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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFebruary 29, 2020
CONTACT: Heather Thomas, 425.508.4980, firstname.lastname@example.org
Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Snohomish CountyAdditional information, family statement on case involving high school student
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – On February 28, the Snohomish Health District announced a new presumptive positive case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Snohomish County. The individual is an adolescent who is a student at Jackson High School.
The Health District has been coordinating closely with Everett Public Schools on this case. The school district also announced that Jackson High School will be closed over the weekend and on Monday to allow for a thorough cleaning and disinfecting. This is out of an abundance of caution on the part of the school district. The student was out of school most of the week and was on campus briefly on the morning of February 28 before returning home.
The family has requested that the Health District share the following statement:
Our child became ill with flu-like symptoms on Monday morning. We took the necessary steps to have him seen by medical professionals and to be tested for the flu. We didn’t learn of the testing of COVID-19 until Friday morning, after our now symptom-free child left for school. He promptly returned home before school started.
We are taking this situation very seriously. Please know that we have been following all guidance and instructions from both the healthcare providers that treated our son, as well the Snohomish Health District. We understand the concerns and anxiety raised, but we ask that the community and media please respect our family’s privacy.
The Health District has more information about the case available on a blog posted today. An updated FAQ document is also available.
“Our team is still in the midst of the investigation, so we do not yet know the possible source of infection,” said Dr. Chris Spitters, health officer for the Snohomish Health District. “While we understand that this recent news can be concerning, as is the increasing number of COVID-19 cases locally and globally, we want to encourage people to remain calm, prepared, and informed.”
This case suggests that local transmission of COVID-19 is occurring. For 80% of cases, COVID-19 is a mild illness that does not require hospital care. We cannot eliminate COVID-19 but we can limit its spread by washing hands with soap and water frequently, avoiding touching our face (mouth, nose, eyes), staying home when sick until the illness is resolved, covering coughs and sneezes with tissue and washing hands thereafter, and staying away from others who are ill.”
This is the second known case of coronavirus in Snohomish County. The first was announced on January 21 and that individual has since fully recovered. News earlier this week discussed a person under investigation connected to Bothell High School. Those test results came back negative on February 28.
The health and safety of the people in Snohomish County remains the Health District’s top priority. The community is encouraged to help prevent the spread of illness and to support the response to this outbreak by staying informed and sharing reliable information. This is a very fluid situation and information will be updated at www.snohd.org/ncov2019 and the Health District’s social media channels frequently.
The Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. To read more about the District and for important health information, visit www.snohd.org.