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May 6, 2020

Skagit County Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Leibrand offers guidance for applying Governor Inslee’s Safe Start plan to summer events in Skagit County.

Today, Skagit County Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Leibrand offers guidance on planning summer events in light of Governor Inslee’s Safe Start plan.

On Friday, May 1, Governor Inslee announced his Safe Start plan; a phased approach on reopening Washington’s economy. This plan is a data driven approach to reopening our economy and returning to our normal day-to-day lives as soon as safely possible. The four phased approach started on May 5, 2020. Governor Inslee expects to spend at least three weeks in each phase.

Following this guidance, Dr. Leibrand recommends cancelling or postponing large scale events, including fairs, parades, festivals, overnight residential camps, fireworks displays or any other large group gatherings through the summer.

“This is a guidance to help provide clarity to Skagitonians and guide decision making,” Dr. Leibrand said. “I wish I could guarantee that large events and gatherings will be safer later in the summer, but we can’t be certain. We will have to reassess the data as we get closer.”

In order to move to phase two of Governor Inslee’s plan, Washington State will need to have robust testing, isolation and contact tracing capability. Skagit County Public Health has worked hard to do its part to meet those goals, and is ahead of other communities in its ability to test COVID-19 patients, contact trace throughout the community, and provide isolation and quarantine space for those who may need it.

“Skagit County Public Health has a robust contact tracing and disease investigation team that has been working tirelessly since day one of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Skagit County Public Health Director Jennifer Johnson. “Our drive-through testing site is able to test up to two hundred people per day. These capabilities will help us support Washington State moving to phase two of Governor Inslee’s plan as soon as possible.”

If you have questions or need additional information, please call Skagit County Public Health at 360-416-1500.