County COVID briefing: Demand exceeding supply for kids’ vaccine

It’s a slow start to vaccinating children 5-11 years old against COVID in Snohomish County. Not because parents are reluctant to get their kids the shot, County Chief Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters told reporters during a Tuesday media briefing. It’s because there is not yet enough vaccine for children anywhere in the state. Spitters…

Two schools, two different responses to COVID outbreaks

When 26 students contracted COVID-19 at Edmonds-based Madrona K-8 school this month and another 174 were tagged as “close contacts,” Madrona shut down for two weeks. But at the same time, when a dozen students at Edmonds-Woodway High got COVID and 246 others were labelled as close contacts, the high school did not shut down….

Department of Health: Booster doses now available for all three COVID-19 vaccine types

The Washington State Department of Health is expanding the use of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses for certain individuals following recommendations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup. Last month, health care providers began offering booster…

COVID-19 pop-up booster shot clinic in Lynnwood Oct. 29

The Lynnwood-based Korean Women’s Association is hosting a pop-up vaccine clinic offering COVID-19 Pfizer booster shots, as well as first doses for those who have not been vaccinated, on Friday, Oct. 29 at the Lynnwood Ju Clinic parking lot, 4629 168th St. S.W. Unit F. Call 425-742-6396 to make an appointment, and also to request…

COVID-19 outbreak closes Madrona School until Nov. 1

An Edmonds school is the first in Snohomish County to shut down this fall because of rising COVID cases. Madrona K-8 currently has 26 active cases among students and another 174 students in quarantine because they were in close contact with the sick children. Madrona will not reopen until Nov. 1. Edmonds School District Alert…

Possible winter wave of COVID-19 and flu infections worries county health officials

COVID-19 case rates in Snohomish County have declined slightly from a recent peak, but health officials said at a briefing Tuesday that yet another wave of infections is possible this winter. A surge in those infections, along with potential impacts from this year’s flu season, could further strain area hospitals. Snohomish County Chief Health Officer…

Tougher vaccine mandates coming from state, county executive warns

New vaccine mandates are coming to Snohomish County – not just to business, but to city governments, organizations, even non-profits – to any workplace that employs more than 100 people. That’s a key takeaway from the county’s Tuesday COVID briefing. New federal guidelines already mandate vaccination at businesses of more than 100 employees. The state…

Local firefighters union tells governor it opposes COVID-19 vaccine mandate

The union representing South County Fire’s nearly 300 firefighters has sent a letter to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, stating that union members “respectfully disagree” with the governor’s proclamation requiring that all state firefighters be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Oct. 18 or lose their jobs. “IAFF Local 1828 is not against vaccines, however we are…

Snohomish Health District announces shift in COVID-19 testing operations

Given the increased demand for COVID-19 testing and the high level of COVID transmission happening locally and regionally, the Snohomish Health District said Friday it is making some adjustments to testing operations. This includes a closure of one site, but the addition of two new locations. In just seven days, roughly 15,000 people were tested…

Snohomish County’s weekly COVID-19 case rates again near peak levels of pandemic

The rate of new COVID-19 cases reported in Snohomish County amid the ongoing spread of the highly infectious delta variant continue to remain near peak levels seen since the pandemic began last year. Last week, 2,042 new cases were reported through Saturday, Aug. 28. “Together with the 1,700 cases from the prior week, that corresponds…

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…

Health Department: Ivermectin should not be used to prevent or treat COVID-19

The Washington State Department of Health on Thursday warned that people should not take ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19, following a Health Alert Network advisory released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug used commonly in humans and animals. Although it is approved by the U.S. Food and…

‘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…

County COVID briefing: With cases increasing, delta is ‘the only virus in town’

OK — we’re past the point of wanting to hear more about Snohomish County’s COVID outbreak. We are overwhelmed with information, bombarded with opinion from all sides, drowned in data and counter-data. We are suffering COVID fatigue. We are suffering information overload. Our circuits are melting. “People are tired of it,” County Executive Dave Somers…

New data highlights impact that delta variant is having in Snohomish County

The latest data report from the Snohomish Health District looked at all cases through July 31. In addition to confirming the impact that the Delta strain is having locally, the report also included a first look at cases by vaccination status.   July had twice as many confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 2,670 cases compared…

Mask-wearing rules go into effect Aug. 23 at Lynnwood Recreation Center, Senior Center

If you use the Lynnwood Recreation Center, the following rules will be in effect Monday, Aug. 23 following Gov. Jay Inslee’s mask mandate for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals: Masks will be required to enter the Recreation Center or Lynnwood Senior Center Masks will be required to participate in senior center classes and activities Masks…

Statewide updated mask order goes into effect Monday, Aug. 23

A reminder that starting Monday, Aug. 23, face masks are required for everyone over 5 years of age in most public indoor settings regardless of vaccination status. These include places like grocery stores, malls, gyms and community centers. Masks are strongly recommended in crowded outdoor settings like sporting events, fairs and concerts where physical distancing…

Inslee announces vaccine mandate for K-12, higher ed employees; reinstates indoor mask rule

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Wednesday that all employees in K-12 and higher education will be required to be fully vaccinated by mid-October. Inslee also announced an expansion of the statewide indoor mask mandate to all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. In response to rapidly rising COVID-19 hospitalizations, Inslee said during an Aug. 18 press conference…

Department of Health: Delta variant driving dramatic spike in COVID cases statewide

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are accelerating across Washington state, and the state health department says that unvaccinated people are being hit hardest. Officials are urging those who have not yet received the shot to get vaccinated, and also say now is the time to redouble efforts around the key behaviors that keep the virus from…