Gov. Jay Inslee announced last week that some state masking requirements will end March 21, citing declining COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Until then, masks will still be required in indoor public spaces, including schools. Individual businesses and school districts can still choose to require masks if desired.
While cases are declining, COVID activity remains very high in Kitsap County, although they are the lowest they’ve been since December. Still numbers are about where they were in September at the height of the Delta variant.
Hospitalizations are still high but are declining from 68 the previous week to 52 last week.
Kitsap Public Health District encourages residents to continue masking. N95 respirators distributed by the federal government are available at no cost at many chain pharmacies and retailers. To confirm availability stop by the store or check on their website – do not call.
Free at-home test kits from the state Department of Health are available at sayyescovidhometest.org. Supplies are limited to one order per household.
Free at-home test kits from the federal government are available at COVIDtests.gov. Call 1-800-232-0233 for one order per household.
People who test themselves at home should report their results by calling the DOH COVID hotline at 1-800-525-0127.
While the demand at drive-through COVID testing sites dropped down from record levels a short time ago, staff and volunteers continue to provide the service. The lighter demand means that it is easier and faster to use this testing resource, and results are typically provided in a few days.
Mondays: Bainbridge Island – Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church, 11042 Sunrise Dr NE . 9 a.m. to noon.
Thursdays: Poulsbo – City Hall Parking Garage, 200 Moe St. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Fridays: Kitsap County Fairgrounds, 1200 Fairgrounds Rd NW. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Pre-registration is required. Go to kcowa.us/covidtesting for details. The testing sites are intended to serve people who are experiencing symptoms of COVID or have been exposed to someone with COVID. Please use a different site if you need a test for work, travel or other activities.
People who need testing for travel should contact their travel provider (Alaska, Hawaiian Airlines, etc.) and the local health jurisdiction for their destination to ensure the test they choose meets requirements.
Kitsap County has surpassed over 300 deaths from COVID over the past two years. A program providing assistance for funeral expenses for those who have died from COVID on or after Jan. 20, 2020 was established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help ease some of the financial stress caused by the virus. Information is available from the COVID Funeral Assistance Hotline: 844-684-6333.