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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 26, 2021
CONTACT: Heather Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – The Snohomish Health District has released three new reports, providing more insight into COVID-19 transmission, outbreaks and vaccination efforts in Snohomish County.
A monthly report analyzing race and ethnicity data for COVID-19 cases was updated through February 12. The data show that Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders have the highest case rate in Snohomish County, which was 5.2 times higher than non-Hispanic Whites. COVID-19 infection rates are also higher for Latinx (3.6 times), Blacks (2.8 times), and American Indian/Alaska Native (2.5 times), compared to non-Hispanic Whites.
Hospitalization rates were also higher for Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders (4.0 times), American Indian/Alaska Native (2.2 times), and Latinx (1.9 times), compared to non-Hispanic Whites.
Death rates are higher for Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders (2.6 times), compared to non-Hispanic Whites. A higher death rate (1.6 times) was also noted for American Indian/Alaska Native, but statistical analysis could not exclude that this difference was due to chance. It is important to note that once someone is diagnosed with COVID-19, the risk of death in Snohomish County is similar across groups. This suggests that increased exposure to the virus—not a biological difference in susceptibility—drives the higher rate of poor outcomes due to COVID-19 seen in across race and ethnicity groups.
COVID-19 Case Rates per 100,000 by Race and Ethnicity(March 2020 – February 15, 2021) – Snohomish County
An updated Snohomish County COVID-19 Outbreak report looked at data through February 15. There were 177 healthcare associated outbreaks which accounted for 1,872 cases of COVID-19. Over half were in long-term care facilities (skilled nursing and assisted living). The next most common site of healthcare associated outbreaks is adult family homes. There were 463 non-health care outbreaks involving 4,902 cases. Leading settings were retail locations, followed by manufacturing, construction sites, restaurants, and childcare facilities.
COVID-19 Outbreaks by Site(December 17, 2020 – February 15, 2021) – Snohomish County
The third report is the first look at demographic data for vaccines administered through February 14. The 86,966 Snohomish County residents vaccinated up to that point represent 10.4% of the county’s total population. Sixty-one percent were female and 46 percent were people 65 years of age and older. These figures reflect a larger number of women in healthcare, along with older adults, both groups that have been prioritized in the early phases of the emergency vaccination effort.
Overall, 31 percent of Snohomish County adults that are 65 years of age or older had been vaccinated. When looking at race and ethnicity, the highest vaccination rates have been in Native Americans and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.
Latinx vaccination rates are far below those seen in other groups, 38 percent of that for non-Hispanic Whites.
“This gap could be due to differences in the age distribution compared to other race and ethnicity groups, and possibly less employment in the healthcare sector,” said Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Officer for the Snohomish Health District. “However, these findings also raise concern about our Latinx communities’ trust in and access to vaccination. We’ll be working with partners in Snohomish County to help see that gap close as vaccination efforts progress to include essential workers and other phases moving forward.”
COVID-19 Vaccination Rates per 100,000 by Race/Ethnicity(December 17, 2020 – February 14, 2021) – Snohomish County
The Snohomish Health District will continue to update this information monthly, as well as utilizing the data to help inform Snohomish County Vaccine Taskforce planning and operations moving forward to promote fair and equitable access to vaccine for those who wish to get it.
Governor Inslee announced on Thursday that all regions will remain in Phase 2 of the Healthy Washington reopening plan for at least the next two weeks. The Washington State Department of Health will not be publishing a new Roadmap to Recovery report at this time, leading the Snohomish Health District to pause publication of its regular snapshot reports.
For more on what is permitted in Phase 2, visit https://coronavirus.wa.gov/what-you-need-know/safe-start.
As announced last week, the Health District has been monitoring patient volumes and positivity rates at the community-based testing sites to determine if further test site consolidation is feasible. These moves allow staff and other resources to be reallocated to support vaccine site operations.
The schedule through March 7 is as follows:
Appointments for testing is 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. 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.