First Skagit County COVID-19 Case

First Skagit County COVID-19 Cases

March 14: Four cases in Skagit County, two women in their 30s and 40s, a man in his 20s, each in isolation at home and a man in his 30s, released from hospital to home isolation.

Today, March 10, Skagit County Public Health was notified of the first positive case of 2019 novel coronavirus COVID-19 in a Skagit County resident.

Skagit County Public Health is working with local response partners to identify and contact all those who may have come in close contact with this case. These individuals will be guided to quarantine and monitor themselves for fever and respiratory symptoms for 14 days following their last exposure.

The patient is a female in her 40s and is at home on isolation. The individual appears to have acquired COVID-19 through community transmission.

The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington State, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127.

Department of Health Daily Bulletins

 

Declaration of Emergency
and Health Officer Recommendations

Today, March 10, in a proactive step to facilitate coordination with state and local partners, the Skagit County Board of Commissioners declared a public health emergency on COVID-19. This will allow Skagit County to take the immediate steps necessary to prepare and respond appropriately to this State outbreak.

Additionally, at a meeting of the Skagit County Board of Health, Skagit County Health Officer, Dr. Howard Leibrand, issued recommendations in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the number of people infected. These recommendations were made in consultation with the State Department of Health and align with similar recommendations from neighboring jurisdictions.

Dr. Leibrand has recommended – but is not requiring – the following:
People at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible. People at higher risk include people over 60 years of age; people with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease or diabetes; people with weakened immune systems; and pregnant women.

Employers should maximize telecommuting options for as many employees as possible; urge employees to stay home when they are sick and maximize flexibility in sick leave benefits; consider staggering start and end times to reduce large numbers of people congregating at the same time.

The community should postpone non-essential events and gatherings of ten or more people.

The Health Officer is not recommending school closures, but individual districts may make the decision to close schools as the situation evolves. Skagit County Public Health will continue to be available for organizational consultation on these important and difficult decisions.

“We understand this guidance has significant implications for our community. Every individual and institution will need to weigh this guidance carefully as they consider their personal and organizational plans,” said Jennifer Johnson, Skagit County Public Health Director.

This is a rapidly evolving situation, and we will be continually re-evaluating the time frame for these recommendations. At this time, we do not have an end date for these recommendations.