Mill Creek Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

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By Jana Hill
Mill Creek Beacon Editor 

94 COVID-19 cases since late October

Josephine in Stanwood sees more illness


Last updated 11/19/2020 at 9:24pm

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COVID-19 is on the rise and congregate settings where older people live are higher risk, for both transmission and severe illness.

A facility in Stanwood that cares for older adults is experiencing another COVID-19 outbreak.

Since Oct. 26, the Snohomish Health District made multiple visits to Josephine, located at 9901 272nd Street, in Stanwood. The district posted a press release on Nov. 13. The site had an outbreak in March, as well.

Josephine is a 40 minute drive north of Mill Creek, via I-5. It is a care facility for older adults that has had a day care onsite in the past.

While older adults are the focus, the site also has an infection risk for employees and visitors. The facility offers onsite resident care, as well as "Josephine at home" services, and early learning day care. It also had a YMCA onsite class, for seated yoga. Whether that program was still operational when the outbreak occurred is unknown: officials from the Stanwood-Camano YMCA were not immediately available for comment.

Cases at the site have steadily increased in the past two weeks, with the number nearly tripling within the last 48 to 72 hours, the press release said. As of Friday, Nov. 13, the health district reported 94 total cases: 53 residents and 41 staff members. Josephine's website says it is not accepting visitors at this time.

"As we learned early on in this pandemic, COVID-19 infections can spread incredibly fast in congregate living environments like these," said Dr. Chris Spitters. "This is why we have taken such drastic measures in Snohomish County and statewide to protect these vulnerable populations. I implore everyone to double-down their efforts so we can prevent more scenarios like this from happening."

The district will conduct a COVID-19 infection control assessment. A site visit will be conducted to identify problems, and recommend any additional interventions.

The Health District continues to provide guidance on testing, as well as support in completing case investigations and contact tracing related to the outbreak. The facility is handling notifications and tracing for patients and staff, and the Health District will make notifications to those located outside of the facility.

Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

* Fever or chills

* Cough

* Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

* Fatigue

* Muscle or body aches

* Headache

* New loss of taste or smell

* Sore throat

* Congestion or runny nose

* Nausea or vomiting

* Diarrhea

Other symptoms may occur. The CDC will continue to update symptoms as the virus is studied. Those with underlying illnesses should contact their care provider if symptoms arise. The ailments consistently tied with higher risk of severe COVID-19 are as follows: heart and lung disease, illnesses and treatments compromising immunity, diabetes, advanced age (over 60).

Elder care can be regional. The Beacon is in the process of determining whether Mill Creek and Bothell residents have a connection to Josephine. Readers who are impacted by this outbreak are invited to contact the editor, if a loved one resides at Josephine: [email protected].


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