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Sand, bark, wood chips, gravel, or plain dirt over your drainfield may sound easy, but these materials keep oxygen from getting into the ground, and bare soil can start to wash away. Plants help with oxygen exchange, keep soil healthy, and hold dirt in place so your drainfield can do its job.
Risers: If you don't already have risers, installing them is a great idea. They allow for easy access to tanks during routine inspections and pumping.
Plants & Ground Covers: Things like bark, wood chips, and gravel are okay here. Wastewater is not treated in the soil next to tanks, so there isn't a need for plants. All the other advice still applies though. Don't put anything heavy over this area. If you do plant something, stick to shallow-rooted plants to avoid damage to tanks and pipes.
Some septic systems have lids out in the drainfield. These are access ports that allow for easy inspection of the drainfield. Make sure that your landscaping doesn't bury or hide them.
Protect this the same way as your drainfield. If you do things to damage the soil in your reserve area, it may not be useable in the future for a replacement drainfield if your current one fails.
A Community Health Assessment is done every 3 to 5 years. It is one part of a data-driven process focused on improving community health. By first understanding what the top health-related issues are, public health and community partners can then take a deeper dive into learning about those top issues and creating a plan to help improve health outcomes. For the Health Department, the next step is known as a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).
Local public health has conducted a CHA every 3-5 years since 2009 in Snohomish County. The last one was done in 2018.
Epidemiologists with the Health Department analyzed data on a wide variety of health indicators, including rates of illness and disease, causes of death, health risks and promotive behaviors, and social and environmental determinants of health. From October to December 2022, the project team presented data to a 15-person committee consisting of community members representing cities, schools, healthcare, nonprofits, human services, libraries, community organizations, and the Tulalip Tribes.
Epidemiologists then systematically reviewed the data and re-presented to the data committee with 40 indicators that showed need for improvement. Over the course of three voting rounds and discussion, the committee narrowed down to the top six health priorities.
The 2022 Snohomish County Community Health Assessment is part of a four-step CHA/CHIP process.
The cycle repeats every 3-5 years. The first two steps are accomplished in the CHA. In 2023, the Health Department will begin work on the CHIP.
An online form is available to submit feedback. Please click here to complete the form.
A separate webpage and FAQ is available specifically for COVID vaccine information. Find that information at www.snohd.org/covidvaccine.
A coronavirus describes a large number of viruses that usually cause mild respiratory illness. There are coronaviruses that have caused more severe illness, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Novel coronavirus 2019 is a new coronavirus, first identified in late 2019, and can cause severe illness. Other terms you may see used to name this virus include: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, or 2019-nCoV.
This is a respiratory illness. Symptoms include cough, fever, sore throat, difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and congestion or runny nose. New symptoms have been identified over time and the CDC has a full list.
The degree of severity of these symptoms varies. There have been many deaths from this illness. However, most cases do not appear to be severe.
It is possible to be ill with the virus and exhibit mild symptoms or no symptoms.
Like MERS and SARS, COVID-19 closely resembles coronaviruses found in bats but not humans. Scientists believe that the virus had a change in its genes that permitted it to spread to humans, possibly via an intermediate carrier in an animal market in Wuhan, China.
The virus can be transmitted from person to person via droplets that come from the nose or mouth, especially when we cough or sneeze. Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through: the air by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact like shaking hands, or touching a surface with the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.
If you find out you have been exposed to COVID, it can be scary and stressful. It is important to monitor your symptoms and test as soon as possible. Mask up and limit interactions with others who are at high risk of severe illness until you get a negative COVID test result. Stay home and away from others if you develop any symptoms of illness. Find more information in the guidance from the Washington State Department of Health.
Our updates on case counts are published at www.snohd.org/casecounts.
More information also is available in the Washington State Department of Health COVID data dashboard.
No. It is true that we lose lives every year during flu season, and that many of the same strategies for preventing the spread of flu – washing hands, disinfecting surfaces, staying home while ill – are helping us fight COVID-19. But it’s crucial that you don’t mix up COVID-19 and the flu.
Statewide mask mandates have been lifted as of March 12, 2022. Masks must still be worn in certain situations, such as in healthcare facilities. Private businesses may still require masks in their facilities, as well. People may still choose to wear masks for personal reasons, such as a compromised immune system.
There is a lot of great information out there on masking, including from the Washington State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention, the Department of Labor and Industries, and Governor Jay Inslee. We encourage you to check out those resources.
As of March 12, 2022, masks are not required in most business settings. Private businesses and organizations may still require mask use, and masks will still be required in some situations, including healthcare facilities and public transportation. Please respect the rules of the room you are in. For a full list of places where face coverings are required, please go here.
