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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 7, 2022
CONTACT:Heather Thomas, 425.508.4980 firstname.lastname@example.org
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, WA – Snohomish County, like many parts of the state, is experiencing historic surges in testing and confirmed cases. There were more than 5,500 new cases reported last week, resulting in the rolling two-week case rate soaring from 496 to 997 per 100,000 residents through January 1.
This surge is evident even with reduced testing opportunities with many clinics closed due to holidays and winter weather. It is estimated that many more have been infected but have not been reported because people did not or could not get tested.
“These are new records for local data, but I suspect we’ll see significant increases again next week, and more in the weeks to come,” shared Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Officer for the Snohomish Health District.
Hospitalizations have more than quadrupled in recent weeks. On December 24, there were 34 Snohomish County hospital beds dedicated to COVID patients. By December 30, that number was up to 56. As of January 7, there were 143 individuals hospitalized due to COVID. That exceeds the previous high of 128 patients hospitalized in December 2020.
Our healthcare system in Snohomish County, and the region, is stretched to the max. All available appointments for testing are taken, with many providers booking out 1-2 weeks. Walk-in clinics are seeing wait times exceeding several hours. Most or all non-urgent procedures are again being canceled as hospitals have dozens of people waiting for beds.
“We continue to ask more and more of them,” said Dr. Spitters said of the healthcare system. “They’re tapped out and we are on the brink of a very dangerous situation.”
Dr. Spitters joined chief medical officers from hospitals and healthcare systems across Snohomish County in sharing an urgent message.
VIDEO: Joint message from Snohomish County’s top doctors
(Read the transcript)
Here is where our community can step up and relieve the burden:
“The next month or so will likely be rough on everyone,” added Dr. Spitters. “Things are changing rapidly so be ready for—and don’t be surprised by—frequent updates in guidance as this evolves. Virtually everyone should expect to be inconvenienced by this.”
To stay updated, please monitor the Health District’s social media channels and www.snohd.org/covid.
Vaccination appointments, including booster doses, are available for those 12+ at the Ash Way Park & Ride site Wednesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The testing schedule for next week is as follows:
Appointments for testing are available at www.snohd.org/testing and vaccine appointments at www.snohd.org/drivethru.
Those without internet access, needing language assistance, or requiring additional support in scheduling can reach the Health District’s call center at 425.339.5278 to schedule a testing or vaccine appointment. Callers after hours or on holidays or weekends can leave a message, which will be returned on the next business day.