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November 24, 2020

Skagit County Health Officer Dr. Howard Leibrand reminds community of guidance to cancel large events through end of the year.

Today, Skagit County Health Officer Dr. Howard Leibrand issued a reminder of his guidance that large events, including fairs, parades, festivals, fireworks displays and tree lightings should be cancelled through the end of 2020. This guidance was first issued on May 6, 2020 and was extended through the end of the year in July.

“Unfortunately, our control of the pandemic hasn’t improved and in many ways has gotten far worse. Of course we had hoped that we would be able to lift the guidance that large events should be postponed or cancelled for the holiday season, but given the rate of disease circulation in the community, it’s just too dangerous,” said Dr. Leibrand. “I encourage everyone to cancel anything that could potentially bring more than five people in close contact with one another, including large public events and private gatherings, through the end of the year.”

This guidance aligns with Governor Inslee’s restrictions that were announced on Sunday, November 15, which included restrictions on private indoor gatherings and limited outdoor gatherings to five or fewer people.

“The Governor’s guidance does leave some room for the ability to quarantine, seek testing and then have an indoor gathering,” noted Public Health Director Jennifer Johnson. “But given the rate of disease circulation and the limited capacity at our testing site and other test sites throughout the Puget Sound region, we recommend just not participating in any indoor gatherings with people you don’t live with. Testing is limited, and doesn’t guarantee you’re safe anyway, so it’s best to just not gather.”

Commissioner Ron Wesen said, “We are deeply sympathetic that this will make for a difficult holiday season for many and particularly for our businesses and non-profits who will be impacted by these changes in behavior. Please, if you are able, shop small this holiday season and give where you can to support our community members.”

More information on Skagit County’s COVID-19 response is available at www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus. If you have questions or need additional information, please call Public Health at 360-416-1500.