Businesses and organizations should follow statewide health and safety guidance, as well. Maintain frequent cleaning, sanitizing and handwashing, and ensure that employees are staying home if they are ill. Have a plan in case there is a COVID illness in your workplace. Unvaccinated workers still need to quarantine if exposed to a positive COVID case in the workplace.
It’s a common strategy for reducing the spread of disease. The closer the contact between people – and the more people in a group – the greater the risk of passing along viruses. Distancing of at least six feet from non-household members was recommended throughout much of this pandemic. While distancing requirements have lifted in most venues, please continue to be respectful of distance from others, particularly in crowded areas.
A combination of Health Officer’s Orders, Governor’s Orders and State Secretary of Health’s Orders have been issued during this response. The Governor and Secretary of Health can issue orders for the state – including Snohomish County – and the Health Officer also has the authority to issue orders specifically for Snohomish County.
First, we do not take these measures lightly. They are carefully considered and based on the best information we have about this virus and the ability to reduce transmission. We know these rules have a large impact on our communities. However, they are crucial for the preservation of lives.
In Washington, the state Legislature enacts statutes, the Governor and state agencies enforce laws and promulgate regulations, and the courts interpret the laws.
RCW 70.05.070 lays out the powers and duties of a local health officer. This includes: “Take such action as is necessary to maintain health and sanitation supervision over the territory within his or her jurisdiction.” These measures are put in place to maintain the health of the people of Snohomish County.
There are currently no restrictions for who can be tested for COVID-19 in Washington. The highest priority for testing is still people with symptoms. If you are ill with any of the following symptoms, please seek testing as soon as possible. Even if you are vaccinated, you should get tested if you become ill with COVID symptoms. Learn more at www.snohd.org/testing.
• Fever or chills
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Muscle or body aches
• New loss of taste or smell
• Sore throat
• Congestion or runny nose
• Nausea or vomiting
The response to COVID-19 has demanded a tremendous amount from our health care system. The role of the healthcare system in this response is diagnosis, treatment, ongoing care, and addressing individual health concerns.
Healthcare and dental providers may ask you to postpone non-urgent visits or procedures. They may also be providing tele-health options (consultations by phone or online).
For people with non-COVID health needs that are urgent, such as signs of stroke or heart attack or serious chronic conditions that require care, they should continue appointments with their medical provider and should not be afraid to seek emergency care at a hospital. Hospitals are taking measures to keep all patients healthy and safe and to prevent spread of COVID-19 to any other patients.
If your symptoms worsen, call your healthcare provider for further instructions. If you are experiencing a life-threatening situation, call 911. If you have a mask, try to put that on before first responders arrive.
Based on our current understanding of this disease, symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure, and people are believed to be contagious up to two days before they become ill. Someone who is infected is most likely to spread the illness when they are actively coughing or sneezing.
It is possible for people to spread the illness when they have mild symptoms or no symptoms. It is also possible that an undetected case who self-isolates because they were exposed or are not feeling well could be contagious after their symptoms go away.
Yes. The first vaccine to protect against COVID-19 was authorized for use in the U.S. in December 2020. There are now multiple vaccines available. Information about COVID vaccination is available and updated frequently at www.snohd.org/covidvaccine.
The large majority of people with COVID-19 recover with their own immune response. Treatment is supportive care for symptoms, fluid intake, and isolation/observation. About 10-20% of cases appear to have severe enough disease to require hospitalization. Those patients also receive supportive care and treatment for complications of the infection (pneumonia, problems breathing, etc.). Other treatment options are being studied and implemented as they are available.
If you feel sick with any COVID-19 symptoms (see Question 3 above), immediately self-isolate. Stay home and away from others. Call your health care provider before going to get care and tell them about your symptoms as well as any recent travel or contact with someone who has COVID-19. They can provide you instructions for seeking care so that you do not expose others.
Even if you are vaccinated, you should get tested if you become ill with COVID symptoms. While rare, it is possible for vaccinated individuals to test positive for COVID-19. These are called “breakthrough” cases and you should follow the same advice as unvaccinated people who test positive. Find more info on what to do if you test positive here.
Early intervention with monoclonal antibody therapy can reduce the risk of severe illness and hospitalization for people with COVID-19 who are at high risk of developing more serious illness. Monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy is available in Washington state with a provider’s recommendation for certain high risk individuals.
If you think you might qualify, please speak to your healthcare provider first and get a referral before contacting these sites to arrange an appointment. There is limited capacity at certain sites, and it is preferred that individuals contact these facilities over the phone to arrange an appointment time, in order to limit exposure for staff and other patients.
People who have had symptoms for 10 days or less should be referred for treatment by their healthcare providers and directed to available infusion locations.
There is no cost to anyone for the antibodies themselves, but there may be treatment fees. If you do not have insurance, ask the facility if there will be a charge.
