Health district: Attendees at Arlington basketball tournament should consider testing

The Snohomish Health District has identified at least one confirmed case of COVID-19 associated with the 3on3X Basketball Tournament held at the Arlington Airport Aug. 14-15. Other investigations are pending and staff are working with event organizers to get a list of all participants. However, not all spectators can be identified, and the health district is unable to exclude the possibility that transmission occurred at the event.

The health district suggests that attendees consider pursuing COVID-19 testing if they attended the tournament, especially if they are not completely vaccinated or have developed COVID-like symptoms since the event. This suggestion applies to players, coaches, volunteers or spectators. Testing can be obtained at one of the health district’s community-based testing locations at www.snohd.org/testing or calling 425-339-5278, or by contacting their health care provider or another testing facility.

The average incubation period for COVID-19 — or the amount of time from exposure to first development of symptoms — varies. It is usually four to six days but can range from two to 14 days.

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With Snohomish County considered a high transmission area and hospitals operating at or above 90% capacity, the health district now recommends the following regarding large gatherings:

  • Consider avoiding large gatherings, especially if you are not completely vaccinated, are immunosuppressed, or are advanced in age. This is particularly true for indoor settings or crowded outdoor settings where social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Remain home if you are ill.
  • Ensure masks are worn properly, keep at least 6 feet physical distance, and wash hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.
  • Enable WA Notify on your smartphone so that you can be alerted if you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  • Consider seeking testing three to five days after attendance, particularly if unvaccinated.

Event organizers should be ensuring that all state and federal guidance for large gatherings are being followed. If they become aware of a confirmed cases linked to their event, they should contact the Health District promptly by emailing CDQuestions@snohd.org or calling 425-339-5278.

As the Delta variant spreads throughout every region in Washington, demand for COVID-19 testing increases. With that, many people are turning to various over-the-counter, at-home tests when they have symptoms or when they need a test for other reasons. These tests can be convenient and improve access to testing but it is important to ensure people are still using the right kind of test, taking steps to get care and isolate from others if they are positive, and positive results are reported to the state.

Reporting helps the Washington State Department of Health determine how and where the virus is spreading so resources can be allocated to reduce the spread. Thanks to a partnership with Washington 211, it is now possible to report a positive test result from an at-home test through the state’s COVID-19 hotline. Hotline personnel will determine next steps based on ZIP code so results can be recorded and reported, and can guide callers through any questions they may have.

The state hotline, 1-800-525-0127, is available Monday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Tuesday to Sunday (and observed holidays) 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Language assistance is available.

The main types of tests to detect COVID-19 infections are molecular tests, including PCR tests, and antigen tests.

  • Molecular tests look for genetic material from the virus that causes COVID-19; these results can take a little longer, but they are the most accurate tests available.
  • Antigen tests look for certain proteins on the virus surface; the results come in faster, but they are generally less accurate than molecular tests in most circumstances. Over-the-counter tests are generally antigen tests.

According to the health department, antigen tests are most accurate for people with symptoms, but they can still produce false negative or false positive results. With those tests, if you are symptomatic and you get a negative result, it’s advisable to get a confirming molecular test to be sure. Also, if you are asymptomatic and get a positive antigen result, you should again get a confirming molecular test.

Relatedly, over-the-counter tests are generally approved for serial testing; follow the instructions on the test for any repeat testing as indicated to improve accuracy, the health district said.

If someone tests negative, but is symptomatic, they should get a confirming molecular test before resuming normal activities. If they test positive and have economic or other challenges, like getting groceries, medications or many other needs, help is available through Care Connect Washington. When someone with a positive OTC test result submits their test result via 211, they are able to be connected to corresponding case and contact tracing and resources via Care Connect Washington.

 

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