As vaccinations rise, COVID cases at nursing homes plummet

“It’s a welcome relief for everyone,” Dr. Chris Spitters said. And 15% of Snohomish County has been vaccinated.

EVERETT — More than 15% of Snohomish County is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, the Snohomish Health District announced Friday.

And for the first time in more than a year, there are no COVID-19 outbreaks at assisted living or supportive living homes in Snohomish County.

“This is a remarkable recovery from late December, when we had over 100 cases being reported weekly from long-term care facilities and all 17 skilled nursing facilities in the county with ongoing outbreaks,” Snohomish Health District health officer Dr. Chris Spitters said. “It’s a welcome relief for everyone.”

Meanwhile, one skilled nursing facility and one adult family home are experiencing outbreaks, but they should be resolved by the end of the month.

The good news comes as Gov. Jay Inslee loosens restrictions on visiting loved ones in long-term care homes, by allowing indoor visits as long as the visitor or resident is fully vaccinated.

The positive trends carry across nearly every COVID metric, as cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to drop countywide.

“The vaccination effort is already delivering great results, saving lives and letting us get back to enjoying time with loved ones,” Spitters said. “I hope people who are on the fence about whether to get the vaccine recognize these incredibly favorable results and choose to make an appointment to get vaccinated themselves just as soon as they are eligible.”

Countywide, more than 250,000 doses have been administered. About 70,000 people are waiting to get their second dose. And more people are getting in line for their first shot.

Starting March 31, everyone in the state’s Phase 1B will be eligible, including grocery store workers, people 60 and up, and other groups.

By May 1, eligibility will open to all Washingtonians 16 and older as the state works to comply with a directive from President Joe Biden.

To learn your place in line, visit FindYourPhaseWA.org.

To see all available vaccine appointments in your area, visit vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov.

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; jthompson@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

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