To receive Paxlovid or Monulpiravir, individuals with COVID-19 require a prescription from a healthcare provider and a lab-confirmed COVID-19 positive test to start treatment withing 5 days of symptom onset.
Please contact your healthcare provider if you have COVID-19 and would like to receive oral antivirals.
For more information about early treatment options, please go here.
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of standard prevention steps for respiratory illness. Continue to practice those. Increase frequency of handwashing, make sure you are cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, and stay home if you are ill. All of these are key for slowing the spread of illness.
As of March 12, 2022, cloth face coverings are no longer required in public indoor locations. They are recommended outdoors in large groups and crowded venues. Private businesses and organizations may still require mask use in their facilities. Maintaining a 6-foot distance between you and other people (social distancing) continues to be helpful, and distance should be maintained even while wearing a mask whenever possible.
Medical providers have specific guidance on masks and personal protective equipment and should follow that guidance.
Please respect the orders and rules put in place to help reduce the spread of illness. We are relying on our community to do the right thing to keep people safe and healthy.
Set up a separate room in the household for someone who is sick and clean the room regularly. Have cloth face covers for members of the household who need to go in public, and for the sick person when they need to go into other areas of the house.
Know your neighbors or friends in the area and be ready to support each other during an emergency. Check in on those who live alone or have underlying health conditions and may need extra support. If you live alone, talk to your friends and family members about who would be available to call or message to check in on you if you become sick.
Through all of this, remember to stay calm, prepared and informed. Check reliable sources for updates and follow the advice of public health professionals.
People who have underlying conditions or are otherwise immunocompromised are at higher risk from this illness, as well as other illnesses like the flu. Avoiding contact with ill people is crucial.
If a household member of someone who is immunocompromised is suspected of having or confirmed to have coronavirus, the CDC instructs healthcare professionals and local public health staff to assess isolation options for the COVID-19 patient outside of the home so that they are not in proximity to the immunocompromised household member.
If you do not have an ill household member but are immunocompromised, talk to your healthcare provider about what steps you should take to protect yourself. Please follow your healthcare provider’s guidance and keep in mind that masks are not the best option for everyone with a vulnerable immune system.
Learn what options your healthcare provider may have for remote consultations, by phone or online. This can help you get your questions answered before going into a clinic, thereby minimizing exposure to this virus as well as other illnesses.
Coronaviruses like COVID-19 spread primarily among close contacts. They are spread through respiratory droplets when people cough or sneeze, or by touching a surface where the virus has been and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. This is different from an airborne virus like measles, where we would release locations of general exposure.
If a situation arises where we know there was an exposure and we cannot identify the close contacts through disease investigation and contact tracing, public health may issue a notice for people who were at a specific event to quarantine at home and seek testing.
Yes. As with any other situation, people who are ill should stay home and should not go to donate blood. However, people who are well may certainly do so. You can’t catch COVID-19 from donating blood. In fact, to prevent blood supplies running low, we encourage you to donate blood.
Learn more about how to donate blood from Bloodworks Northwest at https://www.bloodworksnw.org/.
Prior to any trip, be sure to check CDC travel notices at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices. The list of countries with travel notices, as well as the level of a country’s notice, may change quickly.
If you are ill, avoid travel. If you are planning trips, be prepared to cancel nonessential travel and monitor alerts as the situation changes.
There are multiple COVID vaccines at various stages of the development, approval and distribution process. These include Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty), Moderna (Spikevax), Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax. Clinical trials for the vaccines show that they are safe an effective. Those who are vaccinated, if they do get COVID, are extremely unlikely to get a severe enough illness to require hospitalization or become fatal.
As with other vaccines, the more people who get immunized, the greater the community-wide protection against the disease.
While the COVID vaccines are relatively new, the clinical trials and vetting vaccines go through are not. The speed of the vaccine development process may make people wary, but there have been multiple layers of safety and quality assurance. As was the case for other vaccines in the past, oversight and review of the COVID vaccine authorization process by the FDA and CDC was led by panels of independent experts. Washington was also a member of the Western States Pact, which created the Scientific Safety Review Workgroup for another layer of scrutiny and expert review to this process.
Side effects that have been reported with the COVID-19 vaccine include:
Side effects may occur the day after vaccination and are normal signs that the vaccine is working. You can take fever or pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen if needed or apply a cool compress to the injection site. Contact your healthcare provider if you are concerned or if the symptoms don’t go away within two days (48 hours).
