COVID-19 INFORMATION | CURRENT STATUS: PHASE 2
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NEWS UPDATES *Covid-19 News and updates from Skagit County
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News updates from Washington State
COVID-19 CASES IN SKAGIT COUNTY RESIDENTS
Community transmission of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is occurring in Skagit County. Skagit County Public Health only tracks COVID-19 cases of Skagit County residents to avoid duplication in reporting. Facilities in our community may be caring for patients who are from another county.
Note: Data is based on available information at time of reporting. Further case investigation can result in corrections to numbers originally reported. This data is changing rapidly as labs conduct tests and discover new cases.
*Total lab confirmed cases known to Skagit County Public Health +/- indicates increase or decrease in number of positive cases since last update.
**Total number of positive cases who were hospitalized at any point during their illness.
COVID-19 Choir Cluster Investigation(Posted 5/12/20 10:00am)
Skagit County Public Health has completed an investigation of the cluster of COVID-19 cases associated with a local choir event this March.
WHO TO CALL
(Updated 7/6/20 4:00 pm)
PUBLIC HEALTH: If you have questions for Skagit County Public Health, or are in need of assistance picking up supplies or food while in isolation/quarantine, you can call 360-416-1500 between 8:30am and 4:30pm daily.
To report groups of people not practicing social distancing, call 360-416-1892 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily. They will pass the information to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
DOH Hotline: If you have questions about what is happening in Washington or how the virus spreads, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #, or text “Coronavirus” to 211-211. Phone lines are staffed from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Until a vaccine and/or treatment is developed, physical distancing, wearing a mask, and good hygiene are the only tools we have to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
MASKS: Masks or cloth face coverings are now required whenever you are in public in the state of Washington, with a few exceptions. Masks are an effective, cheap and simple way to slow the spread of COVID-19.
As on June 26, 2020, Governor Inslee has required that masks be worn by all Washingtonians while in public. Read more here
This requirement is not a substitute for existing guidance to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others and frequent hand washing with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizer.
PHYSICAL DISTANCING DURING PHASE 2
(Updated 6/5/20 3:00pm)
In order for businesses to stay open under the Safe Start - Reopening Washington plan, personal responsibility and good physical distancing are more important than ever. During Phase 2, please continue to observe physical distancing practices including:
- Staying six feet apart from anyone outside your immediate household that you come into contact with when in public
- If medically able, wearing a mask a mask in public at all times
- Washing your hands frequently
- Not touching your face or mask with unclean hands
Further, if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 please stay home and get tested as soon as possible. If you are high risk for poor health outcomes from COVID-19, you should continue to stay home as much as possible. High risk individuals include:
- People 60 and older
- People with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
- People who have weakened immune systems
- People who are pregnant
Phase 2 allows for you to gather with five or fewer people from outside your household per week( (i.e. you should only see five total people from outside your household every seven days). Any gathering poses an increased risk of COVID-19 transmission and we encourage you to be thoughtful about any gathering.
WHAT'S OPEN- Phase 2
- All services previously identified as essential included grocery stores, gas stations, food supply chains and other things necessary.
- Manufacturing businesses
- In- home domestic services, such as nannies or housekeeping
- Retail, with restrictions
- Real estate
- Professional services and office based businesses (telework still strongly encouraged)
- Hair and nail salons, barbershops
- Pet groomers
- Restaurants and taverns with less than 50 percent capacity.
- Full list of industry specific safety guidance’s
If you are a business owner, and have questions about how to reopen safely, please call our Public Health Department at 360-416-1500.
- Public or private large group gatherings, except for outdoor religious services.
- On May 6, 2020, Dr. Leibrand recommended the cancellation or postponement of large scale events through the end of the summer including fairs, parades, fesitivals, overnight residential camps, fireworks displays or any other large group gatherings. Read the full recommendation here.
- Businesses, services or entertainment venues not explicitly listed above.
Food assistance: Learn more about emergency food access during the COVID-19 response.
IF YOU ARE SICK
(Updated 7/8/20 4:00pm)
If you have severe symptoms of COVID-19, including fever of 100.4 degrees or higher and cough, please seek care at one of Skagit County’s respiratory clinics or through your provider. People experiencing shortness of breath or other serious symptoms need to seek medical consultation immediately. Call your provider, urgent care, or emergency department first before going in.
If you need to be seen for other medical concerns, please call your provider. Many are offering telehealth, and have taken extra measures to protect anyone that needs to be seen in person. Do not put off medical concerns.
- If you are enrolled with Apple Health and do not know who your medical provider is, you can call your health plan directly for assistance. Nurse Helplines are available 24/7.
