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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 10, 2020
CONTACT: Heather Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org
EVERETT, Wash. – Today the Snohomish Health District confirmed that an employee working at the District’s headquarters in Everett has tested positive for COVID-19. Another is considered probable, pending lab results.
One case developed mild symptoms on June 7 and has remained home since then. Their test results are pending. Another asymptomatic employee was identified as part of the Health District’s case investigation as a close contact and was tested. Their tests results came back positive today. Both will remain isolated at home for the standard minimum 10-day period. In accordance with the spirit and letter of health care privacy laws, the Health District will not be commenting further on the health status of staff members involved in the outbreak.
The Health District has been in touch with about 15 employees who were considered to be close contacts. They have all been tested and will self-quarantine at home until test results are back.
The Health District notified all employees of the situation this morning. Any staff in the building were tested and sent home for the rest of the week. Other staff who had been in the building since June 1, but were not onsite today, were instructed to contact their healthcare provider or make an appointment for one of the community-based testing sites this week.
The Health District has closed the Rucker Building located at 3020 Rucker Ave in Everett for the rest of the week. It will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to re-opening. Online services remain in place, and remote work will continue.
Per requirements of the Phase 2 approval letter, the Health District has notified the Department of Health, as two or more cases in a workplace are considered an outbreak—albeit a small one. This is being managed aggressively out of an abundance of caution, following prevailing standards, and in consultation with the Washington State Department of Health.
The Health District has been preparing for the possibility that employees might test positive for COVID-19 or need to self-quarantine since the beginning of the response. The Health District will continue to follow its own guidance for employers and take every precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
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.