There is a remote chance that the vaccine could cause a treatable but severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This was not observed during the clinical trials, but has been observed very rarely following the first doses of some COVID vaccines, at extremely low rates that are comparable to those of other vaccines. Anaphylaxis usually occurs within 30 minutes after getting a dose of the vaccine and most persons with anaphylaxis have a prior history of allergies or allergic reactions, including some with previous anaphylaxis events;
Prior allergy or anaphylaxis is not a reason to avoid vaccination, though. Only allergy to the COVID vaccines themselves or their ingredients are a reason to not get vaccinated. Vaccination sites are prepared to handle this reaction and observe patients for an appropriate period of time before releasing them. If you have a history of anaphylaxis and are concerned about getting the COVID vaccine, discuss this concern with your health care provider.
If you have a severe allergic reaction, and are not still at the vaccine clinic, seek medical attention or call 911 immediately. The CDC has also created V-safe, a platform for people to share information on their side effects and reactions. All vaccine recipients are encouraged to sign up for this system to provide additional information about the vaccine’s side effects as vaccination is implemented. Learn more at www.cdc.gov/vsafe.
No. The vaccine does not contain SARS-CoV-2 and cannot give you COVID-19.
Know how to spot vaccine scams. Remember that there are no pre-payments required to “get in line” for vaccination, vaccines are not available for purchase online, and vaccines must be administered by licensed medical professionals. Turn to your doctor, clinic, or other reliable sources if you are uncertain whether a message or email about COVID vaccine is legitimate. If you receive a vaccination-related communication from someone other than your health care provider, health insurance provider, or employer, you have reason to be suspicious.
You can check back at www.snohd.org/covidvaccine for additional tools to find reliable vaccination options in Snohomish County. These will be added as they become available.
Vaccine is now readily available through a number of providers in Snohomish County. To find more information and provider near you, go to www.snohd.org/covidvaccine.
COVID vaccines are now available to anyone 6 months of age or older. COVID vaccines are strongly recommended for everyone, unless there is a medical reason they cannot be vaccinated.
Tell your vaccine provider about all of your medical conditions. You should not get the vaccine if you have had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of the same vaccine or a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine.
Yes, when you are eligible to get the vaccine, it is recommended that you do so. We are still learning about COVID. While reinfection appears to be rare so far, it is possible to get COVID more than once. If you currently have COVID, wait until after your isolation period is done to get vaccinated. Talk with your healthcare provider for additional guidance.
Yes, there are multiple vaccine options to protect against COVID. Right now, the Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax vaccines have been approved or authorized for distribution in the U.S. You may see the Pfizer vaccine marketed or referred to as Comirnaty, and the Moderna vaccine as Spikevax. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Washington State Department of Health have recommended getting one of the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) over the J&J vaccine. All of the vaccines that have been approved or authorized are shown to be safe and effective in multiple rounds of clinical trials.
There may be a vaccine that is more appropriate for you than another. We encourage you to talk with your healthcare provider to know what is recommended for your circumstances. While you do have the option to watch for availability of the vaccine you want to get, it is best not to wait if another vaccine brand is available sooner, unless you have talked to your doctor and there is a medical reason to avoid a certain brand of vaccine.
Masks still may be required in certain settings, regardless of vaccination status. Please respect the rules of the venue. Masks also are strongly recommended when cases and hospitalization are high in the community. Voluntary masking remains a good option for reducing the spread of illness.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are messenger RNA vaccines, also known as mRNA vaccines. These are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases, but they have been known and researched for decades. To trigger an immune response, many vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. Not mRNA vaccines. Instead, they teach our cells how to make a protein from the virus—or even just a piece of that protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies later.
The Novavax vaccine is a protein subunit vaccine. Instead of mRNA, the vaccine includes proteins from the virus (not the full germ). Once vaccinated, our immune system learns to recognize that the protein should not be there and builds the antibodies that will remember how to fight the virus if we are infected in the future.
The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine is similar to mRNA vaccines. They all use a piece of the virus’ genetic code for a piece of the virus’ outer shell. After getting vaccinated, the muscle cells make that piece of the virus, then our immune systems react to that and remember it for the future if we get exposed, killing the invading virus and stopping the infection. With the Janssen vaccine, however, that piece of the virus’ genetic code is inserted into an adenovirus (think common cold) that has been modified so that it cannot replicate and cannot make you sick. Our cells open up the adenovirus, make the piece of the virus’ outer shell, and the process continues as described above.
No. They do not affect or interact with our DNA in any way, and no microchip is present. The genetic code of the coronavirus never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA (genetic material) is kept. The cell breaks down and gets rid of the foreign virus’ code soon after it is finished using the instructions.
You may see some rumors about ingredients listed online or in social media. These are generally myths. The ingredients in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are pretty typical for a vaccine, as are the ingredients in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the Novavax vaccines. They contain the active ingredient of mRNA, adenovirus, or protein subunit along with other ingredients like fat, salts, and sugars that protect the active ingredient, help them work better in the body, and protect the vaccine during storage
There is a lot of misinformation or disinformation circulating about the COVID-19 vaccines. Reliable sources include your local public health department, the Washington State Department of Health, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you have specific questions or concerns, please talk through them with a professional healthcare provider.
