The Josephine Caring Community in Stanwood. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

The Josephine Caring Community in Stanwood. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

COVID outbreak at Stanwood home reaches 170 cases, 15 deaths

It could be the largest long-term-care outbreak the state has seen during the pandemic.

STANWOOD — Possibly weeks away from the arrival of a vaccine, the COVID outbreak at Josephine Caring Community could be the largest the state has seen at a long-term care home since the pandemic began.

As of Wednesday, at least 170 people linked to the facility have tested positive for the virus since late October, and 15 have died, Snohomish Health District spokesperson Heather Thomas said.

Local health experts are blaming the surge in COVID activity.

New cases, hospitalizations and deaths from the virus are all rising in Snohomish County.

With increased transmission, it’s easier for an employee or visitor to unknowingly bring the virus to a facility, health officer Dr. Chris Spitters has said.

Countywide, there are about 500 cases across 44 long-term care homes. In early November, that number was a single digit.

In response to the rise in cases, the health district is now recommending facilities revert to phase one of the long-term care “Safe Start” plan released by the state. It requires screening for all staff and visitors, limits visitations and ensures testing is readily available for residents.

The second-largest cluster of cases in the county is at Regency Care Monroe, where at least 99 people had tested positive since mid-October. Fifteen have died.

No other outbreak is larger than 50 cases, Spitters said earlier this week.

Meanwhile, long-term care staff and residents would be among the first groups to receive early doses of a COVID vaccine, which could land in the state within weeks.

Vaccinations require two doses, each separated by about three to four weeks.

At Josephine, the latest cluster of cases is the second outbreak the facility has encountered since the pandemic began.

In March, the campus went into lockdown after a handful of positive test results.

By mid-April, there were 33 cases linked to the facility, and at least six people had died.

With 170 infections, it’s unclear if any other long-term care home has experienced more cases in a single outbreak than Josephine. Local health departments handle most case investigations, and the state doesn’t always have up-to-date outbreak information, Department of Health spokesperson Kristen Maki said in an email.

In the spring, an outbreak at Life Care Center of Kirkland reached 156 cases among residents and staff, according to data from King County.

Nearly 50 people linked with the facility have died due to COVID since March.

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

Talk to us

More in Local News

Garry Clark
Economic Alliance Snohomish County names new CEO

After nationwide search, Garry Clark, a Nebraska business advocate, will take the helm in February.

A Mob City jammer, "CMonster," skates in a holiday scrimmage at the Everett Skate Deck on Dec. 9, 2018. An online fundraising effort has been started to help support the skating venue during the pandemic. (Anthony Floyd photo)
Skate Deck hopes to open for customers, not take donations

A roller skating coach has launched an online fundraiser, wants to help the place he fears may close.

The Lynnwood Link light rail extension breached the 25% milestone for construction in Mountlake Terrace shot on Wednesday December 16, 2020. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Sound Transit projects ahead could need another $11.5 billion

Costs for construction and property have soared as revenue dropped during the pandemic.

Man shoots alleged intruder in Everett

Police were investigating after a male was shot and hospitalized.

Marysville Pilchuck High School senior Katelyn Leary is a recipient of the 2020 Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement Award. (Marysville School District)
Marysville Pilchuck senior wins Bronze Cross achievement

Goodie bags in Granite Falls connect teacher with her students Missing the… Continue reading

Man and cat die in Everett apartment fire

Firefighters responded to a smoky second-story unit. A cigarette may have set a mattress on fire.

$300 unemployment supplement headed to bank accounts

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation will be available for up to 11 weeks.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Bills to reopen schools and restaurants get hearings

Here’s what’s happening on Day 8 of the 2021 session of the Washington Legislature.

Grant program reopens for businesses suffering amid pandemic

Local businesses that haven’t applied to Snohomish County’s “R3” program can do so until Feb. 2.

Most Read