Publisher’s note: We have created this ongoing report on information related to COVID-19 as it applies to our communities. It will be updated regularly to reflect changing information.
Links to our latest coverage
Update from the Washington State Health Department
Many people who get COVID-19 have mild illness they can take care of at home, but some people need to see their health care provider or get care in the hospital. When we need health care, we trust that our health care providers will have the resources they need to provide safe care. Things like beds, room in the ICU, and all the gloves, gowns, and masks that protect the healthcare providers and keep their patients safe.
But, there is a worldwide shortage of these gloves, gowns, and masks. There are not enough of these personal protective equipment being produced anywhere in the world. And all over the world, COVID-19 has contributed to an increase in the number of people needing care.
The United States prepares for this very situation by stockpiling supplies in the Strategic National Stockpile. When the state and a health care facility’s normal suppliers can’t find a vendor who can sell them the needed supplies, the state requests these supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile. To help our health care facilities in Washington, the Department of Health, has already made this request for supplies from the federal government.
We have received two shipments so far. That looked like eight tractor-trailer loads and six courier deliveries of supplies since March 4, 2020. That allowed us to send more than 70,000 gowns, 200,000 masks, and 100,000 gloves to more than 50 Washington healthcare facilities.
Here’s how you can help:
- Social distancing — staying home, avoiding groups of people, keeping kids home — can make a huge difference in the number of people affected by COVID-19 and the number of people who need health care. When we all stay at home, this lets us save limited health care resources for the people who need them the most.
- Don’t attempt to purchase masks or take them from your health care provider’s office. Masks don’t protect healthy people from COVID-19 during normal, everyday travel and activities. Masks are used in a health care provider’s office to help cover coughs for sick patients and to allow the providers to care for patients safely.
Snohomish Health District guidance for those who develop symptoms
The Snohomish Health District has released guidance for anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 and their contacts on how to prevent the spread to others.
The goals for using mitigation strategies for communities with local COVID-19 transmission are to protect those at higher risk, including people who:
· are over 60 years of age
· have an underlying medical condition, like heart disease, lung disease or diabetes
· have weakened immune systems
· are pregnant.
For businesses and employers:
Snohomish Health District is encouraging workplaces and businesses to provide options for their employees to work from home if possible. If they cannot work from home, employees should minimize their interaction with large groups of people.
People who are sick with cough and fever should not attend work until 72 hours after fever has resolved or seven (7) days after the illness began, whichever is longer. We urge employers to maximize flexibility in sick leave benefits to accommodate these measures.
The Health District continues to add number of resources for businesses and employers to its website at www.snohd.org/ncov2019. One of those items is a table that provides guidance on what to do if employees or family members/close contacts of employees are being tested.
COVID-19 case updates
The Snohomish Health District is reporting the following statistics related to COVID-19 through 2 p.m. March 13, 2020: