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By Jana Hill
Mill Creek Beacon Editor 

For the New Year holiday, sing outside

State restrictions scheduled to end Jan. 4


Last updated 1/2/2021 at 9:47am

Courtesy of Snohomish Health District.

End of December case counts are matching up to what they were in March, when the state shut down. Indoor gatherings can spread the virus, which could lead to another extension for indoor dining and other bans, after Jan. 4.

Singing Auld Lang Syne tonight is best done remotely, or outdoors.

With people who have quarantined for 14 days. Six feet apart. While wearing masks.

Mill Creek businesses and residents will continue to face indoor dining bans until state restrictions are again reconsidered, on Jan. 4. Gov. Jay Inslee extended limits to business operation and gatherings to rein in the spread of COVID-19.

The proclamation limits indoor social gatherings to people who have quarantined for 14 days prior to arriving, or seven days prior with a negative COVID-19 test no more than 48 hours prior to gathering. Outdoor gatherings are limited to five people from outside of a household. Restaurants and bars are operating with indoor dining banned.

Mill Creek businesses are enduring by continuing to offer curbside delivery and take-out. Some have installed outdoor tents, for diners, which has led to a need to learn about fire safety and other regulations around tents.

The virus is known to spread through close contact, mainly from viral particles in the air called "aerosols" that spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing, singing, talking and breathing.

Masks are still required and even recommended for some, inside homes, for those at high risk for serious illness. Being older than 60 increases risk for a more robust and dangerous experience with the virus, as does underlying illness such as heart disease, lung disease, immunity problems, and diabetes.

Case counts in Snohomish County are still high, but are currently at the level they were in March, when the shutdown began, according to numbers by the Snohomish Health District. Health officials await the result of any gatherings that occurred over the Christmas holiday and tonight, to find out if infection rates spike again. Infection rates from holidays and super spreader events are measured 14 days after the day of concern.

Mill Creek has had 380 cases; 241 people have recovered. Neighboring Bothell had 1,556 cases; 959 have recovered. Currently, 21,314 confirmed COVID-19 cases are playing out, in Snohomish County, with 125 hospitalized and 32 hospital patients suspected of having COVID-19. Of those, 14 people are on ventilators.

Goals set by health officials are intended to keep hospital capacity at safe levels to serve COVID-19 patients and meet other urgent care needs. Keeping numbers in-check is also intended to protect vulnerable populations as they await vaccination access. Two vaccines are in circulation now, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Both are mRNA vaccines and are being given to health-care workers and people in long-term care settings first. As more vaccines become available, more people will have access to that preventative medicine.

Currently, there is no cure for COVID-19 and treatments for serious illness are still considered experimental.

The proclamation is listed here: It says it will expire at 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 4, "unless otherwise extended."

Indoor dining bans, closed gyms and other limitations could extend again if infection rates do not decrease.


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