COVID-19 INFORMATION | CURRENT STATUS: PHASE 3
As of March 12, 2021, Skagit Public Health no longer operates a COVID-19 testing site.
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.
Washington State Department of Health Data Dashboards:
COVID-19 Choir Cluster Investigation
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
PUBLIC HEALTH: If you have questions for Skagit County Public Health, want to schedule a vaccine appointment or are in need of assistance picking up supplies or food while in isolation/quarantine, you can call 360-416-1500 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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.
COVID-19 is most likely to spread indoors, when people are in prolonged close contact, unmasked and unvaccinated. Until an individual is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, avoiding indoor gatherings, practicing physical distancing, wearing a mask, are important practices to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. These tools only work if unvaccinated individuals do them all the time, even during private social events.
The best tool for preventing COVID-19 is vaccination. Luckily, everyone 12 years of age or older is now eligible to get vaccinated at this time. For more information on how to get vaccinated, visit our vaccine webpage.
MASKS: As of May 13, 2021, masks are not required for vaccinated individuals in most settings. A person is fully vaccinated two weeks after the final shot in their vaccine regime. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both require two shots, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one. Masks continue to be required for unvaccinated individuals in public spaces and for everyone in hospitals, correctional facilities, schools and public transit facilities, including airplanes. Businesses also retain the right to ask patrons and employees to wear masks.
For more information, visit the CDC's website.
ROADMAP TO RECOVERY// RE-OPENING GUIDANCE
On January 5, 2021, Governor Inslee announced another, new phased plan called ‘Healthy Washington- Roadmap to Recovery.' On May 13, 2021, Governor Inslee moved all Counties to Phase 3 of the Roadmap to Recovery plan, and announced that on June 30, 2021, the vast majority of COVID-19 related restrictions would be lifted. Certian restrictions/guidances will remain in place for large events, such as spectator sporting events, but most businesses will be able to function at full capacity without restriction.
The lifting of restrictions does no end the State of Emergency. Additional restrictions could be put back in place if Statewide ICU occupancy reaches 90 percent or higher.
Guidelines for long term care facilities, K-12 education, and childcare have been created separately. For more information see:
General guidelines for K-12 education (Please note: On May 13, 2021, Governor Inslee and the Washington State Department of Helath released guidance for the 2021-2022 school year where all schools are expected to provide full time, in person instruction. More information on that here)
IF YOU ARE SICK
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.
GUIDANCE ON ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE
Isolation and quarantine reccomendations are different for vaccinated and unvaccinated persons. Reccomendations on isolation and quarantine for vaccinated individuals continue to be updated by the CDC as we learn more about the real-world effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines. For up to date information, please visit the CDC's website.
For unvaccinated individuals, Public Health's reccomendation:
Isolation timelines have not changed. Individuals who test positive for COVID, or have COVID symptoms and a known exposure, must isolate for at least 10 days following symptom onset (or test date if they have never had symptoms). They can stop isolation when:
If an individual has COVID-19 and have symptoms, they can stop your home isolation when:
They’ve been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication AND
Their symptoms have gotten better, AND
At least 10 days have gone by since the symptoms first If the individual has a severe immunocompromising condition, they should talk to their primary care provider. A care provider may recommend that immunocompromised persons isolate for longer.
If an individual has tested positive for COVID-19, but have not had any symptoms, home isolation can end when:
At least 10 days have gone by since the date of the first positive COVID-19 test, AND
The individual has not developed any COVID-19 symptoms
Here is a handout on isolation from Skagit Public Health (and in Spanish).
The CDC, Washington State Department of Health, and Skagit County Public Health still recommend a quarantine period of 14 days from last exposure. The incubation period of the COVID virus is still 2-14 days. Once exposed, it can take as long as 14 days for the virus to replicate sufficiently in the human body for an infected person to then become contagious. This timeline is still critical in high-risk settings where there is serious risk of superspreading or severe outcomes (e.g. jails, shelters, long-term care or assisted living, congregate settings, health care, and those living with immune compromised persons, etc). If an exposed person lives with or cares for someone who has COVID, the COVID+ person has to finish their infectious period (isolation) before calculating the quarantine period.
