According to the Washington State Department of Health’s briefing last week, there are apparent “signs of a slowing growth in cases.”
As hospitalizations usually lag behind cases, the expectation is there will be a couple of weeks of increases before the numbers start to diminish. The trend for COVID-related deaths has been stabilizing after a steady decline.
Lacy Fehrenbach, deputy secretary of the state’s COVID response, asks people to help free up testing sites by doing their part to help free up space at test sites. She stated, “If you have access to an at-home test and you test positive, consider yourself positive—you don’t need to follow-up and get a PCR test,” she said. “You don’t need to go get a confirmatory PCR if you test positive on antigen. Taking that step will help all of us unclog our resources.”
The National Guard will be establishing testing sites outside of hospitals in Seattle, Tacoma, and Richland, and FEMA will be establishing testing sites in Snohomish and King counties.
Last week, the Biden administration announced the government would begin the distribution of free N95 masks. U.S. residents will soon have the opportunity to pick up a maximum of three masks per person from some locations already, including pharmacies and community health centers, but throughout the country by early February. The source of the masks is the Strategic National Stockpile.
Participating in the mask distribution includes the following Washington State business locations:
- Albertsons Companies, Inc. (including Osco, Jewel-Osco, Albertsons, Albertsons Market, Safeway, Tom Thumb, Star Market, Shaw’s, Haggen, Acme, Randalls, Carrs, Market Street, United, Vons, Pavilions, Amigos, Lucky’s, Pak n Save, Sav-On)
- Costco Wholesale Corp.
- CPESN USA, LLC
- CVS Pharmacy, Inc. (including Long’s)
- Good Neighbor Pharmacy and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation’s pharmacy services administrative organization (PSAO), Elevate Provider Network
- Health Mart Pharmacies
- LeaderNET and The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy, Cardinal Health’s PSAOs
- Managed Health Care Associates (retail and long-term care pharmacies)
- Rite Aid Corp.
- The Kroger Co. (including Kroger, Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Ralphs, King Soopers, Smiths, City Market, Dillons, Mariano’s, Pick-n-Save, Copps, Metro Market, QFC)
- Topco Associates, LLC (including Acme Fresh Markets, Associated Food Stores, Bashas, Big-Y Pharmacy and Wellness Center, Brookshire’s Pharmacy, Super One Pharmacy, FRESH by Brookshire’s Pharmacy, Coborn’s Pharmacy, Cash Wise Pharmacy, MarketPlace Pharmacy, Giant Eagle, Hartig Drug Company, King Kullen, Food City Pharmacy, Ingles Pharmacy, Raley’s, Bel Air, Nob Hill Pharmacies, Save Mart Pharmacies, Lucky Pharmacies, SpartanNash, Price Chopper, Market 32, Tops Friendly Markets, ShopRite, Wegmans, Weis Markets, Inc.)
- Walgreens (including Duane Reade)
- Walmart, Inc. (including Sam’s Club)