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June 26, 2020

Skagit County Remains in Phase 2

Today, the Skagit County Board of Health met with Skagit Public Health Director Jennifer Johnson and Health Officer Dr. Howard Leibrand for an update on Skagit’s COVID-19 response, case counts and trends. Skagit County has not met the metrics necessary to move to phase 3 and will not be applying to move forward to Phase 3 until further notice.

“Of course, this is disappointing,” said Public Health Director Jennifer Johnson, “but unfortunately we’ve seen an uptick in positive cases over the past several weeks that have prevented us from being able to move forward per the Safe Start—Reopening Washington plan.”

The Washington State Department of Health and Governor Inslee evaluate a county’s ability to move forward based on five metrics, all of which are available here.  Critically, a county must have fewer than 25 new cases per 100,000 residents over 14 consecutive days. As of today, June 26, 2020, Skagit County had 27.1 cases per 100,000 residents over the 14-day period.

“It’s disappointing to see such high transmission emerging from unauthorized activities,” said Dr. Leibrand. “People are participating in unauthorized gatherings and travel, contracting COVID-19 and then passing the illness on to their coworkers, friends and neighbors. We hope the community will view this as a wake up call and start taking the guidance more seriously.”

As a reminder, under Phase 2 certain non-essential businesses reopened with restrictions. People are also able to gather with five or fewer people who are not part of their immediate household per week. Any gatherings of more than five are prohibited during Phase 2. Phase 2 also still requires that people practice physical distancing (staying six feet apart from each other) and wear a mask whenever in public. It is also important that people practice good hand hygiene and quarantine if they are have any COVID-19 symptoms. High-risk individuals continue to be encouraged to stay home as much as possible.

If you have any questions about what is allowed during Phase 2 or about the application process to move forward to Phase 3, please contact Public Health at 360-416-1500 or eh@co.skagit.wa.us. You may also contact Laura Gelwicks, Communications Coordinator, at laurag@co.skagit.wa.us or 360-416-1309.