After weeks of heading in the right direction, the decline in COVID case rate stalls
After weeks of progress against COVID-19, the case rate in Snohomish County is flattening. It is now at 69 new cases per 100,00 residents – the same as last week.
“We are going sideways,” Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Officer for the Snohomish Health District, told reporters Tuesday during a virtual press conference on the community’s COVID response.
“We’ll be monitoring this closely in the days and weeks ahead, but this is just yet another signal that while we may feel we are done with COVID, COVID isn’t done with us,” he added.
The case rate results come as most state COVID-related restrictions are scheduled to be relaxed or eliminated altogether starting today, June 30.
Dr. Spitters said it is exciting that Washington has made enough progress against COVID to reopen. That’s a testament to all those who have worked together and made choices to ensure more than 4 million people across Washington have been vaccinated against the virus, the press conference was told.
Jason Biermann, Director of the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management, said the Snohomish County Vaccine Taskforce has helped administer more than 318,000 doses of vaccines during its six-month-long mass vaccination effort.
The task force is dialing back mass vaccination efforts, directing energies instead into community-based clinics that can be tailored to better reach specific populations, especially those who may have struggled to get access to vaccines.
Biermann urged unvaccinated people to take their shot. He also asked that people who already have been vaccinated reach out to others and encourage them to do the same.
It is imperative for unvaccinated people to continue to practice safe COVID behaviors, including wearing masks around others, avoiding crowds, and going into quarantine if exposed to the virus, Dr. Spitters said.
He urged people to think of the state’s reopening this week as the “ending one chapter, with a promising one about to begin.”
Dr. Spitters added: “There’s still a lot of the story left ahead before we get to the end of this COVID thing.”
Find a video recording of the briefing here: https://youtu.be/pE67bgs0O5E