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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 5, 2021
CONTACT: Heather Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – Moving into Phase 2 this week was welcome news to the business owners, employees, schools and residents of Snohomish County. This easing of restrictions is good for our economy, our children’s education, and so many other social and health needs in our communities.
It also means that everyone must be diligent in following all precautions to minimize risk of exposure and transmission. This is particularly important with Super Bowl Sunday ahead. Here are some reminders for a safer game day:
Enjoy the day but make smart play calls. The Roadmap to Recovery is for a 2-week period, with the next data published on February 12.
“We do not want to move backward, but that will happen if we’re not careful,” said Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Officer for the Snohomish Health District. “The region must continue to meet at least 3 of the 4 metrics to remain in Phase 2. It is incumbent upon all of us to make wise decisions for the sake of our local businesses and neighbors and to continue to drive down COVID-19 transmission in the county.”
An email was sent out on Thursday to everyone vaccinated at the Arlington and Monroe drive-thru vaccination sites providing instructions on what to expect for scheduling the second dose. This email reminder was sent only once per email address. If someone registered for both themselves and for others using a single email address, they will need to share that information with those that were registered for the first dose under the same email address.
Another email will be sent within a few days of the target date for the second dose. That email will include a registration link that is for second doses only and must not be shared. However, that link can be used to schedule appointments for other individuals who had previously registered for the first dose at the mass vaccination site under a shared email address.
Vaccine supply is still limited, and the Snohomish County Vaccine Taskforce does not know exactly how many second doses will be arriving in the coming weeks. This means that appointments may not be available on someone’s specific target date, but there is no cause for concern. The available appointments will still be within the acceptable window for their second dose.
If someone was vaccinated at the Arlington Airport or Evergreen Fairgrounds site in Monroe and did not receive the email, they should send their information to email@example.com. If an individual does not have access to internet or an email address, they can contact the call center Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 425.339.5278. The call center will collect the information to be send to the mass vaccination team.
There are a lot of questions recently regarding the state’s allocation process. This week, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) allocated 19% of vaccine to community health centers, federally qualified health centers, local health jurisdictions and private practitioners, 23% to hospitals, 36% to mass vaccination sites, 19% to pharmacies, and 3% to tribes and Urban Indian Health Programs.
Each week, the state allocates vaccine from our limited supply to enrolled providers through a multi-step process that starts Saturday and is completed by Thursday night to meet the CDC’s Friday morning ordering deadline. Enrolled providers place their requests through the state’s Immunization Information System (WAIIS) and DOH gathers information from local health jurisdictions—like the Snohomish Health District—to help determine their priorities of where vaccine should go.
Decisions are made by DOH based on several factors: proportional population of those eligible in the county, completeness of data reporting by providers, providers’ current inventory and documented throughput, equity, and access at all provider types (hospitals, pharmacies, mass vaccination sites, and clinics).
A report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) analyzed insurance usage in March through May of 2020 for children covered by Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), noting a significant decline compared to the same period in 2019. The CDC also reported that by June 30, 2020, 41 percent of adults in the U.S. had delayed or avoided medical care because of COVID-19 related concerns.
“Delays in medical and dental care have long-term negative impacts on the health of children, youth, and adults, and can worsen existing health inequities,” said Dr. Spitters. “We encourage people to seek timely routine, urgent, and emergency care.”
The Health District aligns with recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Dental Association that medical and dental care should continue during the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Inslee’s proclamation 20-24.2 requires medical and dental facilities to follow strict infection prevention guidelines and adjust the way that care is delivered to protect their patients and staff.
The Health District has made schedule modifications to its community-based testing sites:
Testing is by appointment only and registration is now open 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. 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.
Testing is open to anyone, regardless of symptoms, but remains strongly encouraged for individuals that fit the following criteria: