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

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Ariel Garcia, 4, was last seen Wednesday morning in an apartment in the 4800 block of Vesper Dr. (Photo provided by Everett Police)
How to donate to the family of Ariel Garcia

Everett police believe the boy’s mother, Janet Garcia, stabbed him repeatedly and left his body in Pierce County.

A ribbon is cut during the Orange Line kick off event at the Lynnwood Transit Center on Saturday, March 30, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
‘A huge year for transit’: Swift Orange Line begins in Lynnwood

Elected officials, community members celebrate Snohomish County’s newest bus rapid transit line.

Bethany Teed, a certified peer counselor with Sunrise Services and experienced hairstylist, cuts the hair of Eli LeFevre during a resource fair at the Carnegie Resource Center on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Carnegie center is a one-stop shop for housing, work, health — and hope

The resource center in downtown Everett connects people to more than 50 social service programs.

Everett mall renderings from Brixton Capital. (Photo provided by the City of Everett)
Topgolf at the Everett Mall? Mayor’s hint still unconfirmed

After Cassie Franklin’s annual address, rumors circled about what “top” entertainment tenant could be landing at Everett Mall.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Death of Everett boy, 4, spurs questions over lack of Amber Alert

Local police and court authorities were reluctant to address some key questions, when asked by a Daily Herald reporter this week.

People walk along the waterfront in front of South Fork Bakery at the Port of Everett on Thursday, April 11, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Port of Everett inks deal with longtime Bothell restaurant

The port will break ground on two new buildings this summer. Slated for completion next year, Alexa’s Cafe will open in one of them.

The new Amazon fulfillment center under construction along 172nd Street NE in Arlington, just south of Arlington Municipal Airport. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20210708
Frito-Lay leases massive building at Marysville business park

The company will move next door to Tesla and occupy a 300,0000-square-foot building at the Marysville business park.

The Temple of Justice is shown Thursday, April 23, 2020, at the Capitol in Olympia. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, file)
WA high court: DUI breath tests valid, machine results not at fault

A state Supreme Court ruling reversed an earlier Kitsap County decision that found alcohol breath tests inadmissible as evidence.

People fill up various water jug and containers at the artesian well on 164th Street on Monday, April 2, 2018 in Lynnwood, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Washington will move to tougher limits on ‘forever chemicals’ in water

The federal EPA finalized the rules Wednesday. The state established a program targeting the hazardous chemicals in drinking water in 2021.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
US 2 to partially close late Friday near Lake Stevens

The state Department of Transportation will detour drivers during the 10-hour closure between Highway 9 and Highway 204.

Pat Clayton works on putting in electrical wiring at the new Helion headquarters on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett’s Helion eyes Central WA for groundbreaking energy venture

Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority commissioners approved a letter of intent with Helion on Tuesday.

People look out onto Mountain Loop Mine from the second floor hallway of Fairmount Elementary on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Judge orders mining company to stop work next to Everett school

Despite demands to cease work next door to Fairmount Elementary, the company reportedly continued operations at its site.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.