Snohomish County says testing is too scarce to obtain multiple negative tests for ‘essential workers’

VIDEO: Snohomish Co. says testing too scarce to obtain multiple negative tests for essential workers

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. — A potential roadblock is forming in Snohomish County for workers to return to what are deemed “essential jobs” under the state’s current stay-at-home order.

According to the Snohomish County Health District, some employers are telling workers they must receive two negative COVID-19 tests before coming back to work. With limited testing available in Washington state, the county said that bar is too high for workers that are needed for day-to-day life to continue.

“That’s a pretty big barrier to getting some of our essential workers back to work,” said Dr. Chris Spitters.

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The current guidance from the county is that workers are eligible for release when they’ve met three benchmarks: 72 hours since your fever has resolved, 72 hours of improving cough symptoms and it has been seven days since the onset of the illness.

“We really encourage you to go with that guideline for return to work,” said Spitters. “If someone is still coughing you could consider having them stay away from clients and remain masked, but we really encourage you to go with time-based rather than test-based.”

The Snohomish County Health District still urges people who feel sick to stay home.