two cases are unrelated, but both are tied to off-island travel, with limited exposures to the local community.

-Five cases comprise a cluster of new cases, with transmission tied to household or other close contact. Initial transmission source is unknown at this time.

-Two new cases are related to each other through close household contact. The investigation is ongoing, but these cases do not appear to be tied to any of the other positive cases. Initial transmission source is unknown at this time.

Last modified onFriday, 02 April 2021 15:25

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