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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 9, 2020
CONTACT: Heather Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – Transmission of COVID-19 continues to increase throughout Snohomish County and around the state. After eight weeks of sustained decreases through the summer, the rolling two-week case rate and number of cases reported daily has been steadily climbing since late-September.
The Snohomish Health District also updated three maps now being produced bi-weekly:
While the heat map shows a concentration of new cases in south county, primarily along the I-5 and Highway 99 corridors, that aligns with denser populations. When looking at the case rate map, which calculates the number of cases over a two-week period compared to the population within that zip code, it is clear that all parts of Snohomish County are continuing to be impacted. The majority of our new cases are the result of too many people in close settings, especially without face coverings.
“Without a doubt, wearing face coverings, maintaining distance, and avoiding gatherings prevent spread, reduced hospitalizations, and save lives,” said Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Officer for the Health District. “These are all proven strategies that work, and it is incumbent on all of us to keep at it. Our school-age students, businesses and vulnerable adults are counting on us.”
Governor Inslee announced a series of changes to the Safe Start plan on Tuesday. Although all Washington counties remain in their current phase, this announcement significantly expands permissible activity.
The new guidance for school-based and other sporting activities bridges low, moderate and high risk activities with the county’s COVID activity being at low, moderate and high levels. COVID activity is designated as follows:
According to the state’s risk-assessment dashboard, Snohomish County is considered a moderate level county. This dashboard is updated weekly, and is the official determination of county activity levels. Based on this, sports activities may resume under the following conditions:
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 will no longer be offering 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 13. 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:
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.
Since mid-July, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has looked into mask complaints concerning more than 4,200 retailers, restaurants and other businesses in the state. In the vast majority of cases, the businesses that were violating the rules complied after L&I staff explained the requirements, or the initial complaints to the state were not substantiated.
L&I can cite employers who refuse to follow masking and other requirements. The agency has fined eight companies for violating the state public mask mandate and endangering their workers’ health. Three others were cited after public mask complaints led to L&I finding worker mask violations.
Read more in their October 7 press release.
If you or anyone you know is having difficulties managing stress, call the Washington Listens support line at 1-833-681-0211. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. TTY and language access services are available by using 7-1-1 or their preferred method. Resources and self-help tips are available on walistens.org.
A few state agencies released additional information and updates this week:
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/covid and the Health District’s social media channels.