Communicable Disease

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Communicable Disease

Director: Jennifer Johnson


Page Updated 5-25-22 10:26 a.m.

COVID-19 INFORMATION


March 9, 2022
Public Health COVID Testing Site to Open at Cascade Mall on March 14
Skagit County Public Health will be opening a COVID-19 testing site at Cascade Mall, located at 150 Cascade Mall Drive in Burlington.

February 25, 2022
Public Health to Change Vaccination Clinic Operating Schedule
Beginning the week of March 7, Skagit County Public Health will be changing its COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic’s operating schedule to Wednesday, Thursdays, and Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.



Find a COVID-19 vaccine provider here.


Find COVID-19 testing providers here.



 

 


Weekly COVID-19 Update: May 20, 2022


Video series addresses questions about Covid-19
 

NEWS UPDATES *

COVID-19 News and updates from Skagit County
Sign up for Press Releases from Skagit County

News updates from Washington State

COVID-19 CASES IN SKAGIT COUNTY RESIDENTS

(Updated 2/15/22)

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.

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.

PLEASE NOTE:

Beginning January 3, 2022, Skagit County Public Health will no longer be updating ongoing COVID-19 case, hospitalization, death, and demographic data on its website. Instead, Skagitonians are asked to refer to the statewide COVID-19 Data Dashboard for all COVID-19 related data.

If you need further assistance navigating the Data Dashboard, please call the state COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-525-0127 or text the word “Coronavirus” to 211211 to receive information and updates on your phone wherever you are.

Updates to the Dashboard are made every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, except on state holidays.





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OTHER DATA

Public Health 2021 COVID-19 Data Report

Public Health 2020 COVID-19 Data Report





COVID-19 Choir Cluster Investigation

(Posted 5/12/20)
Skagit County Public Health has completed an investigation of the cluster of COVID-19 cases associated with a local choir event this March.

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WHO TO CALL

(Updated 8/13/21)

PUBLIC HEALTH: If you have questions for Skagit County Public Health, need help locating a vaccine or testing provider, or are in need of assistance picking up supplies or food while in isolation/quarantine, you can call (360) 416-1500 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. 


DOH Hotline: If you have questions about what is happening in Washington, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #, or text Coronavirus to 211-211.

**For mask mandate complaints, please go through either the Governor's Office for general complaints or through L&I for business related complaints.

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PREVENTION

(Updated 3/14/2022)

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, avoid indoor gatherings, practice physical distancing, and wear a mask. These are important practices to prevent the transmission of COVID-19; however, they only work if unvaccinated individuals do them all the time, even during private social events.

The best tool for preventing COVID-19 is vaccination. Everyone 5 years of age and older are eligible to get vaccinated at this time. For local vaccine providers, visit our vaccine webpage.

You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks or more after your second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or two weeks after receiving the single dose J&J vaccine.

MASKS: As of March 12th, 2022, masks are no longer required in indoor public places in Washington State, except for certain settings.

For the Governor's full proclamation, click here.

Face masks remain an important tool in preventing transmission of the virus. COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets when infected people, many of whom do not exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, cough, sneeze, or talk. Evidence shows that wearing a mask reduces an infected person’s chance of spreading the infection to others.

**For mask mandate complaints, please go through either the Governor's Office for general complaints or through L&I for business related complaints.

For more information, visit the CDC's website.

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TREATMENT OPTIONS

(Updated 4/19/2022)

COVID-19 medications are now available through your doctor, local pharmacies, and health clinics. If you have COVID-19 symptoms and test positive, do not wait to get treated. Early intervention with COVID-19 therapeutics can reduce the risk of severe illness and hospitalization for people with COVID-19 who are at high risk of developing more serious illness.