- If you are uninsured or worried about your legal status and concerned about your symptoms, you may call Community Health Plan of Washington’s 24/7 Nurse Helpline at 1-866-418-2920.
Respiratory Clinics: There are three respiratory clinics in Skagit County.
Skagit Regional Health is offering a walk-in respiratory Clinic at one location in Mount Vernon. This is a walk-in clinic, no appointment necessary.
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat, Sun 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: 120 South 13th Street, Mount Vernon
Island Hospital is offering a respiratory clinic at one location. Please call before going in.
Hours: Daily, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: 2601 M Avenue, Suite C, Anacortes
United General Medical Clinic is offering a respiratory clinic at one location. You may call first or walk in.
Hours: 8am – 6pm Monday through Friday
PeaceHealth Sedro Woolley Clinic
1990 Hospital Drive, Suite 110
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284
(Updated 7/8/20 4:00 pm)
Skagit County school districts are in process of planning for fall. School will look different in September but districts are working diligently to that assure safe and effective student learning can occur at all grade levels. Resources for schools and families can be found at:
(Updated 5/12/20 4:00 pm)
If you are able to donate or manufacture Personal Protective Equipment, we need your help. Please click here.
The COVID-19 outbreak across the globe has - and will continue to have - significant health, social, and economic impacts on our community. We understand this impact will fall heavily on the business sector. Your business is an important part of our community.
Essential Employers should:
- Maximize telecommuting options for as many employees as possible
- Urge employees to stay home when they are sick and maximize flexibility in sick leave benefits
- Stagger start and end times to reduce large numbers of people congregating at the same time
- Abide by the latest guidance for disinfection and cleaning
Resources for businesses, workers and employers are being made available every day.
The governor’s office has a webpage with all the new guidance for COVID-19. It will be updated regularly as new guidance is issued.
AWB launches website to help Washington businesses
The Association of Washington Business announced a new website aimed at helping Washington businesses safely welcome back employees and customers. The website, located at www.reboundandrecovery.org, features an online portal to connect Washington businesses with ‘Made in Washington’ manufacturers of personal protective equipment (PPE), plus a toolkit for small businesses to help prepare their physical spaces for reopening and assist in communicating new health and safety protocols with employees and customers. The site is free to use and available to all Washington businesses.
- Washington State Department of Health Workplace and Employer Recommendations
- WA Dept of Health Guidelines for Screening Employees and Visitors
- CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
- King County – Planning For Coronavirus
- Guidence for Essential Businesses
- WA.gov business and worker info
Financial and Benefits Resources
- EDASC COVID-19 Resources for Businesses, Employees; COVID-19 Resource Guide
- U.S. Small Business Administration Loan Information
- Employment Security Department COVID-19 webpage
- Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner
- Governor’s Office – Resources for Businesses
- Setting up a safe and healthy workspace for teleworking
- Governor’s Office – Support for Small Businesses
If you are not able to work because of this pandemic, check out these resources from the state Employment Security Department:
- Frequently Asked Questions about the new federal stimulus package known as the CARES Act.
- Employment Security Department Commissioner Suzi LeVine has a video update for Washington state on the federal stimulus bill -Watch the video on YouTube
- Resources for filing for unemployment benefits that provide temporary income when you lose your job through no fault of your own.
- Stay up to date. If you haven’t already, please sign up for ESD’s COVID-19 action alerts. You can do so on the agency’s COVID page (esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19).
- Check your eligibility. Learn more about your eligibility and when to apply for benefits using the new eligibility checker. We are encouraging those eligible for regular unemployment to apply now, and newly eligible to wait until after April 18.
- Get ready to apply. Download the application checklist.
- Set up your account. Watch the tutorial video to set up your account correctly. It is nine minutes long but will likely save a lot of time.
- Questions? Call 833-572-8400
The Employment Security Department has information for workers and employers impacted by COVID-19.
The state Employment Security Department has made significant changes to its website to help workers find the information they need including:
A simplified website design for easier navigation to the pages people need most right now.
A new guide to help self-employed, independent contractors and others affected by COVID-19 apply for regular unemployment benefits, expanded benefits (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) and submit weekly claims.
A new checklist to get ready to apply for expanded unemployment benefits (pdf) (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance).
New “Road to Recovery” series launches on TVW. State leaders have launched a new Q&A series with TVW called “Road to Recovery” to talk about how businesses and workers can navigate their way through the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first episode, host Mike McClanahan and Employment Security Dept. Commissioner Suzi LeVine discuss the steps people must take to receive financial help due to the COVID-19 situation.
