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Posted on: March 16, 2020

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COVID19 Updates:
June 30, 2021
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At long last, the state eases COVID restrictions and opens up for more business, recreation

As Washington reopens for business and recreation today, the state Department of Health is encouraging people to keep doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Reopening does not mean the pandemic is over or that the risk of COVID-19 is gone.

The Secretary of Health’s mask order remains in place. If you are unvaccinated:

  • Continue wearing masks when indoors in public places.
  • Keep washing your hands and watching your distance.
  • Enable WA Notify for completely private exposure notifications and get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

As businesses begin to resume normal operations, these precautions will be needed more than ever to help protect people who are not vaccinated, including children who are not yet eligible.

Gov. Jay Inslee released this statement:

Washington has come a long way since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the country was found in our state in January 2020, and that is in no small part due to Washingtonians’ dedication and resilience in protecting themselves and their communities throughout the pandemic.

Because folks listened to the science and stayed home to stay healthy, wore masks, and got vaccinated, we can now safely fully re-open our state’s economy and cultural centers after 15 long months. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m proud of how Washingtonians came together, persevered, and sacrificed to fight this virus, and now we’re finally in a place that is safe enough to end this chapter.

Even though Wednesday marks a new stage in our continued efforts to defeat this pandemic, we still have work to do. Continued success depends on everyone getting vaccinated and encouraging any loved one who has not yet received this lifesaving vaccine to do so, and quickly.

Let’s keep it up, Washington – get vaccinated and stay safe.

See the governor's full press release for more information and guidance on the reopening.

Reopening FAQs from Gov. Jay Inslee

 

 

Snohomish County government facilities reopening to public July 6

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers announced today that with the lifting of pandemic restrictions, county government facilities will reopen to the public on July 6.

When visiting county facilities, visitors and staff are required to follow state and Snohomish Health District guidelines, including wearing masks if unvaccinated. Since a significant portion of the public is vaccinated, hospitalizations from COVID-19 remain low, and the state removed most pandemic restrictions, the county will reopen doors to the public that have been closed since March 2020 in response to the pandemic.

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers“Snohomish County residents have beaten back four waves of the COVID-19 pandemic and have been vaccinated in significant numbers,” Executive Somers said. “As we reopen Snohomish County government facilities to the public, we want to ensure every one is as safe as possible. While the pandemic has not ended and COVID-19 remains a public health challenge, we can safely resume in-person government activities that were suspended in March 2020. The resilience and adaptability of Snohomish County’s employees will continue to serve our residents well.”

The public is encouraged to continue using the online access to county services. Some tasks that previously required a special trip to a county facility to perform are now easily completed online, and prior to the pandemic, Snohomish County had already moved many services online. Before taking a trip to a county facility, please check if you can conduct your business online, saving time and increasing convenience.

See the full press release for more information.

 

 

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

Snohomish County COVID-19 case rate 6-28-2021

 

Exercise extra caution heading into hot, dry Fourth of July holiday weekend

It’s a particularly bad time to be playing with fire in Snohomish County, a virtual press conference was told Tuesday.

Record high temperatures this week are expected to be followed by continued hot, dry weather through the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

 “One little spark is all it takes to start a big fire right now,” Christie Veley, public information officer at Marysville Fire District, told reporters during a briefing that focused on the community response to COVID-19.

Efforts to help people during the recent triple-digit temperatures were complicated by COVID’s presence in the community, reporters were told.

Veley urged people to exercise care in the days ahead.

  • An outdoor burn ban is in place countywide. While fires are allowed in grills and approved enclosures, fire officials advise against it for now.
  • Likewise, don’t toss lit cigarette butts into the landscape; don’t park on dry grass, and avoid mowing lawns during the hottest hours of the day.
  • Fireworks present a significant risk and are illegal to use in much of the county (find a list of locations here).
  • To avoid swamping emergency dispatchers, report fireworks complaints on the county’s non-emergency line at 425-407-3999. If there is an injury, a fire, or a police emergency, call 911.
  • Stay cool but stay safe. That means wearing a life jacket around local lakes and rivers.

Meanwhile, outfit your living area with window stops or locks to reduce the risk of children toppling through open windows.

“Window screens are built to keep bugs out, not children in,” Veley said.

