Though local COVID-19 infection rates are declining, health officials warn that the region is not out of the woods yet.
“We’ve got a long way to go to what I would consider a comfort zone, but things are looking much better and sustained over time,” Dr. Chris Spitters, the county’s top health officer, said last week. “And that’s in no small part due to the efforts of just everyone out there wearing face coverings, trying to keep physically distanced from others, handwashing, and keeping those gatherings small and limited.”
As of last week, Snohomish County’s rate of infection dropped to 48.3 cases per 100,000 residents, according to the Snohomish Health District. The state’s goal to advance phases is fewer than 25 cases per 100,000 people.
The county has seen coronavirus cases steadily drop since a high of nearly 100 infections per 100,000 residents in mid-July.
Spitters said he was concerned that Labor Day celebrations could trigger a rise in infections similar to the area experienced after Memorial Day and the Fourth of July
“We’re hoping for a little bit better outcome in the wake of the Labor Day holiday,” he said. “We’ll be watching that over the next week or two.”
Statewide, there have been about 80,000 confirmed cases and nearly 2,000 deaths, according to the state Department of Health.
Snohomish County has recorded more than 6,500 COVID-19 cases to date. Stanwood — which has had 184 total cases — recorded three new cases since Sept. 1.
Island County has had 277 cases to date. Camano Island has recorded 54 cases, including one new case since Aug. 28.
Island County has a infection rate of 18.9 cases per 100,000 people — one of several key health metrics the county is currently meeting in order to advance phases once allowed by the state.
On Sept. 11, the state Department of Health released a statewide situation report detailing an overall decline in COVID-19 activity in recent weeks. The report credits more people embracing social distancing, limiting gathering sizes and wearing face coverings as key factors in slowing the spread of the disease.
“While we see some encouraging trends in case counts, the risk remains extremely high throughout the state,” Secretary of Health John Wiesman said. “It is still critical that we limit the size and frequency of our in-person gatherings, wear face coverings and stay home when we are sick.”
Meanwhile, the Snohomish Health District announced it is opening its drive-thru COVID-19 test site in Everett to everyone. Previously, the only people tested were those experiencing symptoms, exposed to someone who tested positive or in a higher-risk group.
To schedule an appointment, visit snohd.org/drive-thru-testing or call 425-258-8425.
Due to the unhealthy air quality, the drive-thru testing site at 3900 Broadway will be closed tomorrow, Monday, Sept. 14.— SnoHD (@SnoHD) September 14, 2020
Check for updates on our testing site https://t.co/5rNKfVwbiB
For more info about air quality, check out Puget Sound Clean Air Agency https://t.co/sVY3ryDaAk pic.twitter.com/l3wYMJx1fh
Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters & former COVID-19 patient Maria Coghill joined us today.— SnoHD (@SnoHD) September 8, 2020
Dr. Spitters gave updates on air quality, COVID data, & testing. Maria Coghill shared her experience with COVID & the lingering effects of the illness.