July 14, 2020
Remember, it's still safest to stay close to home this summer
Skagit County Public Health and the Washington State Department of Health are encouraging Washingtonians to limit summer travel plans to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Over recent weeks, Skagit County has seen a number of cases due to travel out of county and out of state.
The Safe Start--- Reopening Washington plan details travel allowances under the different Phases. Phases 2 and 3 allow for more travel than Phase 1, but none are a green light for everyone to travel as much as they want or out of state. Skagit County is currently under Phase 2. Travel outside of the home or immediate neighborhood is allowed for essential activities and Phase 1 & 2 permissible activities such as outdoor recreation or drive-in movie theaters. The intent of this is for people to stay in-or close to- their home counties when they are doing these activities.
When you travel, you have more encounters with people outside of your immediate household, increasing the likelihood you will contract COVID-19. Further, we are seeing many people traveling to areas that have higher rates of infection than Skagit County such as the Yakima area, California, Arizona, and even Florida. Traveling to these areas increases risk of being exposed to infected people and bringing that infection home to families in Skagit County.
Further if you do travel or participate in any activity, including outdoor activities, its important to use proper precautions. Staying safe this summer requires you to:
- Stay six feet away from other people
- Wear a mask when you’re around others
- Keep your social circles small – less than 5 people per week total in phase 2
- Wash your hands frequently
- Avoid touching your face
- If you’re around other people, staying outdoors as much as possible
Also, participating in any activity is much safer when done with your immediate household rather than people you don’t live with.
We Western Washingtonians love our summers and our summer activities, but if everyone goes about their lives as normal this season we will see a resurgence of cases and need to increase restrictions. That is something we do not want to do.
Please, stay smart, stay strong and stay close to home this summer.