There are circumstances that allow for a shortened quarantine if there are financial, personal, or other hardships that prevent a 14-day quarantine from last exposure (see more here). These shortened options still bear the risk of developing and transmitting COVID; if at any point an exposed person develops COVID symptoms during the 14-day incubation period, they must stay home, isolate, and ideally seek testing.
If someone cannot manage a 14-day quarantine due to financial, personal, or other hardships, they can end quarantine in the following circumstances:
If a person who is in quarantine has no symptoms, quarantine can end after Day 10 from last exposure date. They still need to monitor for symptoms through day 14. If they develop symptoms, they need to isolate.
If a person who is in quarantine takes a test on day 5 or later that results as negative AND continues to have no symptoms, quarantine can end after Day 7 from last exposure date. They still need to monitor for symptoms through day 14. If they develop symptoms, they need to isolate.
On May 13, 2021 Governor Inslee announced that that vast majority of COVID-19 related restrictions on business activity would be lifted on June 30, 2021. Some restrictions will remain in place for large scale events, such as spectator sports. Additional restrictions could be put back in place if Statewide ICU occupancy reaches 90 percen to rhigher. For more information, see the above Roadmap To Recovery // Reopening Guidance section.
Additionally, on May 13, the CDC issued guidance that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to war masks in most settings, indoors or outdoors. Makss are still required in certian critical settings including hospitals, schools, correctional facilities and on public transit (including airplanes). Businesses retain the ability to ask all patrons and employees to wear masks if they choose. For more information, see links below. Many Guidance documents are still in the process of being updated to reflect new masking reccomendations.
Financial and Benefits Resources
If you are not able to work because of this pandemic, check out these resources from the state Employment Security Department:
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).
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.
Immigrant Relief Fund: This fund provides relief for individuals who are not eligible for federal COVID-19 assitance programs due to immigration status. You can find additional information in multiple language on the Washington state COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund website here.
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.
FOR VULNERABLE POPULATIONS & SENIORS
Washington State is currently vaccinating all people ages 12 and up. The best tool to protect against COVID-19 is vaccination. Visit our vaccine webpage for more informaiton and to make an appoinment.
On May 13, the CDC issued new guidance that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear masks in most settings, but masks are still reccomended for fully vaccinated individuals who are immunocompormised or otherwise high risk for poor health outcomes from COVID-19.
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.
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 11/15/20 )
On November 15, Governor Inslee announced that long term care facilities can only allow outdoor visitation only, except for end of life care and essential support personnel. This guidance will be in effect until at least December 14, 2020. You can read more about that announcement here.You can read the full, previously issued guidance for Long Term Care Facility operation here
Safe Start for Long Term Care Recommendations and Requirements: Adult Family Homes, Assisted Living Facilities and Enhanced Services Facilities
Safe Start Recommendations and Requirements: Certified Community Residential Services and Supports
Safe Start for Long Term Care Recommendations and Requirements: Nursing Homes and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
(Updated 5/17/21)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.
RESOURCES FOR CHILD CARE PROVIDERS
Caring for Children in Group Settings During COVID-19 webinar recording
RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES
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
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, a place on the vaccine distribution list or a COVID-19 test in exchange for money or personal information. These are not real offers. Do not give out your credit card or personal medical informaiton to an unverified party.
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 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.
Frequently Asked Questions about the new federal stimulus package, known as the CARES Act.
ANIMAL CARE AND FEEDING
Skagit County residents struggling to afford food for their animals may contact the following local organizations for assistance :
Household Pets- Humane Society of Skagit Valley by phone at 360-757-0445 or 360-757-2568 during business hours.
Livestock/large animals - Skagit Animals In Need – by phone at 360-708-9506 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org – for an application.
The Hay Burner Project at email@example.com for assistance with equine needs.