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…

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 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 decision…

State indoor mask requirements to be lifted at midnight March 11

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…

Snohomish County sees dramatic drop in COVID cases

COVID is quickly releasing its grip in Snohomish County, as it is across the nation. The comments that came from county leaders In the weekly coronavirus briefing included:  “amazing,” “proud” and “the trajectory is fantastic and hopeful.” As fast as the Omicron variant swept through this area, it is in an equally fast retreat. That…

Free masks available at branches of Sno-Isle Libraries

Those looking to upgrade their masks for better protection can now get free KN90 masks at their local libraries, the Snohomish Health District said. Upgraded masks, like KN90, KF94 or N95, offer a higher level of protection compared to cloth or disposable procedure masks. Unfortunately, that higher quality comes with a higher price tag, especially when they…

County COVID briefing: Positive numbers for a change as cases, hospitalizations drop

What a difference a week makes. We have the “opportunity to continue to turn the tide,” Snohomish County Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters told the weekly COVID briefing Tuesday. Spitters’ comments were the first of a string of positive data from the county. New cases 16,000 – two weeks ago 9,000 – last week Hospitalizations…

State reopens COVID-19 portal to order free rapid tests online

The Washington State Department of Health is reopening a statewide portal that allows people to order COVID-19 rapid tests online, then have them shipped to their homes. For the second time in less than two weeks, Washington state residents can go to www.sayyescovidhometest.org to order up to five free tests. Recipients will get those tests…

Where to find the free N95 masks coming our way

Free N95 COVID masks are coming your way. They are not here – yet. But major grocery and pharmacy chains in Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace should have the masks in soon. The federal government last week announced the nationwide distribution of 400 million N95 masks – for free. The feds have tapped the Strategic…

State health department launches at-home rapid COVID-19 test portal

In an effort to increase access to at-home rapid tests across the state, the Washington State Department of Health said Friday it is launching a statewide portal that will allow COVID-19 tests to ship directly to households. Beginning Friday, Washington state residents will be able to visit www.sayyescovidhometest.org to order rapid-antigen COVID tests online, and…

Some Edmonds School District students planning ‘sick-out’ protest Friday

Some Edmonds School District students are planning  a “sick-out” for Friday, Jan. 21 as a way to advocate for what they see as the district’s need to increase its pandemic safety measures, which includes a temporary shift to remote learning. Organizers said in an online petition they would like to see the district “switch to…

Mass COVID-19 testing site opening this weekend in Monroe

A new COVID-19 testing site will be opening this weekend at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe. The site is being operated in partnership with the Snohomish Health District, Washington State Department of Health and Federal Emergency Management Agency. “Testing is a critical part of preventing the spread of COVID-19 and we are thrilled to…

Free at-home COVID tests now available for order

According to the federal government, residential households in the U.S. can order one set of four free at-home tests via this USPS link. There is a limit of one order per residential address One order includes four ndividual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests Orders will ship free starting in late January If you need a COVID-⁠19…

County COVID briefing: Slight decline in cases, but hospitals stretched thin

“I would love to be at the tail end of the last surge,” Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers told reporters gathered at the weekly COVID briefing, but  “we are not there yet.” The county has seen a slight decline in the total number of cases – down from an all-time high of more than 13,000…