FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2021
CONTACT: Heather Thomas, 425.508.4980
All Health Officers in Washington Urge Residents to Mask Up Indoors
Additional details on masking directive issued for Snohomish County
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – On July 26, Snohomish County Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters joined seven other health officers in Washington in issuing a statement urging residents to wear a mask indoors.
In light of the rising case rates, hospitalizations and the highly transmissible delta variant, all health officers across the state are joining in to reiterate the importance of vaccination and urging masking for everyone entering a public indoor space, regardless of vaccination status.
Local health officers across Washington have issued the following statement:
The health officers representing all 35 local health jurisdictions in Washington state have joined together to pass on their best public health advice to protect you, your family, and our communities. We recommend all residents wear facial coverings when in indoor public settings where the vaccination status of those around you is unknown. This step will help reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public, including customers and workers, help stem the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in many parts of the state and decrease the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.
Vaccinations are our best defense against COVID-19 and are safe, effective, and readily available for everyone age 12 and over. Please get yours immediately if you are not already vaccinated.
This statement is in alignment with the local masking directive announced on Tuesday that went into effect this morning. That directive states that everyone 5 years of age and up in Snohomish County must wear a face covering within indoor public spaces.
The directive does not impose any capacity or operational restrictions. Instead, it provides clear guidance that everyone should wear a mask when in public spaces indoors. This is our best public health advice to protect you, your family, and our communities. This will help reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public, including customers and workers, and hopefully prevent the need for further restrictions at the local or state level.
The Snohomish Health District has published a document addressing frequently asked questions about the directive. To help businesses that want to ask all patrons to mask up before entering, a printable sign is available for download, as well.
The CDC has stated that people in high transmission areas (including Snohomish County) should continue to wear a mask indoors to maximize protection from the delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing serious illness and death, but it is still possible to become infected, but at a much lower rate than vaccinated persons—about 80-90% lower. If you become infected, you can spread it to others.
“This directive will remain in effect until we can confirm that our COVID-19 disease rates are within CDC’s definition of low levels of transmission, or until the directive is otherwise rescinded,” said Dr. Spitters. “Other factors to be considered may also include testing positivity rates, healthcare system capacity, and hospitalization and death rates."
Masks also help protect the unvaccinated – which includes kids under age 12 who are not yet eligible for vaccines. Unvaccinated people are at a much higher risk of getting sick with and spreading the disease, as well as developing complications from COVID-19.
For more information about the COVID vaccine, including where to find a clinic near you, visit www.snohd.org/covidvaccine.
COVID TESTING SITE SCHEDULE
The schedule for the week of August 16 is as follows:
- Everett site located at 3715 Oakes Avenue – Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Lynnwood Food Bank site at 5320 176th St SW – open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Appointments for testing are required, 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.