‘Small’ COVID-19 outbreak reported involving Snohomish Health District staff

The Snohomish Health District Tuesday confirmed a small outbreak involving employees at the district’s headquarters located at 3020 Rucker Ave. in Everett. Those individuals remain isolated at home and close contacts have been notified.

In accordance with the spirit and letter of health care privacy laws, the health district said it won’t be commenting further on the health status of staff members involved in the outbreak.

The health district notified all employees of the situation Tuesday afternoon. Any staff in the building who had been in the building since Aug. 18 were advised to seek testing. As the confirmed cases were not in public-facing roles, there is no need for people who had visited the Rucker Building to seek testing, the health district said.

In-person health district services at the Rucker Building will be unavailable through Aug. 31, and the building will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to re-opening. Online services remain in place via www.snohd.org, with all employees working remotely or offsite until the building reopens on Sept. 1.

“Two or more cases in a workplace is considered an outbreak—albeit a small one,” the district said in its announcement. “This is being managed aggressively out of an abundance of caution, following prevailing standards, and in consultation with the Washington State Department of Health.”

The health district also said it has been prepared for the possibility that employees might test positive for COVID-19 or need to self-quarantine since the beginning of the response. The district added it will continue to follow its own guidance for employers and take every precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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