Updated: Free at-home COVID-19 tests no longer available

The Washington State Department of Health said it “has already exhausted the limited supply” of free COVID-19 home test kits, which it recently announced were available to residents through the end of the year. “We have had an overwhelming response to the initiative,” a pop-up message on the department’s free COVID test webpage said.  

Somers releases proposal for spending county’s remaining $85 million in ARPA funds

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers Thursdayreleased his proposal for the county’s remaining $85 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, which are federal dollars designed to address the public health, social, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a county news release, the proposal reflects community pandemic recovery priorities identified during a four-month…

Snohomish County publishes report detailing community pandemic recovery priorities

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers has released the Community Pandemic Recovery Priorities Report, which details the outcomes of the four-month pandemic recovery engagement effort the county conducted over the spring and summer. According to a county news release, the report collects key themes across conversations with community leaders, service providers, mayors and residents to identify…

Snohomish County purchases first hotel for those without housing

Snohomish County is planning to use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to purchase its first hotel to be converted into “time-limited, bridge housing” for those who are homeless. The Days Inn facility in Everett will provide 74 new units to those individuals living without shelter, the county said in a Monday press release. As…

New telehealth option launched to expand COVID-19 treatment access

To increase access to potentially life-saving medication to treat COVID-19, the Washington State Department of Health and its partners have launched a new telehealth option for patients. According to a Department of Health press release, the new option expands the federal government’s Test to Treat initiative and gives people at risk of severe disease another…

Snohomish County temporarily reopens emergency rental assistance program

Have you or a loved one been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? The Snohomish County Emergency Rental Assistance Program has temporarily reopened to accept new applications through 211. The program has limited funds and assistance cannot be guaranteed. For more information, visit snohomish-county-coronavirus-response-snoco-gis.hub.arcgis.com/pages/emergency-rental-assistance The county also provided the following additional resources: Utility Assistance: snohomishcountywa.gov/552/Energy-Assistance Food…

Snohomish County announces $5 million pandemic recovery program focused on small businesses, tourism

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers Monday announced $5.2 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) investments to support pandemic recovery efforts for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and tourism. These investments include the creation of a Small Business Innovation Assistance (SBIA) program, which provides technical assistance and grants to small businesses and entrepreneurs; and an expansion…

Puget Sound area transit agencies no longer requiring face masks

Agencies providing transit services to riders throughout the Puget Sound region announced Tuesday that face coverings will no longer be required on transit, at transit facilities or in transit hubs. The change is effective immediately, and includes the following agencies: Community Transit Everett Transit King County Metro Kitsap Transit Pierce Transit Seattle Department of Transportation…

State Board of Health votes against requiring COVID-19 vaccines for K-12 students

The Washington State Board of Health on Wednesday voted not to include COVID-19 in the state’s immunization requirements for K-12 students to attend school. According to The Seattle Times, the vote comes after the board’s technical advisory group voted at the end of February to recommend against adding a COVID vaccine to the list of…

State audit finds issues with how City of Edmonds used pandemic relief funds

In an audit released Thursday morning, the Washington State Auditor’s Office found that the City of Edmonds did not comply with requirements governing the distribution of federal COVID-19 relief funds in 2020. During a Tuesday exit conference with Edmonds city councilmembers and staff regarding the findings, Assistant Audit Manager Kirk Gadbois noted the issue is…

Health Department: Second COVID-19 booster dose recommended for certain individuals

People age 50 and older and certain immunocompromised individuals can now get a second booster dose of an mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) COVID-19 vaccine at least four months after receiving their initial booster dose. The Washington State Department of Health said Wednesday it has updated its booster dose recommendations following guidance from the U.S. Food…

Department of Health outlines next phase of Washington’s COVID-19 response

The Washington State Department of Health on Thursday released its long-term ForWArd plan for the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and “co-exist with COVID-19 for the foreseeable future,” the department said in a news release. To date, more than 13 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across Washington, which the department says…

As masking requirements end, some reminders from the Snohomish Health District

With the statewide mask order lifting at midnight Friday, masks become optional in most public settings but still are required in certain venues or situations. Though local health jurisdictions have the authority to put in place mask requirements at the county level, the Snohomish Health District said in a Friday news release it is aligning…

Edmonds School District to lift indoor, outdoor mask mandates March 14

Updated with clarification that both indoor and outdoor mandates end March 14. The Edmonds School District announced Tuesday night it will be lifting both its indoor and outdoor mask mandates in schools and district offices starting Monday, March 14. The school district “will continue to recommend masking, however, it will be an individual or family…

State indoor mask requirements to be lifted at midnight March 12

With declining COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Monday that the state will be lifting its mask requirements as of 11:59 p.m. Friday, March 11. The state is also moving from mask requirements to mask recommendations in schools. Inslee had previously announced Feb. 17 that statewide mask orders will be ending…