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Rural Washington counties struggling with lack of coronavirus supplies, tests

Some areas like Clallam County say they have a lack of supplies and testing kits.

The Seattle metro area has been the hot spot for the coronavirus in Washington state, but other more rural counties have at least a handful of positive cases, and they know their numbers will likely rise.

One of those counties is Clallam County, which covers much of the north side of the Olympic Peninsula.

A big concern in that area is having enough PPE, or Personal Protective Equipment, for firefighters, police and hospital workers who are expecting to come into contact with those infected. 

Even a volunteer organization in the western half of the county has donated around 600 masks from their earthquake supplies to help in that need, as others in the county are making cloth masks.

At one recent point, the county undersheriff and operational head of the County’s emergency management effort said they had received just 15 virus test kits from the state. He says the hospital system based in Port Angeles now has hundreds of kits on hand but that the county needs more.  

As of March 28, Clallam County had six confirmed cases of coronavirus.