For the first time since early September, the rolling two-week COVID-19 case rate in Snohomish County decreased, from 444 to 427 per 100,000 residents, the Snohomish Health District said Tuesday.
“For that trend to continue moving in the right direction, we really need all of our residents and businesses to keep those important public health measures up during the holidays,” said Dr. Chris Spitters, health officer for the Snohomish Health District. “As hard as it is, avoiding indoor gatherings, wearing face masks and keeping 6 feet apart from those we don’t live with are the key to easing restrictions in the new year.”
While the two-week case rate decreased, officials said that Snohomish County is still in a very precarious position:
Long-term care facilities continue to lead to 50-60 new cases weekly. There are ongoing outbreaks in 16 of the 17 skilled nursing facilities, 19 assisted living and 23 adult family homes. These outbreaks account for around 750 cases over the past two months.
The COVID hospital census — the number of people hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19—has been holding steady at 90-100 people daily. These COVID cases represent more than 15% of total hospital capacity in the county, with the goal being under 10%. On any given day, there are 12-15 individuals requiring mechanical ventilation due to respiratory failure.
Snohomish County has been averaging 24 deaths per week this month. This is up from one to two per week in August and September.
During a virtual media briefing on Tuesday morning, Spitters and County Executive Dave Somers were joined by Dr. George Diaz, section chief for infectious diseases at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett. The first 3,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine were delivered to to Providence in Everett, and more than 2,000 health care workers have been vaccinated at the medical center since Friday.
The health district anticipatesthe first 17,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine being delivered locally this week, which will be prioritized to high-risk employees in health care settings, with high-risk first responders soon to follow.
Employees and residents at long-term care and similar adult care settings will also begin to receive vaccines through federal partnerships established with Walgreens and CVS in the coming weeks. Walgreens and CVS will be reaching out directly to those facilities to coordinate the process.