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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEApril 16, 2021
CONTACT:Heather Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – As case numbers rise, the Snohomish Health District is reminding residents to stay home if sick. If COVID-like symptoms develop or they were exposed to a confirmed case, seek testing. Is that test negative? The full quarantine applies if a person was notified that they are a close contact to a case.
Contact tracers at the Snohomish Health District are starting to see a growing number of cases that attended sports events, work or gatherings while symptomatic. Some had fevers or a cough, while others thought they were just fighting allergies.
“Unfortunately, we’re hearing reports of parents or friends urging people not to get tested to avoid an isolation or quarantine period,” said Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Officer for the Snohomish Health District. “I cannot stress enough just how important testing, isolation of cases, and quarantining of contacts are to our fight against this virus. We can’t interrupt transmission or prevent others from getting sick without them.”
COVID symptoms can include one or more of the following:
If symptoms develop, vaccinated or not, seek testing through primary healthcare providers or www.snohd.org/testing. People should remain home and away from others until results are back, or to seek medical care if needed.
If someone is notified that they are a close contact and need to quarantine, they should seek testing ideally 3-5 days after last exposure. However, the duration of someone’s quarantine period as set by public health, employers and/or schools must still be fulfilled regardless of test results.
“We are also getting requests to appeal they’re quarantine, or confusion because a clinic or provider told them they were cleared,” added Dr. Spitters. “The test is just an indication from that moment in time, but the research has shown infection can occur up to 14 days after exposure. That’s why it’s so important to quarantine for the full incubation period.”
The exception to quarantine requirements for contacts to COVID-19? Being fully vaccinated. Individuals who are at least two weeks past their final dose do not need to quarantine at home, provided they remain symptom-free.
On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of an abundance of caution. They are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the vaccine.
In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis—also known as CVST. All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.
CDC convened a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Wednesday to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. ACIP requested more time to review data and gather input, so the Johnson & Johnson vaccines remain on pause until they meet again.
This pause is important, in part, to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.
“Vaccine safety is a top priority for all of us, and this pause demonstrates that the safety monitoring system is working. We take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination seriously,” said Dr. Spitters. "The clotting problem is serious but appears to be extremely rare and may be limited to certain groups. We look forward to guidance from ACIP on the safe use of this vaccine going forward.”
Locally, more than 20,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered, but none of these complications have been reported to have occurred here
People who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the last three weeks and develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath should contact their health care provider. If symptoms appear to be life threatening, go to the hospital or call 911.
Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS. Residents with smartphones are also encouraged to sign up for CDC’s v-safe after getting vaccinated.
V-safe uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Through v-safe, people can quickly tell CDC if they have any side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on answers to the web surveys, someone from CDC may call to check in and get more information. V-safe will also send reminders to get the second COVID-19 vaccine dose if needed.
The schedule for the week of April 19 remains as follows:
Appointments for testing are encouraged, and registration is available at www.snohd.org/testing. Those without internet access or needing language assistance can reach the Health District’s call center at 425.339.5278 to schedule a testing appointment. The call center is staffed 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Callers after hours or on weekends can leave a message, which will be returned on the next business day.