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COVID-19 PREVENTION MEASURES REMAIN CRUCIAL

McDaniels Do it Best
Published:2021-07-19 State
COVID-19 PREVENTION MEASURES REMAIN CRUCIAL    Print Snohomish Times    
COVID-19 PREVENTION MEASURES REMAIN CRUCIAL

The community is urged to remember that COVID-19 is not gone.

Though many pre-pandemic activities have resumed, there still are cases and outbreaks reported regularly. 

Cases of COVID-19 are climbing again here, as they are in many parts of the country. The rolling two-week case rate increased from 70 to 80 cases per 100,000 population between the period ending July 3 and the period ending July 10. Looking at weekly rather than two-week counts, there are indications that the case rate is likely to increase again. For the week of July 4-10, 384 new cases of COVID-19 were reported, a 36% increase from the previous week. 

“COVID still is spreading in Snohomish County and elsewhere,” said Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Officer for the Snohomish Health District. “If we want to keep ourselves and others around us healthy, we need to maintain many of the prevention measures that we’ve been emphasizing for well over a year now.”

Vaccination is the most effective tool we have against the virus, and vaccine is readily available at no cost to those who have not yet taken their shot.

To help reverse course on increasing case rates, people are encouraged to:

  1. Get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you are age 12 or older. Anyone who received only the first dose in a two-dose series of Pfizer or Moderna should get a second dose as soon as possible.
  2. Wear a mask if you are unvaccinated indoors in public or commercial spaces, and if you are outdoors and unable to keep at least six feet of space from people you don’t live with. Even those who are vaccinated should be prepared to wear masks in any venue that requires them, such as public transportation of all kinds, healthcare settings, schools, homeless shelters, jails, or any private enterprise that requires all patrons to wear masks.
  3. Stay home if you have any symptoms, wash your hands thoroughly and often, and follow isolation or quarantine guidance if you become ill with COVID or if you have been exposed to someone who is ill with COVID. While fully vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine if they are exposed but do not have symptoms, they do need to isolate if they develop any symptoms after exposure or if they test positive. 
  4. Business owners may allow vaccinated patrons to go mask-free, but unvaccinated people are still required to mask up per the statewide mask order. For businesses that are unable to enforce mask wearing or track who is vaccinated and who is not, consider asking all patrons to continue masking at this time, particularly when indoors. 

WHERE TO FIND UPDATES

Starting in March 2020, regular virtual media briefings were hosted to provide updates on the response to COVID-19 in Snohomish County. The last of those scheduled briefings was held on Tuesday. Moving forward, these virtual press conferences are not scheduled weekly, but may be held on an as-needed basis. 

A video looking back at the COVID-19 response in Snohomish County to date, including clips from media briefings over the last year and half, was published Thursday. 

Case rates, vaccination numbers and other COVID information remain available online. Here are some key places to check for regular updates.

REOPENING AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

We’ve passed June 30, and the majority of COVID-19 restrictions around businesses and activities have lifted. They’d been in place in some form for more than a year.

People are adjusting to another “new normal” during the COVID pandemic. It can be overwhelming at times. We’re not all diving into the reopening at the same pace, and that’s OK.

It’s not just physical health measures we need to keep in mind following the statewide reopening date. Because the reopening was close to the Fourth of July holiday and what, for many of us, is the kick-off to summer, we’re able to socialize and reconnect during a season that is already a popular time for gatherings. As these interactions increase, it can be easy to feel like the pandemic is done, even though it isn’t. 

There’s a mix of emotions that can come with these changes. As the Washington State Department of Health noted in a recent advisory to healthcare providers, people’s desires to have fun, to have a sense of freedom, and to let out strong emotions have been building for more than a year. This can lead to behavioral health impacts.

Read more in the latest blog: Reopening = emotional triumphs and challenges. Approach Summer 2021 with compassion.

COVID TESTING SITE SCHEDULE 

The schedule for the week of July 18 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 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 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.




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