FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2020
CONTACT: Heather Thomas, 425.508.4980
Updated Health Officer Orders for Snohomish County
Revisions and updates to align with Safe Start planning
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – Dr. Chris Spitters, health officer for the Snohomish Health District, issued two new health officer orders that reflect updated COVID-19 requirements in Snohomish County.
Health Officer Order 20-072 rescinds three previous orders.
- Order No. 20-059 required all events of over 250 people be halted in Snohomish County and that all events with 250 or less be cancelled unless the organizer could implement social distancing and sanitation measures due to COVID-19.
- Order No. 20-060 placed additional, more restrictive measures to address the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which was extended on March 31, 2020, in Order No. 20-061 until further notice.
The restrictions on crowd size, public food consumption, and business operations contained in those previous orders were not entirely consistent with the county’s current Phase 2 position in the Safe Start Plan. In order to ensure that COVID-19 restrictions and permitted activities are consistent with each phase as it is approved by the Secretary of Health, it was necessary to rescind Order Nos. 20-059, 20-060, and 20-061.
Health Officer Order 20-071 is a quarantine directive and isolation order that supersedes the previous one issued March 31, 2020. Since then, guidance on the appropriate duration of isolation has been updated by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH). These updates focus largely on length of time and definitions of close contacts.
Amendments and updates in the new order include the following:
- Any individual with COVID-19 symptoms who has been tested shall remain isolated away from others while waiting for the test results.
- Any individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 shall remain isolated away from others until no longer considered infectious.
- Any individual who has been notified by the Health District or has direct knowledge that they are a close contact of a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case shall remain in quarantine for the duration of the maximum incubation period of the virus (14 days).
- Any close contact of a COVID-19 case who develops symptoms compatible with COVID-19 will be considered a probable case of COVID-19, consistent with CDC and DOH case definitions, and shall
- promptly get tested or coordinate with the Health District to arrange testing; and
- remain isolated away from others until no longer considered infectious, regardless of test results.
- All COVID-19 cases and contacts shall cooperate fully and promptly with the Health District, including
- responding on the same day to all contact attempts from the Health District;
- following directives for isolation-or-quarantine for their full duration; and
- responding on the same day to all monitoring prompts for confirmation of such cooperation and to assess health status and general well-being.
The contagious period is defined as beginning 2 days prior to the onset of illness and continuing until as described below. Confirmed and probable cases are considered no-longer-contagious and eligible to end isolation when:
- At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
For those who were never symptomatic for COVID-19, but tested positive, the contagious period begins 10 days prior to the date of collection of the positive specimen. They are able to end isolation when at least 10 days have passed from being tested and no COVID-19 compatible symptoms have emerged.
Close contact is generally defined as those:
- Sharing a living space with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 during their contagious period,
- Spending more than15 minutes cumulatively within 6-feet (2 meters) of a confirmed or probable case during their contagious period, or
- Working, residing or frequenting a facility, enterprise, or venue where the Health District has reason to believe that an outbreak is occurring.
An outbreak is generally defined as two or more cases occurring in a setting within 14 days of one another.
Both orders emphasize that individuals, organizations and facilities in Snohomish County are still subject to all COVID-19 proclamations, declarations, directives, and orders promulgated and remaining in effect by the Snohomish County Executive, the Secretary of Health, and the Governor. If any element of these orders come into conflict, the more restrictive directive shall prevail.
Related blogs from the Health District:
The health and safety of 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.