If you think you might qualify, please speak to your healthcare provider first and get a referral and/or prescription for treatment. Please note that any healthcare provider can evaluate and prescribe you COVID-19 medication just as they normally would.
For assistance:

What is PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis)?
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is medication designed to block a virus from attachment and entering human cells. People 12 years and older may qualify for pre-exposure prophylaxis if persons are:

  • Not currently infected with COVID-19.
  • At least 88 pounds (40 kg) in weight.
  • Moderate to severely immune compromised.
  • Not recommended by their health care provider to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Please note: Pre-exposure prevention with Evusheld is not a substitute for vaccination in individuals for whom COVID-19 vaccination is recommended. 

What are Oral Antivirals?
Two treatments are available: Paxlovid™ (Pfizer) and molnupiravir (Merck). Oral antiviral treatment may help your body fight COVID-19 by stopping the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes COVID-19) from multiplying in your body, lowering the amount of the virus within your body, or helping your immune system. By getting treatment, you could have less serious symptoms and may lower the chances of your illness getting worse and needing care in the hospital. You must take oral COVID-19 medication within 5 days of your first COVID-19 symptoms.

What are Monoclonal Antibody Treatments?
If you are at risk for severe COVID-19 illness and you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you may want to consider a monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatment. You may qualify for a mAb treatment (bebtelovimab) to treat COVID-19 depending on your age, health history, and how long you have had symptoms. A mAb treatment may help people who:

  • Are at high risk of getting more serious symptoms; and
  • Have a positive COVID-19 test with symptoms for 7 days or less (bebtelovimab or sotrovimab); OR
  • Have been in close contact with someone who has recently tested positive.

How much does treatment cost?
Treatment is provided free of charge by the Federal Government, although each provider may charge an administration fee that will be billed to your insurance provider with a possible copay for the patient. If uninsured, call the State COVID-19 Information Hotline for assistance: 1-800-525-0127, then press #.

For more information:



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IF YOU ARE SICK

(Updated 8/13/21)

Those experiencing COVID-like symptoms are strongly recommended to get tested, even if symptoms are mild. Symptoms may include the following:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Click here for local testing options.

If testing at home and you receive a positive test result, please call the state’s COVID-19 Hotline at 1–800–525–0127 or the Skagit County Public Health office at (360) 416-1500.

If you are experiencing moderate symptoms of COVID-19, including fever of 100.4 degrees or higher and cough, please seek care through your healthcare provider, or through a local urgent care; please call first before arriving. 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.

 

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GUIDANCE ON ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE

(Updated 3/14/2022)


Isolation and quarantine recommendations are different for vaccinated and unvaccinated persons. Recommendations continue to be updated by the CDC as we learn more about COVID-19 and its variants. For up-to-date information, please visit the CDC's website.

ISOLATION - For those who test positive for COVID-19

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status:

  • Stay home for 5 days.
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
  • Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.

If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.

QUARANTINE - For those who have been exposed to COVID-19

If you have been boosted - OR - completed the primary series of Pfizer/Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months - OR - completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months:

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5, if possible.

If you develop symptoms, get tested and stay home.

If you completed the primary series of Pfizer/Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted - OR completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted - OR - are unvaccinated:

  • Stay home for 5 days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
  • If you can’t quarantine you must wear a mask for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5 if possible.

If you develop symptoms, get tested and stay home.

Other helpful resources:

What to do if you test positive for COVID-19 (pdf)

What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19 (pdf)

Symptom Decision Tree for Non-Health Care Settings and the Public (pdf)

K-12 Schools 2021-2022 Requirements (pdf)


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FOR BUSINESSES/EMPLOYEES


(Updated 3/14/2022)

*NEW* Interim SARS-CoV-2 Self-Testing Guidance for Employers

MASKS: As of March 12th, 2022, masks are no longer required in indoor public places in Washington State, except for certain settings.

For the Governor's full proclamation, click here.

Face masks remain an important tool in preventing transmission of the virus. COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets when infected people, many of whom do not exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, cough, sneeze, or talk. Evidence shows that wearing a mask reduces an infected person’s chance of spreading the infection to others.

**For mask mandate complaints, please go through either the Governor's Office for general complaints or through L&I for business related complaints.

