Snoqualmie Valley Hospital tests over 300 coronavirus samples; SVSD launches survey to provide food, childcare during closure; mayors sign ER proclamations; libraries close

After the first week of offering a COVID-19 testing center, when asked if there were any positive results, Snoqualmie Valley Hospital Chief Medical Officer Kim Witkop said, “We have processed well over 300 samples this week with well over 95% of the results returning without detectable virus.”

Witkop said she could not give any more details beyond the above information.

As the Snoqualmie Valley School District prepares a state-mandated food service and childcare support plan during a six week closure aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, SVSD has launched an important survey for parents.

On Friday, March 13th SVSD said administrators and union leaders worked on plans for providing essential support for students and families during the closure.  The district said it is particularly looking at ways to offer free meals for students, support equitable technology access, and assist with childcare for parents employed in critical emergency response and health care/medical professions.

Take the survey HERE by Monday, March 16th.

SVSD said its Food Services team is ready to start offering meals for students who need assistance beginning on Wednesday, March 18th and that responses to the above survey will help determine the amount of food needed.

The week of March 16th SVSD said school leaders will “continue to work on on plans around day care preparations for parents critical to community safety, and optional remote learning resources for all students.”

SVSD added, “Special care and consideration is being given around students who have disabilities, who are homeless, who may not speak English at home, or who have other unique circumstances. We are also busy connecting with community partners next week on how best to collaborate on supporting Snoqualmie Valley families.”

SVSD has also launched a Coronavirus Closure FAQ page.

Meanwhile the City of Snoqualmie said its Department of Emergency Management “continues to monitor the local risk of COVID-19 and works with local and regional agencies to stay informed and up to date daily.”

This past week Mayor Larson signed an emergency proclamation allowing the city to quickly procure the equipment, supplies, and services needed if large numbers of residents and/or city staff contract COVID-19.

The city shared expanded 30-day CDC recommendations to reduce spread of COVID-19 in King County where there has been widespread transmission. The CDC now recommends extensive community mitigation activities to help slow the respiratory virus.

As of Saturday, March 14th, the Washington State Department of Health reported results of 7,764 Cornonavirus tests, with 642 (approximately 8.3%) coming back positive and 40 deaths. King County accounted for 388 of those positive results and 35 deaths. The majority of deaths are linked to the outbreak at Life Center in Kirkland.

CDC mitigation strategies for King County are to protect:

  • Individuals at risk for severe illness, including persons of any age with underlying health conditions, including immune suppression and especially seniors with underlying health conditions.
  • The healthcare workforce and critical infrastructure workforces.

The full recommendation document includes strategies for:

  • Every individual and family at home
  • Every school and childcare facility
  • Every assisted living facility, senior living facility, and adult day programs
  • Every workplace
  • Every community and faith-based organization
  • Healthcare settings and providers, including inpatient and outpatient

In North Bend, Mayor McFarland also signed an Emergency Proclamation that allows the city Bend to take measures to protect the public health, safety and welfare of North Bend’s residents and may go beyond the capability of local resources.

In addition, North Bend said city administration has taken other measures to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to the community and staff, including asking people stay home if they display symptoms of cough, fever or sore throat; not allowing public comment at city council meetings, instead asking residents to email comments to ; and even though city hall is open normal hours, residents are asked to mail or deposit water and sewer payments in the drop box located in city hall parking lot.

North Bend warned it may alter or cancel upcoming meetings as needed to enhance social distancing.

King County also announced all KC library locations will close from March 13th at 6PM until at least April 13th (or further notice) to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

According to the announcement, “During the closure, library customers should keep items currently checked out until KCLS reopens or until further notice. All due dates have been automatically extended until April 30 and KCLS is waiving all late fees accrued between March 1 and April 30. Library staff will continue to work while buildings are closed.”

During the closure, patrons are encouraged to use KCLS’ online resources and services. Residents in KCLS’ service area can sign up instantly for a digital eCard for access to ebooks, audiobooks, TV and movie streaming, and more.

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  • 300 samples with a 95% negative return still means roughly the remaining 5% tested positive, which equates to roughly 15 confirmed cases. Hopefully these folks aren’t swinging by Bartell’s, Safeway, or the gas stations on their way out from the hospital. 15 cases will double roughly every six days, so we’re looking at a whole lot of Coronavirus in the near future.

  • Living Snoqualmie