From Karen Dubose – Skagit County Public Works
I hope you had a great weekend! Let’s get to updates:
1. WEEKEND CASE COUNT: 10 new cases on Saturday and Sunday; 14 new cases on Friday.
2. WHY ARE CASE COUNTS GOING UP SO FAST? This explanation comes from our Public Health Department and Public Information Officer:
A combination of factors are at play. Many of our current new cases are close contacts of existing cases. The case numbers for the past two weeks – prior to April 19 – are NOT the result of an increase in the number of people getting tested.
Case numbers are fluctuating – that’s proof that we still have community transmission in Skagit County. This is why social distancing remains critical. The more people leave home, and the more lax they are about masks and physical distance, the more likely they are to be exposed to the virus.
In the future, as we conduct more tests, we may see more positive cases. That’s just math. If 10 out of every 100 tests are positive, then (in theory) 100 out of every 1,000 tests could be positive. (It doesn’t necessarily mean the RATE of positive tests is increasing, it just means we’re able to test more people.)
3. CHILDREN DURING STAY AT HOME: Our colleagues at Lewis County have created a series of YouTube video clips from April Luman, a child and family therapist, with advice to help parents deal with children’s issues during Stay Home. Topics include working from home with kids, creating a safe environment for kids who are scared about COVID-19, maintaining family traditions and social connections while at a distance, and more. You can find them here: https://www.youtube.com/user/LewisCountyWa/videos
4. DRIVE-THRU TESTING: We’re starting tomorrow (April 21) with first responders and healthcare workers ONLY at our Skagit Valley College site. They’re our “guinea pigs” for getting the drive-through testing process working smoothly. We hope to open testing next Monday, April 27, to symptomatic members of the general public and any first responders or healthcare workers. General public people will need to register online before coming. I’ll get you those details as soon as they’re available.
5. BORDER CLOSURE EXTENDED: The Canadian border is closed through May 20 for nonessential travel.
6. MORE NATIONAL GUARD IN SKAGIT: We’re getting more help from the Washington National Guard. Expect to see up to 20 Guardsmen helping out at the Helping Hands food bank through this month (and possibly into May), as well as observing our drive-through testing site.
7. ONE MAN’S COVID-19 STORY: Our newest blog post is about a man who was diagnosed and hospitalized with COVID-19. Other recent posts have covered pregnancy during COVID-19, keeping food on the table when in financial distress, high school graduation, and missing sports. Find them all at Skagitcounty.blog
8. MASK FOGGING YOUR GLASSES? A practical tip for those with glasses. The first thing to try is to make sure the mask is tight against your nose and cheeks so that less air comes out the top of it to fog your glasses. You can also try, just before putting your mask on, washing your glasses with soapy water, shaking off the rest of the water and very gently blotting them dry. This should leave behind a thin layer of soap that will keep the water vapor from fogging on your glasses. (Does it work? I haven’t tried it yet!)
That’s all I’ve got for you today! Many thanks for what you’re doing to stay home and keep our community safe, from our Skagit County COVID-19 Joint Information Center staff.