COVID-19 Weekend Update for Edmonds and Snohomish County: May 30, 2020

 

Intended to supplement our Tuesday-Saturday daily reports, the Weekend Update provides details on where infected individuals contracted the virus, numbers of tests administered, and positive vs negative testing results in Snohomish County. This week we are also providing information on the number of new cases per 100,000 population, one of the key targets that Washington counties must meet to apply for Gov. Inslee’s Phase 2 reopening under the Safe Start Program.

Testing and contact tracing have been identified as key weapons in the battle with COVID-19, and having a plan to implement these at effective levels are among the criteria counties must meet to move to Phase 2 reopening. Knowing where the cases are is the first step; then through contact tracing individuals who come in close contact with known infected individuals can also be identified, tested and, if necessary, asked to quarantine.

The criterion getting the most attention however is the incidence of new cases. Originally set at 10 or fewer new cases per 100,000 population, it has recently been relaxed to 25 cases per 100,000 (see the updated list of criteria from the Governor’s Office here.

As announced Friday, Snohomish County plans to submit its application for Phase 2 reopening on Monday, and despite still being just short of the target, the new standard will certainly make its case stronger. (Note that the chart provided here tracing this metric comes from the Snohomish Health District and was made prior to this weekend’s announcement of the relaxed standard, hence the target line still indicates the old standard of 10 cases per 100,000).

Weekly test numbers are presented in two ways: broken out by week (red and green bars), and cumulative over the full reporting period (yellow and green bars). The weekly numbers chart shows a steady rate of testing, with between 2,500 and 3,500 tests administered countywide each week (note that data for the most recent week, 5/19-25, is incomplete, and will be updated in the next report). Notably, the proportion of positive results has been decreasing steadily over the reporting period. The cumulative testing chart reflects this, showing steady growth in the pool of tested individuals and a predominance of negative results.

To date, 32,659 tests have been conducted in Snohomish County (3.97% of the total population of 822,083), of which 96% (29,751) were negative and 4% (2,908) were positive. For comparison, the latest data on statewide testing from the Washington State Department of Health COVID-19 Information website reports 348,243 Washingtonians have been tested to date (3.95% of the total population of 7.8 million), of which 94% (327,162) were negative and 6% (21,071) positive.

The Source of Exposure chart displays the history over the past two weeks on how Snohomish County COVID victims acquired the virus. According to these data, community transmission (going to stores, gathering in groups, touching surfaces containing virus particles, failing to maintain recommended social distancing, etc.) continues to be the overwhelming source of infection. The message: wearing masks, social distancing and not gathering in large groups continue to be the most effective strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19, and will be an important part of a successful transition to Phase 2.

— By Larry Vogel

11 Replies to “COVID-19 Weekend Update for Edmonds and Snohomish County: May 30, 2020”

    1. Hi Steven and thanks for your question.

      This from a May 29 announcement from the Snohomish Health District:

      Community-based testing will be available at multiple locations for the week of June 1.

      Monday, June 1, at the Monroe Library, 1070 Village Way, with appointments beginning at 9 a.m. and the last slot at 2 p.m.
      Wednesday, June 3, at the Stanwood Library, 9701 271st St. NW, with appointments beginning at 9 a.m. and the last slot at noon.

      This test will not use the rapid test machines, but rather the regular nasal swabs that are sent to a lab. Results are expected to be communicated back to individuals within 2-3 days.

      See the full announcement with info on how to get an appointment here: http://www.snohd.org/503/Drive-Thru-Testing-Available-by-Appointm

      PS – I’ve been in contact with the Health District spokespeople, and they have promised to let me know when testing sites will operate in the Edmonds/Lynnwood/MLT/Brier/Woodway area. Stay tuned!

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  1. When will we know if the state has approved the application for phase 2? And what do you think our chances are to be approved?

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  2. Hi Daniela – The latest information we have was reported on Friday here: https://myedmondsnews.com/2020/05/i-believe-we-are-ready-somers-says-as-snohomish-county-applies-for-phase-2-of-safe-start-plan/

    According to what we know, the application is being submitted today, and the timeline from there is up to Olympia. Regarding our chances I will not speculate – but the officials quoted in the article at the link above seemed pretty sanguine.

    Thanks!

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    1. Thanks for the quick reply! In regards to the timeline– I understand it is up to Olympia, but do you expect to be within the day? Next few days? Maybe even a week? I think our citizens have a right to know how long to expect before their lives can finally begin to move towards normalcy.

      Also, if I have read the data correctly, it seems Snohomish County is “close” to 25 cases per 100,000, but not quite there yet. But the link you sent me states that Snohomish County officials are confident that it will be accepted nonetheless. Are you able to explain to me why there is a confidence that the governor will approve our application when we don’t actually hit the targets he laid out?

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      1. Again, I really can’t speculate on how long it will take for the officials in Olympia to consider and make a decision on Snohomish County’s Phase 2 application.

        And yes, our county officials seemed hopeful on Friday even though, as Dr. Spitters said, we “don’t have a bright green light on all the criteria.” But once more, I can’t speculate beyond what they actually said as to their relative level of confidence or the reasons behind it.

        Thanks again for your interest!

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      2. Since the jump from 10 to 25 was to allow the big counties to go to phase 2 what would be the point of saying that a few more is too unsafe? Within reason the worse case is likely they will just change the number to 30 and claim that is the new safe limit. I expect the move to be announced this week and go into effect by Monday.

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  3. As a salon owner, it is unfair to project an opening without the time to actually reschedule appts that have been cancelled! This takes time
    to accomplish, and clients are desperate (in their own words) Business restart includes much more than sanitizing surfaces!

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