Find a video recording of the briefing here: https://youtu.be/pE67bgs0O5E?t=762

Kids and windows risk flyer


 

County nears 70% vaccination rate for 16-plus

We came close to reaching the 70% vaccination goal that Gov. Jay Inslee set ahead of the state’s June 30 COVID reopening. Regardless, the reasons behind the push haven't diminished. Vaccination remains the best tool against the virus. It’s still time to take your shot. http://bit.ly/snocovaccine

Vaccine progress 6-26-21

 


It's still a great time to get your COVID shot

The Pfizer vaccine is available Fridays and Saturdays at the Ash Way Park & Ride vaccination site in Lynnwood. No appointment necessary. Last call for first doses there July 10. Ages 12-17 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. More info: http://bit.ly/snocovaccine

Mass vaccination site schedule July 2021


 

VIDEO: Here’s what to know about life after getting your COVID vaccination

For the nearly 450,000 Snohomish County residents who have had at least one vaccine, it may mean getting back to pre-pandemic activities. Here are tips and recommendations for life after the vaccine. #vaxupsnoco

For more information visit: https://bit.ly/3xZuGG4

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Life after vaccination screengrab


 


 

VIDEO: Don’t be misled by dodgy use of data taken from vaccine reporting system

VAERS is not a resource for medical advice. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is an important tool, but it is NOT a resource for medical advice or cause-and-effect data about vaccination. #vaxupsnoco

More info here: www.snohd.org/covidvaccine

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VAERS video screen grab in English and Spanish

 


 

New tool compares COVID vaccine hesitancy by ZIP code across U.S.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington School of Medicine and COVID Collaborative last week launched a new tool that shows data on people’s openness to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine by ZIP code and by county for the entire United States.

“This data visualization is designed for health officials and other policymakers who are working to educate their constituents about the safety and benefits of COVID-19 vaccines,” said John Bridgeland, Co-Founder and CEO of COVID Collaborative. “By making this data easily accessible down to the level of individual ZIP codes, IHME and COVID Collaborative can help ensure that those efforts reach the ‘movable middle’: those people who aren’t yet vaccinated but are open to being convinced.”

Washington state vaccine hesitancy by ZIPThe interactive maps show estimates for more than 30,000 ZIP codes in the United States and 3,000 counties. The data show Snohomish County is one of the more vaccine-supportive locations in the U.S., with about 10% of residents surveyed indicating at least some hesitancy. That compares to just under 6% in King and more than 15% in Skagit counties.

Nationally, the median hesitancy is 19% when measured by ZIP code, and more than 6,000 ZIP codes have hesitancy about 30%.

Find the tool here: https://vaccine-hesitancy.healthdata.org/

See the full press release or read a Twitter thread about the tool.

  

Governor issues housing stability 'bridge'

Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday issued a housing stability ‘bridge’ emergency order, Proclamation 21-09, intended to bridge the operational gap between the eviction moratorium (which will expire at 11:59 PM on June 30) enacted by prior proclamations and the protections and programs subsequently enacted by the Legislature. The bridge, which was initially announced last week, will also reduce uncertainty as the state implements post-COVID long-term housing recovery strategies contained in legislative enactments such as SB 5160.

official logo of Gov. Jay Inslee"This bridge creates reasonable steps and will help ensure that renters have the opportunity to receive support and resources that are available to them and that the Legislature intended to be in place to help both landlords and tenants,” Inslee said.

Recent legislative actions include appropriating an additional $650 million for landlord and tenant rental assistance and also establishing certain programs, like the eviction resolution pilot program, which were intended to be in place after the eviction moratorium ends. However, the funding has not yet been disbursed and these programs are not yet operational statewide. 

In response to this unintended gap, this order requires, among other things, that:   

  • Landlords and tenants avail themselves of rental assistance and eviction resolution pilot programs pursuant to SB 5160 to resolve any COVID-related past due rent (February 29, 2020 through July 31, 2021);  
  • Tenants take steps to pay rent or avail themselves of rental assistance in order to pay future rent (beginning August 1, 2021 throughout the effective dates of this order);
  • For any tenant who is or becomes in arrears, landlords offer a reasonable repayment plan to tenants per SB 5160; and
  • Tenants respond to notice of funding and other available programs within the timeframes established by SB 5160. 

See the full press release for more information. 

 


 

Expect some change in the workplace post COVID

Washington is getting ready for reopening! What will that mean for workers?

As more and more Washingtonians get the COVID-19 vaccine, we’re getting closer to returning to normal life. Soon, businesses will be able to resume operating at their full capacities again. This is welcome news for Washington businesses, workers, and customers.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks indoors or outdoors. As a result, many businesses dropped their mask requirements for customers. But what about their workers?

Man with reopening signTo help workers better understand these changes, we connected with the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). L&I is the state agency that provides guidance for employers. They protect workers by making sure that employers keep their workplaces safe and healthy.

Read more

¡Washington se prepara para la reapertura! ¿Qué significará eso para los trabajadores?

A medida que más de nosotros en Washington recibimos la vacuna contra el COVID-19, nos acercamos más al regreso de la vida normal. Pronto, los empleadores podrán reestablecer sus operaciones a su plena capacidad nuevamente. Esta es una buena noticia para los empleadores, los trabajadores y los clientes de Washington.

