Tuesday’s data from the Snohomish Health District continue the story of slowed but continued progress for the county as a whole in pushing back the tide of COVID-19. While the countywide trend lines (upper line, countywide and city line charts) continue steadily upward as more people become infected with COVID-19, the numbers of new cases reported daily (yellow bar chart) is slowly decreasing from the peak in late March.
As of Tuesday, 2,577 Snohomish County residents have contracted the virus over the reporting period, with 18 new cases added since Monday’s report, the lowest daily gain over the entire reporting period.
At the same time, numbers hospitalized with COVID-19 (purple chart) stands at 53, a decrease of five since Monday. Numbers of recovered cases (green chart) are continuing their slow upward trend, with 12 more Snohomish County residents joining the ranks of those who have beaten back the disease.
While number of active cases per day (red chart) continues to climb, the past 24 hours shows an addition of six new cases to the total, the lowest daily increment since April 16. Total active cases now stand at 906
Not a single new death due to COVID-19 (gray chart) was reported in Snohomish County during the past 24 hours. Over the full reporting period, 107 have died in Snohomish County as a result of the virus, a rate of 4.2 percent of the total infected.
The local numbers for April 28, 2020:
— By Larry Vogel
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From the Washington State Department of Health
Update on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The state continues its aggressive procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE). Because PPE supplies remain limited, state officials continue to prioritize Tier 1 needs which include hospitals, long-term care facilities and first responders. Though purchase orders are placed nearly every day, arrival time for orders can take weeks. Purchases are the primary way the state has secured PPE, accounting for more than 70 percent of items received so far – a percentage that is growing. Of the $342 million worth of PPE that has been ordered to date, only $8.3 million in PPE has arrived and been distributed or is being processed for distribution (some 10.7 million items).Washington businesses continue to answer the call to produce needed items, with more than 100 manufacturers retooling so far. The state is purchasing directly from five of them, and the others are selling directly to local entities including hospitals. Information about purchasing and distribution of PPE is available on the state’s coronavirus website.
LGBTQ community and coronavirus
We are all connected. And COVID-19 spreads rapidly through these connections. For all of us to stay healthy and safe, everyone in all of our communities and neighborhoods needs to stay healthy and safe.
But it doesn’t always happen this way. Communities that have experienced discrimination and stigma now or in the past often experience poorer health than other communities. For example, many people in the LGBTQ community have experienced the physical and psychological stress of being rejected by loved ones and discriminated against by community members and by health care providers. This has resulted in a health disparity — overall poorer health in this community when compared to other communities in our state.
This health disparity means that disproportionately more people who identify as LGBTQ have the underlying chronic health conditions that put us at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19. People in the LGBTQ community tend to have higher rates of HIV and higher rates of chronic health conditions. They are also 50% more likely to smoke tobacco.
Additionally, LGBTQ elders are more socially isolated than their heterosexual peers, making their risk due to age or health conditions more complicated. COVID-19 may also bring up difficult memories of the early days of the HIV epidemic — loved ones who died, watching a mysterious and deadly virus spread throughout the world. Youth in the LGBTQ community are more likely than other teens to be homeless or currently isolated with unsupportive family members.
To stay safe, if you identify as LGBTQ:
- Be sure to carefully follow social distancing guidelines, especially if you have a chronic health condition.
- Take care of your physical and mental health. Eat nutritious foods, sleep, exercise, meditate. If you smoke, consider cutting back. Any step to reduce smoking can have positive benefits to your long-term health.
- If you need clinical care, make a plan with your health care provider. Are you able to use telemedicine? Do you have 30 days of your needed medications at home?
- Reach out virtually to a friend. Connection is great for our mental health.
- If you are taking PrEP to prevent HIV, and not having sex as part of social distancing means you are not sexually active right now, you can take a break from PrEP, but be sure to plan ahead for when you may become sexually active again.