Information addressing some of the most common misinformation about the COVID vaccines can also be found at www.snohd.org/vaxupsnoco.
You should receive a CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Card at the time you are getting vaccinated.
The Washington State Department of Health is in charge of maintaining vaccine records in the Immunization Registry known as the Washington State Immunization Information System (WAIIS). Residents are able to access their records through the resident portal to print official COVID-19 Vaccine certificates. For any issues, a hotline specialist can be reached at 833-VAX-HELP. You can also email email@example.com.
If you were vaccinated outside of Washington state, please go here for a list of contacts that can assist you in locating your vaccination information.
Boosters can enhance or restore protection that may have decreased over time after your primary series vaccination, or some may be geared toward increasing protection against specific prominent strains of the virus.
Boosters are recommended and you should check to see if you are due for a booster dose. Timing and number of doses may vary based on age, health status and the type of vaccine you received for your primary dose.
Learn more from the CDC about booster doses.
The first step is to contact a licensed well driller. See our pages on well applications and permitting for more information. These pages are currently in the process of being updated and will have more information about permitting soon.
Please review our well application process steps infographic.
You can find a state-approved lab on the Department of Ecology’s website. For more information about testing well water, visit our Water Testing page.
You can find a licensed well driller using the Department of Ecology licensed driller search site.
Abandoned wells may be found in old pump houses, storage sheds, old detached garages, basements, under porch steps, near cisterns and windmills, or in small building structures. Hand dug wells can often be found in lowland areas near surface water. For more information on abandoned wells, visit our Maintaining Your Well page, and select the Abandoned Wells tab.
If you have an abandoned well that is no longer in use, it is a safety concern, and you are required to decommission it. You will need to contact the Department of Ecology and a licensed well driller to do this.
Alberta, Canada's Working Well program created a resource called Cross Connections and Your Well that describes ways you can prevent contamination of your well from cross connections. (Note that any area specific rules or contact information listed in this resource does not apply to Snohomish County residents.)
Yes. In addition to classes being available at the Snohomish County Health Department Everett location, the food worker card class and test can both be taken online.
If you are having problems with the online class and test, you can call our customer service desk at 425-339-5250. You can also contact the Tacoma-Pierce Health Department. They oversee the actual site and will be able to help you with site issues.
Pre-registration is not required.
Classes are scheduled:
Health Department staff can provide group training off-site if desired. For a class to be offered at your location, you must have a minimum of 10 people. We generally schedule classes about a month in advance. Contact our office to request a class: 425-339-5250 or email Food Safety.
The fee for a food worker card is $10. We accept cash, credit or debit (Visa and MasterCard) for instructor-led classes at the Everett location. Only credit and debit (Visa and MasterCard) are accepted for online classes.
Note: The charges for the food worker cards obtained online will be listed under Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department on your bank statement.
The in-person class lasts approximately 60-90 minutes, including the instruction and test. Please arrive early to find parking and get signed in. There is no admittance after the class begins. Allow about 60 minutes for the online food worker class.
There are no age requirements for obtaining a food worker card. The only requirement is taking the class and passing the test.
Food worker cards are valid throughout Washington State for 2 years.
Yes. To receive a 3-year card, you may renew your old card up to 60 days prior to the expiration date. Expired cards are not eligible to renew for a 3-year card.
You can renew your card for 3 years if you re-take the class before your current card expires - bring your old card with you when you take the class in person. If your old card has expired, you will only be able to receive a 2-year card.
This does happen. If you contact the Snohomish County Health Department at 425-339-5250 or email Food Safety, we can upgrade your card to a 3-year card if we see that you qualify for a 3-year card.
You may be eligible for a five-year card if you have completed approved advanced training. You must show proof of the advanced training to receive the 5-year card. You must do this within 2 years of receiving the advanced training.
You can get a replacement card (with the original test date) at the Snohomish County Health Department Environmental Health office in Everett. You can come into the office or you can call the customer service desk at 425-339-5250 to pay for the card over the phone and have the card mailed to you. If you originally received your card online, you can print a duplicate. The fee for a replacement card is $10. We accept cash, credit and debit (Visa and MasterCard) at the Everett location and credit and debit only online.
Yes. We are happy to meet the needs of each person who needs a food worker card.
Cashiers, bussers, stockers, and dishwashers are all required to have a food worker card as a safety precaution. Many states are adopting “limited use” permits for these types of workers, but Snohomish County has yet to adopt these permits.
Even if you have a food worker card, you are not permitted to work with food if you have:
Sick food workers should go home or be given duties that do not involve handling food, such as taking out the trash, cleaning restrooms, or busing tables.