Disaster Cash Assistance Program: WA Department of Social and Health Services has opened coronavirus relief funding to people without citizenship status or proof of a Social Security number. People not eligible for other COVID-19 assistance programs can apply if they meet income and resource thresholds. Single individuals can claim up to $363, and the amount increases depending on the household size up to $1,121 for eight or more in a home. Applicants receive a one-time payment in a 12-month period.
Public Health - Seattle & King County and CDC have provided resources and facility-based guidance. In the interest of maximizing staff time for response efforts, we are sharing what our peer local health jurisdiction has recommended, rather than recreating materials or guidance.
- How to Disinfect
- Information for Solid Waste Providers
- Information on handling biological waste
- CDC Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
FOR VULNERABLE POPULATIONS & SENIORS
(Updated 6/25/20 4:10 pm)
If you are an at-risk individual who is on quarantine or isolation, and you find yourself in need of assistance with getting/picking up supplies or food, or knowing where to call to get such resources delivered to you, call the Skagit County Resource Assistance Line at 1-360-416-1892 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily.
On June 25, the Centers for Disease Control broaden their guidances on who is at risk for contracting severe COVID-19. People of any age with certain underlying medical conditions should consider themselves high risk. For a full list of what medical conditions, please visit the CDC’s website. This update does not affect any previously issued recommendations or guidance.
Your health and the health of those you care about are important, and it is recommended that you try to stay at home and away from other people during this time. Preparing for this requires some planning.
- Make sure you can contact your regular healthcare provider when you need advice. Some clinics use the “patient portals” to communicate and most of them will have staff who can take your calls to give advice. Please keep in mind that they will likely be very busy, so try to anticipate your needs.
- Make a list of medicines that you need regularly and ask the pharmacy or your healthcare provider if you can have an extra supply or prescription. Mail order is a good option to help avoid going to the store.
- Have a plan for if you get sick. CDC has a form on which you can list your current health conditions and treatments: https://www.cdc.gov/aging/caregiving/pdf/Complete-Care-Plan-Form-508.pdf. If you have a caregiver, determine who can care for you if your caregiver gets sick.
- Talk with your neighbors and plan for ways you can help take care of one another. Ask for support and help if you need it.
- Consider stocking up on extra food or personal hygiene supplies. Call your local stores and national chains to see if they have a curbside pickup or home delivery option available. This will help you avoid going into the store where there are lots of people. If you are trying to avoid public places and have to go to the store, consider your ability to go during times when it is less busy.
- Practice good health habits, including washing your hands frequently with soap and water, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when you don’t feel well.
For more information on Meals and Wheels and frozen lunch pick-up program options, please call your local senior center:
Mount Vernon Senior Center, 360-416-1585, Kristl Hobbs or Nickie McNulty
Sedro-Woolley Senior Center, 360-855-1531, Ellen Schweigert or Merrilee Komboukos
Burlington Senior Center, 360-755-0942 or 360-755-0102, Jackie Cress or Cheryl Kaufman
Anacortes Senior Activity Center, 360-293-7473, Amanda Miller or Annette Saling
(Updated 5/6/20 4:00pm)
Long-term care facilities are doing critical work to protect our loved ones and keep staff safe. As part of our healthcare system, these long-term care facilities are likely to see cases of COVID-19. Our entire healthcare system is impacted by COVID-19, and like hospitals and clinics, long-term care facilities are closely following WA Department of Health infection control measures. Long-term care facilities are also a state priority for receiving personal protective equipment. Skagit County Public Health and Department of Emergency Management continue to work closely with these facilities to assist with limiting the impacts of COVID-19.
This is an especially difficult time for those living in long-term care facilities and for those with loved ones housed in these facilities. Individual facilities may implement different protocols, but some statewide measures have already been put in place to protect vulnerable seniors who are more at risk for severe complications from COVID-19.
Governor Inslee issued new rules to protect residents of nursing homes, adult family homes, and assisted living facilities. The governor’s rules require that:
- Visitors, including friends or family, are not permitted. This prohibition does not apply to end of life situations or to visits by attorneys, administrative law judges, advocates or similar persons who represent a resident.
- Employees or volunteers must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms at the start of each shift.
- People who live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities and who test positive for COVID-19 must be isolated from other people.
- Owners, operators, staff and volunteers are prohibited from disclosing protected and confidential health information, except as otherwise provided by law or with the resident’s consent.
These rules remain in effect until further notice. Your loved one’s facility may have implemented stricter protocols based on guidance from the Washington State Department of Health. You can learn more about that guidance here.
