Officials: too early for Everett and Snohomish County to move to Phase 3

From the Joint Information Center handling the word on how Snohomish County is dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic … “It is not yet time to consider applying for Phase 3.” Here is the latest.

These signs that would allow Everett and Snohomish County to move to Phase 3 are not favorable at this time.

Based on current COVID-19 activity and other metrics, Snohomish County officials will not submit an application for Phase 3 today. Executive Dave Somers and Snohomish Health District Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters remain being cautiously optimistic about the course of the disease in general and will continue to monitor the data in the coming days to determine when to proceed with a request to the Secretary of Health.

“The current increase in the cases that we are experiencing is worrying. As we are seeing across the country, increased activity is directly related to increased infection rates, “said the Somers executive.” To move to the next phase, we need the help of the community by wearing masks and maintaining the Social distancing. Since we have made so much progress, now is not the time to backtrack. We will continue to closely monitor metrics and other counties in the region to track regional progress against COVID-19. “

The Phase 2 approval letter required monitoring for at least three weeks before Snohomish County was eligible to apply for Phase 3. The Snohomish Health District has been providing weekly reports to the Washington State Department of Health, and the most recent snapshot is now available for June 2-20, 2020.

“As I shared earlier this week, we saw a sharp increase in cases on Monday and reports of large meetings over the weekend,” said Dr. Spitters. Moving forward at top speed towards Phase 3 would be quite risky at the moment given these recent findings. We need a week or two to assess and monitor the current situation, monitor the trend in new daily case reports, and track COVID hospitalizations to see if this was a mistake or an early sign of more to come. “

Residents and businesses in Snohomish County, such as Pierce and King Counties, must plan to follow the Phase 2 through 4 of the weekend of July. This means limiting social gatherings to no more than five people outside the home in a 7-day period. If people do venture out, they should wear face covers, keep their distance, and practice good hand hygiene.

“Getting to Phase 2 was exciting and the first step in reopening Snohomish County, but we can’t celebrate too soon,” said Stephanie Wright, Chair of the Health Board and member of the County Council. “We are counting on everyone to do their part to keep their family, friends and neighbors healthy.”

Even when Snohomish County reaches the next phase, allowing more businesses and activities to reopen, it does not mean that it will continue to be business as usual. There are guidelines employers must follow at all stages. More detailed information is detailed in the Safe Start Plan. Businesses must also wait until they have an industry-specific health and safety guide before reopening within the appropriate phase. The Governor’s Office maintains an orientation list for industries.