FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 23, 2020
Kari Bray, 425.382.3184
Health District Continuing to See High Number of New Cases Daily
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – As the most recent numbers show, the Snohomish Health District has continued to receive more than 60 new cases each day this week. It is anticipated that the reported case rate will again increase significantly in next Monday’s update.
There are 25-30 Snohomish County residents hospitalized due to COVID. That represents a slight increase over the last week, but numbers are currently stable. Out of those hospitalized, roughly 1 in 6 individuals have required a ventilator.
Snohomish County has flattened the curve before, and we can do it again. It is essential that everyone is consistently:
- Wearing a mask, even with people you see regularly and in your smallest social circles and anytime you are using shared transportation, including while in your own vehicle with other people.
- Keeping gatherings small and holding them outside whenever possible.
- Avoiding any social gatherings indoors, but if you must participate, wearing a mask and ensuring windows and doors are open to maximize ventilation.
- Washing or sanitizing hands often and not touching your face.
- Staying home if you’re sick or if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.
Reminders about Halloween
Earlier this month, the Health District released tips for celebrating Halloween safely. With the continued increase in cases throughout Western Washington, it is even more important to keep your ghosts and goblins close to home this year.
“As tough as it is, we need to skip some of the fun traditions now so that we can protect our vulnerable populations, help keep younger kids in school, and support the businesses that are trying to stay afloat, provide service, and keep people employed,” said Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Officer for the Health District. “Trick-or-treating this year could have costs for individuals and the community that we are not willing to bear. Please keep your kids at home on Halloween and enjoy a safe family holiday.”
To help celebrate Halloween safely, the Health District has created a number of coloring pages and other fall fun for download: www.snohd.org/activities.
Feedback Sought for State Vaccine Distribution Plan
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) continues to make progress with COVID-19 vaccine distribution planning efforts. Their interim vaccine distribution plan has been posted and DOH is now seeking feedback to help understand the best ways to equitably distribute the vaccine as the department moves forward.
With focus groups and key informant interviews underway for the key priority groups, DOH is also offering two different general feedback opportunities:
- The opportunity to provide feedback on vaccine prioritization and allocation. This opportunity has been available on the webpage and will be open until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, October 26. This opportunity is available in English, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Tagalog, simplified Chinese, and traditional Chinese. This timeline will allow DOH to incorporate preliminary feedback into the initial COVID-19 vaccine prioritization and allocation planning efforts, and is just the first of feedback opportunities.
- The opportunity to provide feedback on the interim vaccine distribution plan. You can find the plan and submit feedback on the DOH COVID-19 vaccine webpage.
These are just the first feedback and engagement opportunities. DOH will be providing ongoing opportunities to engage in the preparation to distribute COVID-19 vaccine in Washington.
“It is encouraging to hear that vaccine development is progressing, and we hope it continues on a promising path,” Dr. Spitters said. “While we wait for those vaccines to successfully complete all phases of clinical trials to demonstrate safety and effectiveness, the Health District will continue to work with the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management and our local, state and federal partners in ongoing planning efforts.”
Much like development and distribution of COVID-19 tests, it will take time to build the infrastructure and manufacturing capacity to distribute vaccines in large quantities. Even after one or more vaccines have been deemed to be safe and effective, it may take a while before they are readily available. When that time comes, we will work to ensure that they are allocated in a safe and equitable manner here in Snohomish County. The currently estimated timeframe for vaccination opportunities to reach the general public is approximately mid-2021.
Community Survey about Acceptability of Bluetooth Technology for COVID-19 Exposure Notification
Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) are inviting Washington residents ages 18 and over to participate in the Washington COVID-19 and Technology Survey. Survey responses will help the UW and Washington State Department of Health better understand how to us technology to fight the ongoing pandemic. Participation is completely voluntary and responses will be kept confidential. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and will close at the end of the day on Tuesday, November 10. For the English version of the survey, click here. For the Spanish version, click here. If you have any questions about the survey or your participation, you can contact the survey team at WaNotifySurvey@uw.edu.
Monthly Report on Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)
DOH is releasing new data about how many cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) are occurring statewide. This report will be published monthly and include county-level counts of MIS-C cases.
MIS-C is a very rare condition reported in approximately 1-of-1,000 cases of COVID-19 among children. It causes inflammation in different body parts, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. Children with MIS-C may have a fever and symptoms such as abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, or feeling extra tired. Symptoms can range from mild to severe with many patients requiring hospitalization.
A total of 15 children in Washington have been diagnosed with MIS-C since April, two of whom are from Snohomish County. None have died. The MIS-C report will be updated monthly and posted at www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/420-290-MIS-COVID-Report.pdf
Drive-Thru Testing Schedule
The Snohomish Health District will continue drive-thru testing at the 3900 Broadway site in Everett next week, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday thru Friday. With daylight hours decreasing, and testing volumes seen earlier in the day, the Health District no longer offers evening testing appointments.
In addition to the Everett site, the Health District will also be offering testing at the Lynnwood Food Bank on Tuesday, October 27. Appointments will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 5320 176th St SW.
Testing remains strongly encouraged for individuals that fit the following criteria:
- Anyone with any of the following COVID-19 symptoms (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headaches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea); or
- Close contact of a confirmed case; or
- Anyone who lives or works in a congregate setting; or
- Work in healthcare, EMS, law enforcement or other fields where work settings have a higher risk of catching or spreading COVID-19; or
- Part of a family or social network that has had a case.
Registration is now open at www.snohd.org/testing. Insurance information is collected and the lab will bill insurance. There are no co-pays for COVID-19 testing through the Health District. If you do not have insurance, the test will be provided at no charge.
A phone line is available for test registration help, particularly those without internet access or needing language interpreter services. That number is 425.258.8425, with calls returned from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday. This number is not for checking on test results.