A third person in Skagit County has been diagnosed with COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, according to the county Public Health Department. This third person is a mail in his 20's and is in isolation at home according to the county.
Earlier two women, one in her 40s and one in her 30s, were reportedly diagnosed with COVID-19. No Skagit County resident has been hospitalized or died as a result of the coronavirus.
At a meeting of the Skagit County Board of Health on March 10, 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.
Social distancing measures are the best tool we have to combat COVID-19 and protect our loved ones. The Health Officer based his recommendations on the best available science on how to counter the spread of COVID-19 and the risk of a widespread local outbreak. Early steps, which might prove painful in the short term, may prevent the catastrophic long-term economic impacts other parts of the world are suffering.
Dr. Leibrand urges every individual and organization in Skagit County to do 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.
Additionally, on March 13th, Governor Inslee expanded to the entire state the prohibition of social, spiritual and recreational gatherings of more than 250 people.
This is a rapidly evolving situation, and Public Health will continually re-evaluate the timeframe for these recommendations. At this time, Public Health does not have an end date for these recommendations.