FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2020
Heather Thomas, 425.508.4980, firstname.lastname@example.org
COVID-19 Activity and Testing Updates for Snohomish County
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – The Snohomish Health District is relocating drive-thru testing to a site that will allow for increased capacity. Starting Monday, August 10, the testing will be at 3900 Broadway in Everett. This is the same location where the Health District first opened drive-thru testing back in March. Testing will be in the large parking lot near Everett Memorial Stadium.
The set-up at the Broadway site allows for more testing each day. The District expects to be able to test up to 500 people daily, up from the previous limit of 250-300.
For the week of August 10 the schedule is as follows:
- Monday, August 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Tuesday, August 11, from noon to 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, August 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Thursday, August 13, from noon to 7 p.m.
- Friday, August 14, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Eligibility criteria remains the same as previous weeks. Registration is now open at www.snohd.org/drive-thru-testing. The Health District is working to move to a different online registration system in the coming weeks, as well as providing a phone number for those without internet access or needing an interpreter.
Data Updates and COVID Activity Snapshot
For the last several weeks, we’ve been releasing the weekly snapshot based on metrics and targets for Phase 2. A more detailed weekly report has also been published on Friday afternoons.
While both are continuing, staff will begin issuing them on Mondays. This change will allow epidemiology staff more time to prepare the reports with more complete data aligned with weeks officially ending on Saturdays for data purposes. It will also allow the Health District to be able to better respond to social media questions after reports are released rather than over a weekend.
The Health District had anticipated the final Friday publication being today. However, a data failure occurred with one of the District’s servers this week and the epidemiology team was focused on recovering and rebuilding the data. This means weekly reports are not available today, and will hopefully be released on Monday.
As a reminder, countywide data is available through an interactive dashboard from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) online at www.snohd.org/524/COVID-19-Data-Dashboard. Additional information also is available through DOH’s Risk Assessment Dashboard at https://coronavirus.wa.gov/what-you-need-know/covid-19-risk-assessment-dashboard.
Recommendation on Remote Learning
Governor Jay Inslee, Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal and DOH’s state health officer, Dr. Kathy Lofy, announced new guidance for school reopening at a press conference on Wednesday.
The “decision tree” framework issued by DOH emphasizes that schools are not islands. Community transmission must be low in order for schools to reopen safely for in-person learning. Snohomish County is currently in the “high risk” category with more than 75 cases per 100,000 in 14 days. At this level, DOH recommends distance learning with the option for limited in-person learning who need it most – such as children with disabilities. Sports and extracurricular activities should remain on pause. These recommendations also align with guidance provided by Dr. Chris Spitters last week.
Safe Start for Long Term Care
Governor Inslee and officials from DSHS and DOH announced the “Safe Start for Long Term Care” plan that goes into effect on August 12. The plan establishes criteria for long-term care facilities to safely allow visitors, provide trips for residents outside the facility, group activities, and more. As with schools, allowable activities at these facilities depends on sustained prevention of COVID-19 transmission in the community.
Given a current case rate over 75 per 100,000 residents, allowable activities for long-term care facilities in Snohomish County include:
- Indoor visits are limited to compassionate care situations. Compassionate care situations include end-of-life circumstances and for psycho-social needs. Any such visit must follow strict safety protocol.
- Outdoor visits are allowed and limited to two visitors per resident per visit. These visits must include masking, social distancing, and appropriate hygiene.
- Facilities may invite "window visits" at their discretion with safety protocol in place. Remote visitation must be facilitated in all Phases.
More details about the plan are available at www.dshs.wa.gov/altsa/famhelp-facility-status-and-information.
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)
DOH announced there are now 11 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19 in Washington state. MIS-C is a rare but serious condition first identified by health care providers in the United Kingdom in late April. In May, it was announced that Snohomish County had the first confirmed case in Washington. Since then, there has been one additional case involving a Snohomish County resident. Both cases are adolescent males.
An MIS-C case is defined as a patient under the age of 21 with a fever, laboratory evidence of inflammation and severe illness involving more than two organs that requires hospitalization. To meet the definition, patients must have no other plausible diagnoses as well as a positive COVID-19 test or exposure to a confirmed case in the four weeks before their symptoms began.
Volunteers Needed for the Medical Reserve Corps
The Snohomish County Medical Reserve Corps has been mobilizing and coordinating volunteers and resources in response to local emergencies since 2002. Since late-January, nearly 200 volunteers with the Medical Reserve Corps have worked more than 7,000 hours supporting the COVID response in Snohomish County. To maintain capacity for the months ahead, more volunteers are needed. Visit www.snohd.org/mrc to learn more and register.
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/ncov2019 and the Health District’s social media channels.