The Washington State Healthy Youth Survey is an optional, anonymous survey given every other year to students in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12. It gathers information on topics such as physical activity and nutrition, alcohol and drug use, physical and sexual abuse, school safety, and depression and suicide. The 2018 survey was the sixteenth such statewide survey.
There are three versions of the survey. Two of them are for 8th grade and older. The core questions all are the same, and students in the same classroom may receive different forms. The goal is to make sure the greatest number of questions can be answered in the limited time available (one class period).
The third form of the survey is for 6th graders. It is shorter and less detailed.
Optional questions about sexual orientation, behavior and abuse are formatted so that they may be removed by schools that choose not to administer them without affecting the rest of the survey.
The survey is optional and anonymous, so students can answer honestly without fear of getting themselves or someone else in trouble.
Some parents worry that students are not honest with their answers, or that they don’t take the survey seriously. While there may be some dishonest answers, the sample size is large enough to trust that, overall, the data and trends are reliable. In 2016, more than 230,000 students from all across Washington took the survey, including more than 14,600 in Snohomish County.
There also are several questions and metrics in place in the surveys to help identify and remove any that are not truthful.
The survey results provide insight for school and health officials as well as parents and policymakers. Identifying trends in health issues or risky behaviors can help determine at what age interventions may be most useful, or whether existing interventions are working. The information also can help target limited resources toward the most pressing physical and mental health problems among young people.
Yes. Even though lead- based paint was banned decades ago, it may still be in older homes built before 1978. Peeling, cracking, or chipping paint can create lead dust. Hobbies and jobs still can involve working with lead, and imported or vintage items such as cookware, dishes, toys, and jewelry also can contain high levels of lead, as can certain traditional remedies or cosmetics.
Sellers and landlords must disclose the presence of known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards in the home. To learn more, visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s “The Lead Disclosure” page.
Make sure no paint is cracking, chipping, or peeling. Get all children in the home tested for lead. For remodeling or renovations, do so safely by using a lead-certified contractor. For more recommendations, be sure to check out the EPA’s How can I tell if my home contains lead-based paint? page.
We have some tips and suggestions on our How to Prevent Exposure to Lead page. The EPA also has an informative Protect Your Family from Sources of Lead page.
Food doesn’t remove lead from your child’s body, but foods with calcium and iron can help your child absorb less lead from the environment.
Examples of foods high in calcium are milk, yogurt, cheese, and green leafy vegetables like spinach. Foods high in iron are meats, beans, peanut butter, broccoli, and iron-fortified cereals. Some sources of vitamin C, which helps increase absorption of iron, are citrus fruits (like oranges), red and green peppers, strawberries, and juice.
Common sources of lead include paint chips and dust, contaminated soil, drinking water from leaded pipes or dishes, certain jobs or hobbies, and other sources like certain spices, cosmetics, and traditional home remedies. For more specific information about each of these sources, visit our Sources of Lead page.
Yes, people born before 1957 are considered immune to measles, and providing documentation of a date of birth earlier than 1957 is sufficient proof of immunity for employees who are not medical providers. However, any medical provider - including school nurses - must have two MMR vaccines, regardless of birth date. A date of birth before 1957 will not be enough to avoid exclusion for medical providers if there is a measles exposure at their location.
No. Based on recent changes in guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Washington State Department of Health, students and staff must have both doses of the MMR vaccine.
If someone provides paperwork signed by a licensed healthcare provider that says their serology/bloodwork shows immunity, a second immunization is not needed.
The MMR takes up to two weeks to be effective, so if someone received the MMR vaccine and did a titer within two weeks, the titer may not show full immunity.
The MMR can take up to two weeks to be fully effective. In addition, if there is a reaction to the MMR vaccine, it can be harder to determine if symptoms are from the vaccine or from the measles virus.
Yes. Unimmunized or under-immunized staff members or substitutes that visited a school during an exposure window must be excluded from any school until after the exclusion window. However, staff at other school buildings where the under-immunized worker spent time do not need to be excluded unless a case occurs at their school.
One dose is sufficient. However, if there has been an exclusion at your workplace (a school or medical practice), you will be excluded for the duration. Keep documentation of all vaccinations and bloodwork to show immunity in the future.
Mumps is a highly contagious viral illness. An infected person can spread it through face-to-face contact by coughing, sneezing, or spraying saliva while talking. Mumps can also spread when people share cups and eating utensils. Mumps is a condition that health providers must report to the local health department when a probable or diagnosed case occurs.
Mumps causes puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw, the result of swollen salivary glands. Other symptoms are:
Immunization is the most effective way to prevent mumps. Everyone should make sure they are up to date on their MMR vaccine. Children must have two doses of the MMR vaccine to attend school.