For more information, see links below:

General Information

Washington State Department of Health Workplace and Employer Recommendations

WA Dept of Health Guidelines for Screening Employees and Visitors

CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

King County Planning For Coronavirus

Guidence for Essential Businesses

WA.gov business and worker info

Interim SARS-CoV-2 Self-Testing Guidance for Employers

Financial and Benefits Resources

EDASC COVID-19 Resources for Businesses, Employees; COVID-19 Resource Guide

U.S. Small Business Administration Loan Information

Employment Security Department COVID-19 webpage

Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner

Governor’s Office Resources for Businesses

Setting up a safe and healthy workspace for teleworking

Governors Office Support for Small Businesses

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.

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.

Facilities Resources

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.

How to Disinfect

Information for Solid Waste Providers

Information on handling biological waste

CDC Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations 

 

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FOR VULNERABLE POPULATIONS & SENIORS

(Updated 8/19/21)

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 or to find a provider.

MASKS: As of March 12th, 2022, masks are no longer required in indoor public places in Washington State, except for certain settings.

For the Governor's full proclamation, click here.

Face masks remain an important tool in preventing transmission of the virus. COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets when infected people, many of whom do not exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, cough, sneeze, or talk. Evidence shows that wearing a mask reduces an infected person’s chance of spreading the infection to others.

If exposed and in quarantine or if ill with COVID-19 and in isolation:

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

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 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily.

 

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CARE FACILITIES

(Updated 8/13/21)

Skagit County remains a high risk county. If your family member or loved one is in a long term care facility, contact the facility directly for further information about their visitation rules and requirements.

Some helpful links:

Safe Start for Long Term Care Recommendations and Requirements: Adult Family Homes, Assisted Living Facilities and Enhanced Services Facilities

A 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

 

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CHILDCARE

(Updated 9/17/21)

Child care providers must be able to meet health and safety requirements, which includes updated guidance available here. For more information, call Public Health's Division of Child & Family Services at (360) 416-1500.

RESOURCES FOR CHILD CARE PROVIDERS

Department of Children, Youth & Families COVID-19 Early Learning & Child Care page

Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction guidance for child care

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention:  Schools and Child Care Programs

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open

Snohomish Health District child care page

Public Health Seattle & King County child care page

Sample Notification Letters for COVID-19 Exposures: English | Spanish


RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES

Family Fun ideas

Skagit Kid Insider

Skagit Bright Beginnings local resource page

ParentHelp123

Help Me Grow Washington resource line: 1-800-322-2558

Parent Trust for Washington Family Help line: 1-800-932-4673

Vroom

 


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SCAM ALERTS

(Updated 5/17/21)


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.

Medicare coronavirus scam

Stimulus payment scams

COVID-19 Consumer Warnings and Safety Tips | FCC

If you spot a scam, please tell the Federal Trade Commission. The Washington State Office of the Attorney General also has information and resources for reporting scams.

 

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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.

SKAGIT COUNTY GROCERY AND PHARMACY RESOURCE INFORMATION: English | Spanish


HOUSING:
Skagit County has received $8.9 million in funding through the Washington State Department of Commerce and funded by Treasury Rent Assistance Program (T-RAP). The intention of this emergency funding is to prevent eviction for households who have been financially impacted by the COVID pandemic. Low income households living in Skagit County can receive funds to cover past due, current, and future rent as well as past-due and current due utility bills.

Funding is available for either renters or landlords who have lost income due to COVID-19 and are struggling to pay or collect rent. An application for rental assistance may be submitted by either an eligible household or by a landlord on behalf of an eligible household.

The Skagit County Rental Assistance Program is currently active. Information about the program and application is available here.


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.

Financial assistance for everyone

Frequently Asked Questions about the new federal stimulus package, known as the CARES Act.

 

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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 skagitanimalsinneed@gmail.com – for an application.

The Hay Burner Project at thehayburnerproject@gmail.com for assistance with equine needs.

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