(Updated 5/15/20 4:00pm)
Skagit County Public Health continues to strongly encourage parents and guardians who can keep their children home at this time to do so. Keeping children at home, hiring a nanny or babysitter to provide one-to-one care, or sharing care responsibilities with other parents in groups of no more than two or three children will help reduce the risk of spreading this disease.
If you need child care, please call the Child Care Aware Family Center at 1-800-446-1114 or go to their website. Alternately, you can contact your local school district. You can find additional information on you school’s website.
- Anacortes School District
- Burlington-Edison School District.
- Concrete School District
- Conway School District
- La Conner School District
- Mount Vernon School District
- Sedro-Woolley School District:
If you reside in a neighboring county, information on childcare is available here.
Child care providers must be able to meet health and safety requirements, which includes updated guidance available here. Requirements include excluding sick employees from work; sending sick children home; meeting all CDC recommended cleaning and disinfecting procedures; and ensuring proper hand hygiene and sanitation are readily available to all children and staff.
School nutrition programs: Although schools are closed, school districts are distributing meals to students in need. Distribution plans vary by school site. You can find info about school nutrition services in our region here.
The WSU Extension of Skagit also created a map of school lunch delivery points, available here. For the most up-to-date information, visit your school district’s website.
RESOURCES FOR CHILD CARE PROVIDERS
- Department of Children, Youth & Families COVID-19 Early Learning & Child Care page
- Department of Health guidance for child care
- Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction guidance for child care
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: Schools and Child Care Programs
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open
- Snohomish Health District child care page
- Public Health – Seattle & King County child care page
- Daily checklist for all child care facilities
- Caring for Children in Group Settings During COVID-19 webinar recording
- Child Care COVID-19 Grants
RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES
- Family Fun ideas
- Skagit Kid Insider
- Skagit Bright Beginnings local resource page
- Help Me Grow Washington resource line: 1-800-322-2558
- Parent Trust for Washington Family Help line: 1-800-932-4673
(Updated 4/6/20 5:00pm)
Sadly, scammers seize the opportunity to take advantage of people in times like this. Please be cautious about potential scams. There are a lot of new websites popping up offering PPE; please be cautious about giving out your credit card information.
GENERAL RESOURCES FOR SKAGITONIANS
PUBLIC HEALTH: If you are an at-risk individual who is on quarantine or isolation, and you find yourself in need of assistance with getting supplies or food, call 360-416-1500 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily.
LOCAL FOOD BANKS: If you need food or supplies from local food banks, please call first to learn about revised pickup options and hours of operation. List of local food banks and contact information.
FOOD ASSISTANCE: Learn more about emergency food access during the COVID-19 response.
WIC: WIC is for pregnant people, new and breastfeeding moms, infants, and children under five. Find out if you’re eligible and sign up here.
HOUSING: COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium Complaint form: The Office of the Attorney General created a hotline for complaints about evictions in violation of the governor’s moratorium on certain residential evictions during the COVID-19 public health emergency Mortgage assistance available for those affected by COVID-19: The Department of Financial Institutions is taking steps to assist distressed Washington homeowners who are unable to make their mortgage payments due to COVID-19 restrictions.
PSE bill assistance
Community Action | En Español
Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Resources [Organized by language]
HEALTH INSURANCE: If you recently lost your insurance due to a job loss or another event, you may be eligible to enroll for health insurance on the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. Individuals who are currently uninsured can contact an Exchange certified Navigator, Broker or Enrollment Center to start the special enrollment process. These insurance experts are available by phone and can also answer any questions consumers may have and help them get enrolled. Consumers can find local experts using the WAPlanfinder Mobile App or visiting here.
If you are uninsured or worried about your legal status and concerned about your symptoms, you may call Community Health Plan of Washington’s 24/7 Nurse Helpline at 1-866-418-2920.
Washington State’s COVID-19 Resource Page has links to State data, opening phases, family and business guidance, and more.
General educational materials, in PDF form and multiple languages, are available here from the Washington State Department of Health.
Coronavirus and health insurance: Information about coronavirus and health insurance for consumers, insurers and medical providers is now available in six languages.
Apple Health clients: The Health Care Authority is taking several steps to help ensure Apple Health (Medicaid) clients have access to high-quality physical and behavioral health services during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE: The pandemic is causing financial hardship and uncertainty for many of us. If you are in need, here are a few resources that may help:
- Employment Security Department Commissioner Suzi LeVine has a brief video on YouTube to explain some of the changes that benefit Washingtonians.
- The state’s coronavirus website has information to help sort through other benefits that may be available to you, such as paid family leave, workers compensation, and resources for small businesses.
- Financial assistance for everyone
- Frequently Asked Questions about the new federal stimulus package, known as the CARES Act.