COVID-19 daily report for Edmonds and Snohomish County: March 15, 2020

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

An adventure in online grocery shopping: Tips for first-timers

Governor to announce statewide shutdown of restaurants, bars Monday

A partial list of Edmonds restaurants offering takeout and delivery

Sponsor spotlight: Edmonds downtown businesses and COVID-19

Edmonds School District adds more locations for students’ grab-and-go meals during closure

Twist Yoga to suspend in-studio classes starting March 16

Edmonds’ Harbor Square Athletic Club to be closed until at least March 22

Snohomish Health District update

A reminder about confirmed cases and close contacts

Due to the increasing number of cases, the Snohomish Health District’s disease investigators are no longer able to contact every person who is considered a close contact of a confirmed case.

They are still contacting all confirmed cases, which includes anyone who has a positive test result as well as anyone who is a close contact of a confirmed case and develops symptoms of respiratory illness.

When someone is contacted by the Snohomish Health District because they are a confirmed case, they will received guidance from our public health staff as well as an official letter from the Snohomish Health District to provide to close contacts. This letter is the new method of notifying close contacts and provides instructions on what they need to do.

If a confirmed case identifies close contacts who are in a high-risk category, the Snohomish Health District may also reach out individually to those contacts. Those high-risk categories include: healthcare workers, first responders, and individuals who are 60 years or older, have underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems, or are pregnant.

If you receive a message by phone, email or mail stating that you are a close contact of someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, it is important that you follow the instructions. This includes quarantining at home for 14 days and monitoring for symptoms.

If you are an employer, family or friend of a COVID-19 contact, please support them in adhering to the instructions. Workplaces may also be notified by an employee that they are a confirmed case or a close contact. A table with general guidance for isolation and quarantine is available online at this link.

Quarantine requirements will have a significant impact on businesses and an individual’s daily activities. This is part of why social distancing is crucial – if employees, friends or family members have not been within 6 feet, they will likely not be considered close contacts.

This is also important as new guidelines are in place where close contacts who develop symptoms (e.g. sore throat, cough, fever or difficulty breathing) will be considered a probable case. While testing is pursued, a probable case is treated like a confirmed case. Close contacts of that new probable case must then be identified and quarantined for 14 days or until a negative test result is received.

If an employer is notified by an employee that they are a confirmed case or a close contact, the employer should work with that employee to ensure the needed support, such as sick leave benefits or remote work options. Additional notification may be sent to other employees in the workplace at the employer’s discretion, while respecting the medical privacy of the affected employee.

Workplaces should continue to follow the requirements outlined in the health officer’s order. At this time, decisions on temporarily closing locations are at the discretion of the business or organization, unless they cannot fulfill the requirements of the order or are specifically instructed to do so by the health officer.

Case updates:

The Snohomish Health District is reporting the following cases of COVID-19 as of 1:57 p.m. March 15:

 

  1. Hats off to My Edmonds News for gathering all this great info in one place each day. It takes a lot of effort, and I hope you realize it is appreciated!

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