New Grays Harbor COVID-19 case identified; local variance in question

A new case of COVID-19 was reported to Grays Harbor Public Health on Wednesday, marking the first new case since mid-April.

Grays Harbor County Public Health & Social Services says that case investigation has begun and investigators anticipate having contact tracing completed soon.

Grays Harbor County remains in phase 1 of the Governor’s “Safe Start” plan for re-opening the State, while Grays Harbor County Public Health’s COVID-19 Incident Management Team continues to put plans in place for moving forward.

“Like everyone else, we are eager to see our County’s businesses get back to work,” said Leonard Johnson, Incident Commander. “We understand the impacts this is having on our community. The health of our economy affects the health of our people.”

The Incident Management Team says in the release that they are receiving assistance from the Washington State National Guard in developing the continuity of operations plan. The plan is designed to help guide the COVID 19 response in the County into the future. “Our goal is to have a plan that will allow the County to apply for variance as soon as possible,” said Johnson.

“We are using the best guidance we have right now about what readiness and preparedness look like for COVID-19,” explained Johnson. “We are working to get our first responders, hospitals, and long-term care facilities the personal protective equipment that they need to continue to serve our community. We are working at getting more public health staff and volunteers trained to do contact investigations. And we continue to work with the hospitals to make sure people can get tested quickly.”

As part of the implementation of the Governor’s phased opening of businesses in the state, the counties allowed to submit a variance were listed as having a population of less than 75,000 that have not identified a resident with COVID-19 for the past three weeks.

Despite the new case, Grays Harbor Health says that planning for a Phase 2 variance still underway.

With the identification of a new case, Public Health officials are working closely with the State to identify any impacts this may have on the ability to apply for a variance. A request to clarify the impact has been sent to the Department of Health.

Grays Harbor County has 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

  • March 2020: 2 cases
  • April 2020: 10 cases
  • May 2020: 1 case

Gov. Jay Inslee and the state Department of Health released an update Wednesday to the Risk-Assessment Dashboard. This tool helps gauge when and how to best lift restrictions around ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy” in Washington.

The dashboard features five “dials” measuring different data points in the state. The public can view the data guiding the state’s ongoing discussions on recovery planning by visiting

The dials will be updated each week on Wednesdays.

“Thanks to Washingtonians, we continue to see positive signs in the data we are tracking,” Inslee said. “We have made some progress in testing capacity, case and contact tracing, and reducing risk to vulnerable populations. While this is encouraging news, we still have a lot of work to do to continue protecting the health of our state.”

Grays Harbor County Public Health will continue to operate a COVID-19 call center that will assist people with testing referrals. Assistance is available in both English and Spanish. Call (360) 964-1850. Please note that the call center’s hours of operation will once again be Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 4pm.

For any questions about COVID-19 and our response call (360) 964-1850, email [email protected],  visit or on Facebook at