Recientemente, los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades dijeron que las personas completamente vacunadas no necesitan usar mascarillas en interiores o exteriores. Como resultado de esta información, muchos empleadores eliminaron el requisito de usar mascarilla para los clientes. Pero, ¿qué pasa con los trabajadores?

Para ayudar a los trabajadores a entender mejor estos cambios, nos conectamos con el Departamento de Labor e Industrias (L&I).

Woman reopening business with sign in SpanishPL&I es la agencia estatal que brinda orientación a los empleadores. Protegen a los trabajadores asegurándose de que los empleadores mantengan sus lugares de trabajo seguros y saludables.

Leer más

 


 

State updates guidance on ways to keep rooms cool and COVID safe

State graphic on using fansThe state Department of Health last week updated its guidance to keep indoor spaces cooler during the COVID crisis. Creating Safer Air Movement for Cooling with Consideration of COVID-19 provides guidance on safer ways to create air movement for cooling when air conditioning units and a central HVAC system are not available. See DOH's Hot Weather Safety page for additional information. 

 

 

Pets need extra care during the heat 

High temperatures are hard on pets, too. Keep them cool and safe by following these easy tips. For more info, visit www.bit.ly/hotpetsafety

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Pets and heat graphic

 


ESSENTIAL LINKS AND PHONE NUMBERS FOR UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION

 


 


June 14

Tips for life after you are vaccinated

For the nearly 450,000 Snohomish County residents who have had at least one vaccine, it may mean getting back to pre-pandemic activities. However, there are still a lot of questions that the Snohomish Health District has been getting on what comes next. 

Here are tips and recommendations for life after the vaccine.Snohomish Health District Logo

  • Keep original vaccine cards safe. Treat vaccination cards like a birth certificate or other official document. Take a photo of it and then store it at home. In the future, it may be needed to prove someone has been vaccinated against COVID-19. If the original card is lost or misplaced, records can also be accessed through the state’s MyIR.net system.
  • Keep an official proof of vaccination handy. Many businesses or employers may need proof before entering or permitting someone to remove a mask. See examples of proof here: Visual Guide to Official Washington State Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination (PDF) 
  • Respect the rules of the room. Even if fully vaccinated, people still need to wear a well-fitted mask in schools, public transportation, health care settings, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and any business that requires masks.
    • Know how to gather safely with others. It can be confusing to know when masks are required or how many people to gather with. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has created a page with different scenarios to help people in gathering safely after vaccinated.
    • Monitor for symptoms and get tested. While fully vaccinated people do not need to quarantine if exposed to someone with COVID-19, they should still keep a lookout for symptoms. If any unusual or new symptoms develop, seek testing and remain quarantined until test results are back.
  • Many people have experienced challenges while trying to confirm their records were transmitted to the Washington State Immunization Information System (WAIIS) and they are eligible for the “Shot of a Lifetime” lottery drawing. DOH recognizes that many people were not able to verify their COVID-19 vaccine record in MyIR Mobile. However, the records have been transmitted to the WAIIS, which means DOH is able to access immunization data and will be able to pull winners from the pool of eligible vaccine recipients in the state.

    In the meantime, people who have further questions about their eligibility should call the state’s vaccine hotline at 1-833-VAX HELP or visit https://walottery.com/vaccination

    See the full press release for more information.





IRS mailing 36 million families that may qualify for pandemic child tax credits

The Internal Revenue Service has started sending letters to more than 36 million American families who, based on tax returns filed with the agency, may be eligible to receive monthly Child Tax Credit payments starting in July.

Official IRS square logoThe expanded and newly-advanceable Child Tax Credit was authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act, enacted in March. The letters are going to families who may be eligible based on information they included in either their 2019 or 2020 federal income tax return or who used the Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov last year to register for an Economic Impact Payment.

Families who are eligible for advance Child Tax Credit payments will receive a second, personalized letter listing an estimate of their monthly payment, which begins July 15.

Most families do not need to take any action to get their payment. Normally, the IRS will calculate the payment amount based on the 2020 tax return.  If that return is not available, either because it has not yet been filed or it has not yet been processed, the IRS will instead determine the payment amount using the 2019 return.

Eligible families will begin receiving advance payments, either by direct deposit or check. The payment will be up to $300 per month for each qualifying child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each qualifying child ages 6 to 17. The IRS will issue advance Child Tax Credit payments on July 15, Aug. 13, Sept. 15, Oct. 15, Nov. 15, and Dec. 15.

See the full press release for more information.






You can mostly go without a mask once you are fully vaccinated

One of the best things about being fully vaccinated (two weeks after your final shot), is that you can show your smile again!  Masks are still needed in some situations, and many people may be more comfortable wearing one, so please remember to be kind. #VaxUpSnoCo



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