Other ways to protect yourself:
11724 NE 195th St. Suite # 100 Bothell, WA 98011
1509 32nd St. Everett, WA 98201
Help to prevent pregnancy, cancer screenings, tests and treatments (STD, UTI/yeast infection), sex education, access to birth control, and information on healthy life choices
Community Health Center
4201 Rucker Ave. Everett, WA 98203
Community-based and patient-directed organizations that serve populations with limited access to health care
Sea Mar Community Health Services
1920 100th St SEEverett, WA 98208
Provides quality comprehensive health, human, housing, educational, and cultural services to diverse communities specializing in service to Latinos
The Everett Clinic
3802 Colby Ave. Everett, WA 98201
1818 121st. SE Everett, WA 98208
2901 174th St. NEMarysville, WA 98271
Providence Medical Care
916 Pacific Ave. Everett, WA 98201
Providence Mill Creek Pediatrics
21911 76th Ave W Edmonds, WA 98026
Broad range of services for obstetric patients, including management of hypertension in pregnancy, gestational diabetes, vaginal birth after Caesarean Section, and newborn care
2930 Maple St. Everett, WA 98201
Virginia Mason Edmonds Family Medical Center
7315 212th St SW Edmonds, WA 98026
Offering pediatric, adult, obstetrical, geriatric, primary care, and urgent care
North Sound Pediatrics
15808 Mill Creek Blvd, Ste 201 Mill Creek, WA 98012
Wellness, sick visits, and acute illness checks
Pacific Medical Center
1909 214th St SE Ste 300 Bothell, WA 98021
Bone density scanning (DXA), cardiovascular laboratory, CT scanning, echocardiography, infusion therapy, interpreter services, laboratory, mammography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), pharmacy, ultrasound, vascular studies and X-ray
Skagit Regional Health
3823 - 172nd Street NE Arlington, WA 98223
7530 204th Street NE Arlington, WA 98223
White Horse Family Medicine
875 Wesley St. Arlington, WA 98223
Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center
Weekly home visits, 2x a month play & learn groups, learning activities based on children's interests
Services tailored around your family's needs and goals including activities to strengthen the parent-child relationship, developmental screenings/assessments, nutrition, and mental health education and referrals
Materials and support that respect family culture, and parenting classes and leadership opportunities
2524 16th Avenue S
Seattle, Washington 98144
2200 Rainier Avenue South Seattle, WA 98144
Parent Trust for Washington Children offers unique solutions for the entire family through effective, free, or low-cost classes, workshops and coaching
Great Starts class on birth and baby care is offered in Mountlake Terrace
Many other resources and services are available at Parent Trust throughout the region
Evidence-based parenting programs to support parents in learning positive parenting skills
Family support services to promote family reconciliation and placement prevention
Individual and group mental health counseling services for adolescents in foster care and group home care
Assessments of parenting strengths and challenges
1411 8th Avenue West
Seattle, WA 98119
Cherry Street Plaza 626 8th Avenue SE
Olympia, WA 98501
Help to find insurance; premium depends on income
Provide WA Health Benefit Exchange
1909 214th Street, Suite 204
Bothell, WA 98021
Comprehensive developmental evaluations and early intervention support in the child’s natural learning environment
Have parenting program aiding early childhood communication development
Play and learn groups, therapeutic summer camps for children of all abilities
100 Avenue S
Seattle, WA 98144
1918 Everett Ave.
Everett, WA 98201-3607
Prenatal and postpartum education groups (MSS), breastfeeding groups (MSS and WIC), transportation assistance during your pregnancy, hospital tours in English and Spanish, behavioral health counseling, dental care, WIC, chemical dependency services
Provides brand new car seats free to any child in need
They provide free diapers, formula, maternity clothing and newborn up to 6x in addition to baby furniture and other gently used or new items
205 E 4th St.
Arlington, WA 98223
Everett (Silver Lake) 1819 100th Pl. SE, Ste. B, Everett, WA 98208
402 S. Granite Ave.
Granite Falls, WA 98252
1410 7th St., Ste. A
Marysville, WA 98270
15228 Woods Creek Rd.
Monroe, WA 98272
1212 10th St., Unit B
Snohomish, WA 98290
7520 Totem Beach Rd.
Marysville, WA 98271
Everett, WA 98201
600 Washington St. SE
Olympia, WA 98504-7200
Lactation support and breastfeeding classes
Offers many classes for expecting and new parents including offering PEPS Groups and Infant Safety & CPR
4706 W. Nob Hill Blvd.
Yakima, WA 98902
3201 Smith Ave Suite 215
315 5th Ave S, Ste 850
Seattle, WA 98104
215 W Mukilteo Blvd
Everett, WA 98203
Robert J. Drewel Building, Administration-East Bldg., Second Floor East, 3000 Rockefeller Ave.
