Coronavirus updates: Health officials seek guests of large house party in Stanwood after possible COVID-19 exposure

Find developments on Washington’s coronavirus outbreak and the state’s plan for recovery.

Key facts:

  • Masks are now required in public in Washington state.
  • 4 new deaths and 488 new cases reported Friday in Washington.
  • TOTAL: 1,304 deaths among 30,855 overall cases in Washington state.
  • 514,428 people in Washington have taken a test for coronavirus and 6.0% of those tests have been positive, according to the state Department of Health.


VIEW | More coronavirus coverage from KING 5

Friday, June 26:

Snohomish health officials trying to find guests of large Stanwood house party attended by COVID-19 patient

The Snohomish County Health District says it is looking for guests who attended a large party in Stanwood where one person later tested positive for COVID-19. 

The county health district said that not all of the 40 to 70 attendees of the party in Stanwood on Friday June 19 have been identified or contacted.

The health district requested all individuals promptly seek COVID-19 testing if they attended the large house party in Stanwood on Friday, June 19.

The guests can either register for one of the community-based testing locations, or contact their healthcare provider or another testing facility. All attendees should remain quarantined at home through July 4, unless they develop symptoms and/or test positive.

If the person tests positive, they will be provided additional instructions by the Snohomish County Health District. If there are concerns or questions, people are encouraged to review this guidance for exposed people and contact their healthcare provider.

The health district is also encouraging people who attended large graduation parties or Father’s Day celebrations to get tested as a precaution. 

Large parties could become so-called “super-spreader” events that can infect a large number of people and spread the virus, the health district said.

RELATED: Texas family shaken after 18 relatives test positive for COVID-19 following surprise birthday party

New Washington cases for Friday June 26

  • 4 new deaths and 488 new cases reported Friday in Washington.
  • TOTAL: 1,304 deaths among 30,855 overall cases in Washington state.
  • 514,428 people in Washington have taken a test for coronavirus and 6.0% of those tests have been positive, according to the state Department of Health.

Pierce County health officer to recommend loosening restrictions for a ‘modified Phase 2’ 

Pierce County Director of Health Dr. Anthony L-T Chen will recommend a loosening some restrictions, but not applying for Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan.

He said in a prepared statement that progress is being made in the fight to slow coronavirus, but not enough to get to Phase 3. 

The county proposes allowing larger outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people for social and recreational purposes. However, the new phase would not allow recreational activities such as team sports and public swimming pools where respiratory droplets are highly likely to be released.

According to a county press release, a modified Phase 2 would limit indoor gatherings to 5 people per week outside the household. Libraries and museums would be permitted with physical distancing and Phase 3 safety plans. All other businesses and religious services would remain under Phase 2 requirements. 

Earlier this week, Chen warned if the trend of increasing cases continues, it could lead to the county backsliding from Phase 2 and into Phase 1 restrictions.

RELATED: Pierce County official warns rise in coronavirus cases could set county back

Snohomish County not ready to move to Phase 3

Snohomish County leaders decided not to submit a Phase 3 application yet as the county experienced a “concerning” uptick in coronavirus cases.

Snohomish County moved to Phase 2 on June 5, and it needed to stay in that phase for at least three weeks. Friday was the earliest the county could apply to move on to the next phase.

Seventy-seven new cases were reported Monday – a sharp increase from 20 or fewer daily cases the week before. Snohomish County Health Officer Chris Spitters also said the health department received reports of large gatherings over the weekend making it “quite risky” to proceed to Phase 3.

“We need a week or two to assess and control the current situation, monitor the trend in new daily case reports, and track COVID hospitalizations to know whether this was a blip or an early signal of more to come,” Spitters said in a statement.

As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, officials urged people to maintain social distancing, wear a mask and not meet in large groups of more than five people per week.

“Since we’ve made so much progress, now is not the time to backslide,” Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said in a statement.

RELATED: Snohomish and Pierce counties see rising coronavirus cases in Phase 2

COVID-19 cases rise among younger King County adults

Last week coronavirus cases increased 60% in King County over the previous week, partially driven by younger adults, according to Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County.

Between June 14-20, King County saw 156 more coronavirus infections over the previous week. 

“This is a worrisome trend obviously,” Duchin said. “No one wants to see increasing cases.”

Over the last two weeks, about half of those cases were in people between 20 and 39 years old, which Duchin called a “significant change.” To date, that age group has been responsible for about one-third of cases.

Although Duchin couldn’t point to a specific venue or activity that may be responsible for the spike, he said it was likely driven by all increased contact without taking precautions like wearing a mask.

American Airlines to resume full-capacity flights July 1 

American Airlines will start booking flights to full capacity on July 1. 

Starting Tuesday, the airline will ask customers during check-in to “certify they have been free of COVID-19 symptoms for the past 14 days.” Customers will go through a checklist of potential symptoms that was created in partnership with Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Since April, American Airlines has limited the number of passengers on flights in effort to space customers during the pandemic.

The move contrasts sharply with rivals including Delta that limit bookings to create space between passengers.  

Durkan pitches new sidewalk café permits

The city of Seattle announced a proposal Friday for temporary street use permits that would let businesses and restaurants offer services on the sidewalk or in the curb space in front of their business.

City leaders hope the permits allow more businesses to reopen during coronavirus recovery.

The permits, which the Seattle Department of Transportation will begin accepting applications for immediately, would be available for six months. They would allow sidewalk cafes, merchandise displays and food and other vending.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is expected to transmit legislation on the permits “shortly” to the Seattle City Council. The legislation will be sponsored by Councilmembers Dan Strauss and Alex Pedersen.

RELATED: Seattle offering free sidewalk and curb space permits to help small businesses during pandemic

COVID-19 is growing in Spokane, and Inslee says wear masks as state tops 30,000 cases 

The rate of people being hospitalized for COVID-19 in Spokane has doubled in the past week, and the state’s second-largest city is “on the edge of a cliff,″ according to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday.

Inslee met with civic leaders on the Spokane campus of Washington State University. His visit drew a small crowd of protesters against his administration’s proclamation earlier this week requiring people to wear masks when in public.

Inslee, who wore a mask during his press conference, said the way to battle the spread of the coronavirus is simple. “You’ve just got to wear a little cloth on your face,” Inslee said.

The Washington State Department of Health reported seven new deaths and 498 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday. There are now 1,300 deaths among 30,367 total cases of COVID-19 in Washington state.

RELATED: ‘Spokane is on the verge of a very dire situation’: Gov. Inslee concerned about coronavirus spikes

See previous coronavirus updates for Washington here

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