The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Grant County has reached 63 as of Monday.
There are now only three communities in Grant County without a single confirmed case of COVID-19: Coulee City, Grand Coulee and Electric City, according to a Grant County Health District news release. Quincy now has 33 confirmed cases, Mattawa has nine cases, Moses Lake has nine, Ephrata has seven, Royal City has two, Warden has two and Soap Lake has one. There is still only one death from COVID-19 in Grant County.
The number of people under investigation for exposure to the virus has reached the thousands, according to the news release.
One concerning issue is that while many of the positives came from people who were in contact with someone who had COVID-19, some people had no link, according to the news release. It means that everyone in Grant County should be careful in all public places, because the virus is out there.
The health district is now recommending that only one person be sent outside to get essential supplies at a time, according to the news release. People are advised to wear face coverings when in public and wash their hands upon returning home.
Employees at essential businesses should maintain six feet of distance from coworkers, monitor for symptoms and wash hands often, according to the news release.
On March 23, Governor Jay Inslee issued an additional proclamation called “Stay Home - Stay Healthy.”
The order prohibits people from participating in social, spiritual and recreational gatherings of any kind, regardless of the number of participants, according to the document. There is no longer a number of people that would constitute a safe gathering.
It also prohibits all non-essential businesses in the state, but even essential businesses cannot operate unless they adhere to social distancing and sanitation measures, according to the document.
People are required to stay at home except for essential activities that include the following:
Obtaining necessary supplies and services
Engaging in activities related to the health and safety of family or household members, such as seeking medical supplies
Caring for family members, friends or pets in another household or residence
Engaging in outdoor exercise, including walking, hiking, running or biking, but proper social distancing practices must be used.
Anyone who is found to be in violation of the governor’s proclamation could be subject to a gross misdemeanor, according to state law.
If people are experiencing flu-like symptoms or suspect they may have COVID-19, they should call their local health provider before they visit, said Stephanie Melcher, spokesperson for the Moses Lake and Quincy community health centers.
“Make sure you call first,” Melcher said. “Most of us have protocols setup like our triage tent that we have setup outside.”
In Quincy, one of the triage tents is right under the health center’s sign. People can pull up and providers will run outside to ask people questions to assess whether they might have the virus, said Lynn Bales, Quincy Community Health Center director of operations.
People won’t even need to leave their vehicle, Bales said. If the providers think it is necessary, they will take a swab from the person for testing.