News Flash


Posted on: May 15, 2020

Stay Home, Stay Healthy Updates - May 15

May 15, 2020 

CONTACT: Heather Thomas, 425.339.8688


SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – While the Snohomish Health District is largely focused on the COVID-19 response, many public health activities still continue. Birth and death certificates are provided, permit applications are submitted, and other diseases are investigated.

Also in the midst of this, a Health District employee received a prestigious award earlier today. Brenna Hoppe, an environmental health specialist in Food Safety, was virtually presented with the “Rookie of the Year” award from the Washington State Environmental Health Association.

The award recognizes a new member of the environmental health profession who:

  • Has earned the respect of his/her peers for outstanding service in the promotion of, and contribution to, the environmental health profession;
  • Does his/her job well, taking responsibilities seriously and continually strives for excellence;
  • Shows commitment to the environmental health profession by giving of his/her ideas and efforts;
  • Goes beyond what is expected; and
  • Contributes to the advancement of the environmental health profession and everything the job and title represents.


Dr. Chris Spitters, health officer for the Health District, discussed recent data on serology testing in media availability this morning. Individuals listed as “confirmed” on our case counts have had a positive PCR test from the respiratory tract. Those listed as “probable” have either:

  • Symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and an epidemiologic link to a confirmed case, or
  • A positive serologic test for antibodies to COVID-19 and credible history of a COVID-like illness.

Among the 295 probable cases listed this morning, 35 had a positive serologic—or blood—test. Two of those individuals investigated reported having a COVID-like illness in mid- to late-December. A positive serology test indicates prior coronavirus infection. It does not provide details on when the infection was acquired or whether the individual has durable immunity to COVID-19. Given this, it is hard to determine if their illness in December truly was COVID-19, or if it was due to another respiratory infection (e.g., influenza, other viruses) and they later acquired an asymptomatic COVID-19 infection.

“Given reports like the ones that we’ve had and others around the country, introduction of COVID-19 may have occurred prior to mid-January,” said Dr. Spitters. “While this is of scientific and academic interest, it doesn’t really change where we sit today or where we have to move ahead. We need to continue our focus suppressing transmission by reducing exposures.”

Similar advice is shared with the community. There is likely a lot of curiosity for those who may have felt ill in late-2019 or early-2020, wanting to know if that illness was COVID-19. However, there is not an immediate need to contact your healthcare provider for serologic testing. Researchers are still working to determine how much—if any—immunity a prior infection provides. Until more is known, the Health District advises continuing to focus on staying home and staying healthy.

There are an additional 20-30 positive serologic results that have been reported to the Health District and are awaiting case investigation. These investigations are a lower priority for disease investigators because the window of time for public health intervention to be useful in these cases has passed. Health District investigators will follow-up on reports of positive serologic results as time is available.


As mentioned last week, the Health District completed its pilot of the rapid test machines and is returning to drive-thru sites similar to the site operated in March.

Community-based testing will resume at two different locations in the north end next week. One location will be on Wednesday, May 20 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and another location on Friday, May 22. Location details and registration information will be released on Monday. Updates will also be available at


Updated case counts are done daily Monday through Friday, with any changes over the weekend included in the Monday updates. Yesterday the Health District published its first weekly report on COVID-19 and long-term care facilities.

Also included on the case count page is a weekly update on testing:



Total negative

Total positive

Percent positive

3/3 - 3/9





3/10 - 3/16





3/17 - 3/23





3/24 - 3/30





3/31 - 4/6





4/7 - 4/13





4/14 - 4/20





4/21 - 4/27





4/28 - 5/4





5/5 - 5/12





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 and the Health District’s social media channels.


Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Announcements

Board of Health Meeting - July 12

Posted on: July 8, 2022

Board of Health Meeting - June 14

Posted on: June 10, 2022

Peanut butter recall reminders

Posted on: May 25, 2022

Board of Health Meeting - May 10

Posted on: May 9, 2022

Board of Health Meeting - March 8

Posted on: March 4, 2022

Statewide Mask Orders to End March 21

Posted on: February 17, 2022

Board of Health Meeting - January 18

Posted on: January 15, 2022

Board of Health Meeting - December 14

Posted on: December 10, 2021

Board of Health Meeting - July 13

Posted on: July 12, 2021

Staying Healthy and Cool in the Heat

Posted on: June 25, 2021

Life After the Vaccines

Posted on: June 11, 2021

Board of Health Meeting - June 8

Posted on: June 7, 2021

Board of Health Meeting - May 11

Posted on: May 10, 2021

Board of Health Meeting - March 9

Posted on: March 8, 2021

Board of Health Meeting - February 9

Posted on: February 8, 2021

Play it Smart this Super Bowl Sunday

Posted on: February 5, 2021

COVID-19 Updates in Snohomish County

Posted on: December 22, 2020

COVID Vaccines Arrive in Snohomish County

Posted on: December 18, 2020

COVID-19 Updates in Snohomish County

Posted on: December 11, 2020

Give Thanks, Not COVID

Posted on: November 13, 2020

Board of Health Meeting - October 13

Posted on: October 12, 2020

Tips for Celebrating Halloween Safely

Posted on: September 30, 2020

Board of Health Meeting - September 8

Posted on: September 7, 2020

COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing Update

Posted on: August 3, 2020

Board of Health Meeting - July 14

Posted on: July 13, 2020

Board of Health Meeting - June 9

Posted on: June 8, 2020

Board of Health Meeting, March 10

Posted on: March 9, 2020

Board of Health Meeting, December 10

Posted on: December 6, 2019

Flu season arrives in Snohomish County

Posted on: December 2, 2019

Prepare for Flu Season

Posted on: October 14, 2019

Board of Health Meeting, September 10

Posted on: September 9, 2019

Board of Health Meeting, July 9

Posted on: July 5, 2019

Board of Health Meeting, June 11

Posted on: June 10, 2019

Board of Health Meeting, May 14

Posted on: May 10, 2019

Board of Health Meeting, April 9

Posted on: April 5, 2019

Board of Health Meeting - July 13

Posted on: July 12, 2021