302 W Lincoln Ave
3107 Colby Ave
12711 4th Ave West
Everett, WA 98204
Provides brand new car seats free to any child in need
205 E 4th St.
Everett (Silver Lake), 1819 100th Pl. SE, Ste. B
Everett, WA 98208
402 S. Granite Ave.
1410 7th St., Ste. A.
15228 Woods Creek Rd.
4005 Colby Ave
Nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support, healthy foods, referrals to health and social service programs
State law requires that homeowners inspect and maintain their septic system to ensure it is functioning properly. An as-built drawing shows the location of your drain field, which is also useful for:
In general, the only information included is the as-built drawing, which is the final drawing of what your system looks like after installation. Additional information on the property’s septic system may be on file at the Snohomish County Health Department.
The "Property Site Information" and "Property Owner Information" sections are from the Snohomish County Assessor’s Office and are updated on a routine basis. The "OnlineRME" and "Comments" sections are entered by the Snohomish County Health Department Land Use program. Attached scans are from the district’s files.
A septic system, also known as an on-site sewage system (OSS), stores, treats, and disposes of the things you flush and send down drains. There are many different types of systems. Some are simple, using only a tank and a drainfield, and others are more complex, requiring pumps, filters, or specially designed materials. The term on-site sewage system is used in the state and county code, on permit application forms, and by industry professionals to refer to different types of septic systems.
The Snohomish County Health Department offers an online database of septic system records for properties in Snohomish County, which can show you what your existing system looks like and what type it is. To find out if you have a septic system, you can enter your Property Tax Account number or address into the OnlineRME database.
Please refer to our page with septic system sizing information on the guidelines that are used by professionals.
State law (Chapter 246-272A-0270) requires that homeowners inspect and maintain their septic systems to ensure it is functioning properly. The longevity of your on-site septic system relies heavily on the way that you care for it. Be sure to:
This video discusses how different systems work and is a helpful resource for understanding maintenance.
It depends on your system. For gravity systems, it should be inspected every 3 years, and for alternative systems, they should be inspected annually, unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer. The septic professional inspecting your system will be able to advise you when it’s time to pump your tank.
Water, toilet paper, human waste, and soap for washing.
It is not prohibited; however, we do not recommend using a garbage disposal, and if you must use it, we recommend minimizing the amount of food, oil, and grease going into your septic tank. Sink strainers can be a great alternative to using a garbage disposal.
If you are concerned about the status of your system, some signs that may indicate failure are:
Please contact a licensed septic professional if you suspect your system is failing or in need of a repair.
Please refer to our page on permit process steps.
Previously approved applications may be renewed for an additional 2-year period. To renew, the Snohomish County Health Department must receive a complete renewal application from your designer and payment of the renewal fee within 30 days of the initial application’s expiration date. The application will be reviewed to ensure that the current code is met.
You will still need to contact a licensed septic designer. If the Application for an Individual Water Supply Site Inspection is submitted concurrently with the Application for an Onsite Sewage Disposal Permit, the fee is less than if it is submitted on its own
The Snohomish County Health Department investigates complaints and problems with septic systems in the county. Issues can be reported online or mailed to:
Environmental Health DivisionLand Use Program3020 Rucker AvenueSuite 104Everett, WA 98201-3900
Your complaint will remain anonymous, and you will receive a reply regarding the situation after the initial investigation is completed.
Please refer to the Guidelines for Cleaning Indoor Sewage Spills document.
In general, the only information included is the as-built drawing, which is the final drawing of what your system looks like after installation. Additional information on the property’s septic system may be on file at the Snohomish County Health Department offices.
The "Property Site Information" and "Property Owner Information" sections are from the Snohomish County Assessor’s Office and are updated on a routine basis. The "OnlineRME" and "Comments" sections are entered by the Snohomish County Health Department Land Use program. Attached scans are from the district’s files.
You can contact a licensed septic designer to submit a revised as-built that shows the correct locations of your septic system’s components.
The Washington Administrative Code (WAC) contains regulatory requirements for septic tank abandonment. The Snohomish County Health Department does not have additional regulations. Please reference this guidance document.
Your system should be inspected at least once every three years.
Your system should be inspected annually.
Your system should be inspected every six months over a 2-year period after the system is operational and annually thereafter.
A more stringent monitoring frequency may be recommended by the manufacturer. For more information, see the Washington State Department of Health List of Registered On-Site Treatment and Distribution Products.
Your system should be inspected 30 days after the system is operational and annually thereafter.
Your system should be inspected 30 days after the system is operational, then every six months over a 2-year period. Once the 2-year period is over, your system should be inspected annually.
Your system should be inspected 6 months after the system is operational and annually thereafter.