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Today, We Are In Phase 2

For the fifth week in a row, COVID-19 cases declined in Snohomish County. The rate per 100,000 people stood at 53.8 for the two week period that ended Aug. 31. Under Safe Start, the case rate needs to drop below 25 cases per 100,000, and remain there, to move to Phase 3 under the Safe Start plan.

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COVID News

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Abbott BinaxNOW SARS-CoV-2 antigen detection system. A nasal swab from a patient is placed in a small card with some wetting solution, and if antigen is present, it is detected by antibodies that then trigger a color change. The test will cost about $5 , can be performed in around 10-15 minutes, and can be mass-produced. Its sensitivity was reported at 97.1%. This new test is a major step forward in diagnostics. Quick COVID-19 evaluations can now move to the point of clinical care.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that Phase 3 clinical testing will begin on the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca as part of the administration’s Operation Warp Speed program. The AstraZeneca vaccine was developed by researchers at Oxford University in the United Kingdom and is based on the use of a nonreplicating chimpanzee adenovirus vector to deliver SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. This is the fourth vaccine to enter Phase 3 clinical testing.

A study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has added to the evidence that blood thinners are effective in treating COVID-19. Data gathered from 4,389 adults with confirmed infections who were hospitalized in New York City from March 1 through April showed that using anticoagulation drugs lowered the risk of intubation or death.

Following the report that a man in Hong Kong was infected with SARS-CoV-2 a second time with no symptoms during his second infection, as highlighted in last’s week Coronavirus Update, several other cases of second infections have been reported, including in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Nevada. Unlike the other cases, the man in Nevada had more severe symptoms during his second episode. But it is too early to tell how troubling this find was, as there have been too few cases to know how the greater population will respond to second infections and how frequently it will occur.

STAT: My Severe COVID-19: It Felt Like Dying in Solitary Confinement

An opinion piece on CNNshares a community-minded message from a restaurant owner forced to close.

Lost Wages Program Update

Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) is a federal program that adds $300 for each week the program remains federally funded. If you receive unemployment benefits for certain weeks and you are unemployed or working fewer hours due to disruptions caused by COVID-19, you may be eligible for these benefits.
The LWA program has a limited budget, so the length of time it is available depends on how quickly all participating states use up the federal funds.
Employment Security Department will start processing payments for this new program Sept. 21, 2020. If you are eligible, you will receive the money in your account as soon as your bank processes the payment from the state. Payments will be retroactive for all the weeks for which you are eligible and funding is available from the federal government.

In related news, the job search requirement for unemployment continues to be suspended through October 1. This means the soonest claimants will be required to actively seek work is October 4. You can continue to answer “no” to the job search question on your weekly claim until the suspension is lifted.

Local News

Snohomish County Parks announced today the total impact of their one-day Food Drive event Aug. 27 at the Evergreen State Fair Park. A whopping 6,309 pounds of food and $4,275 of donations were collected to benefit Volunteers of America Western WA and the Snohomish County Food Bank Coalition. The donations gathered during the three-hour event are expected to provide 7,743 meals to Snohomish County residents in need.

As of August 17, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration reported that Washington had a total of 107,287 PPP Loans with a total amount of $12,399,188,608. In Snohomish County, there was a total of 10,767 PPP Loans with a total amount of $1,111,912,442.

Volunteer HAM radio operators at Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management this summer went into the field to survey mask use. They tallied compliance by 3,500 people visiting area businesses, parks, transit centers and along busy streets. The survey found near universal wearing of face coverings in business settings, but room for improvement outdoors, particularly in some parks.

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Washington is the best state for workers, according to a ranking released today by Oxfam America. The organization based its findings on wages, worker protections and workers’ rights in all 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico during the pandemic.

Disaster Cash Assistance Program

The Disaster Cash Assistance Program (DCAP) is a special program that issues cash payments to individuals or families if the Governor declares a state of emergency due to a federal, statewide, or localized disaster. DCAP offers benefits for one month in a 12-month period, to low-income families and people without children who meet the income and resource limits of the program and who are not eligible for other cash assistance programs.
Benefits are excluded from public charge and a social security number is not required. Interested people can apply online at WashingtonConnection.org or by calling the Customer Service Contact Center at 877-501-2233 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

COVID is Real, Deaths are Real

COVID-19 is real, as the families of over 200 people in Snohomish County who have died as a result of this disease confirm. Recently released statistics from the CDC have some misinterpreting important information and minimizing the seriousness of this pandemic. Watch this short video to learn about comorbidities. Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Officer for Snohomish Health District, offered additional insight in a recent video briefing.

State Guidance Updates

Inspiration and Diversions

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Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894.
In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages.
The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday,” celebrated on the first Monday in September, caught on in other industrial centers across the country, and many states passed legislation recognizing it. Congress would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later, when a watershed moment in American labor history brought workers’ rights squarely into the public’s view. On May 11, 1894, employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives.
Read more at History.com

City Information

Lighthouse Park, Edgewater Beach and 92nd Street Park reopened on May 5. Bathrooms are open only at Lighthouse Park 7am-7pm. Playgrounds are now open, with warnings about cleaning schedules and advise to use at your own risk posted.

Trails and sidewalks continue to be open for your physical activity! Please respect physical distance of six feet, and put your face covering on as you pass others.

All City Facilities closure: City operations will continue via primarily phone, email and online. The public is encouraged to call (425) 263-8000 for assistance with City services or visit our website at www.mukilteowa.gov. Government services are not slated to reopen until Phase 3 of the new reopening plan, which is mid-June at the earliest.

For more information on city facilities, see this link.

Case Count

Current case count is 114 confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases identified in Mukilteo (2 new cases), and 100 individuals who are recovered (2 new recoveries).

County and city case counts are available at this link, updated each weekday at 2pm.

General Resource Links

 
 
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