FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 30, 2021
Kari Bray, 425-339-5223
Climb in case count is reminder to play it safe over New Year’s weekend
Vaccination, avoiding crowds, and consistent mask use are top tools for reducing spread of COVID
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – Last week saw a steep climb in COVID cases, with more than 2,700 new cases reported between December 19 and 25. That’s the highest single-week total for Snohomish County since the start of the pandemic.
This is likely due to multiple factors. Omicron is spreading rapidly and now represents the vast majority of cases in the region. There is waning immunity for those who were vaccinated but have not yet gotten a booster dose. And at the same time, cold weather has been pushing gatherings indoors.
For those who have not yet gotten their booster but are eligible, now is the time to book an appointment. Keep in mind that, given the current demand, it may take some time to get in.
"Just to reiterate, we really need people to get vaccinated and boosted, and to focus on doing all of the prevention measures consistently and correctly,” said Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Officer for the Snohomish Health District.
Potential impacts from gatherings over the holidays likely won’t be seen for another week or two. Heading into New Year’s weekend, consider postponing or canceling gatherings. If you do gather, do so as safely as possible.
- Avoid crowds or large groups.
- Stay home if you have any symptoms, no matter how mild, or if you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
- Wear a well-fitting mask consistently over the nose and mouth.
- Keep distance from people you don’t live with.
- Maximize ventilation when indoors, such as by opening a window at least periodically
Updated isolation and quarantine guidance
On Tuesday, the Washington State Department of Health updated isolation and quarantine guidance to align with new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For the general public:
- The recommended time for isolation is shortened from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to five days, if they are asymptomatic on day five, followed by five days of wearing a mask when around others. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a next test confirms symptoms are not related to COVID-19.
- The recommended quarantine period for those exposed to COVID-19:
- For unvaccinated individuals or those that are more than six months from their original mRNA dose or more than two months after the J&J vaccine and not yet boosted, CDC is recommending quarantine for five days followed by strict mask use for another five days.
- Vaccinated individuals who have received their booster do not need to quarantine but should wear a mask for 10 days after exposure.
- If symptoms do occur after exposure, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not related to COVID-19.
When in doubt, get tested on day five and as always, wear a mask when in public spaces after isolation or quarantine are completed. Also be mindful of activities, especially indoors and in crowded settings.
The state Department of Health also is updating work restriction recommendations for healthcare personnel to align with CDC recommendations.
These changes take effect immediately.
The statewide face covering order remains in effect, so masking is required for everyone over the age of 5 when indoors in shared spaces.
District vaccine and testing clinic schedule
Weather and holiday closures this week have impacted drive-thru testing and vaccination sites operated by the Snohomish Health District. The next scheduled days of operation are January 2 for Ash Way Park & Ride in Lynnwood and January 3 for the Longfellow testing site on Oakes Avenue in Everett.
Vaccination appointments are available for those 12+ at Ash Way. This site is typically open Wednesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but is closed December 30 and 31.
The full schedule for next week is as follows:
- Testing at Everett site located at 3715 Oakes Avenue – Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- The Ash Way Park & Ride location at 16327 Ash Way in Lynnwood offers vaccines Wednesdays through Fridays. Testing is also available Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Appointments for testing are available at www.snohd.org/testing and vaccine appointments at www.snohd.org/drivethru.
Those without internet access, needing language assistance, or requiring additional support in scheduling can reach the Health District’s call center at 425.339.5278 to schedule a testing or vaccine appointment. Callers after hours or on holidays or weekends can leave a message, which will be returned on the next business day.