Discovery Bay Shellfish Closure

Contact: Michael Dawson, Water Quality Manager

Jefferson County Public Health

360-385-9444 ext. 301

Recent shellfish samples taken from Discovery Bay were found to contain elevated levels of the marine biotoxin that causes Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP). As a result, the Washington State Department of Health has closed Discovery Bay beaches for shellfish harvest for all shellfish species. Danger signs have been posted at public access points warning people not to consume shellfish from this area.

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Health Warning at Point Whitney and Irondale Beaches Due to Bacteria

Contact: Michael Dawson, Water Quality Manager Jefferson County Public Health

360-385-9444 x301

Port Townsend – High levels of fecal bacteria at Point Whitney beach in Brinnon, and Irondale beach in Port Hadlock have prompted Jefferson County Public Health to issue a health warning. Children, the elderly, and those in ill health are advised not to swim. Shellfishing is also not advised.

Warning signs have been posted at public access points. Water samples taken Tuesday, June 29, and analyzed for enterococcus (a type of fecal bacteria) averaged over 600 per 100 milliliters of water at Point Whitney. The Washington BEACH program advisory level is 104. By Thursday July 1, the average had climbed to over 800. Irondale beach bacteria levels were 105 on June 29, and 276 on July 1. The cause of the high bacteria levels is under investigation.

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Rescinding of Jefferson County Health Officer Directive Requiring Masking in all Publicly Accessible Indoor Spaces

The health officer directive requiring indoor masking of all Jefferson County residents that has been in effect since May 26, 2021 has been rescinded. Much has changed over the past year. 453,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Washington State and 5,956 residents have died of this infection. In Jefferson County, 449 cases have been reported and four residents have lost their lives. Highly effective vaccines have been deployed with 64% of Jefferson County residents now fully vaccinated, the second highest level in the state.

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