SKAGIT COUNTY, Wash. — The Skagit County Public Health Department is investigating what they're calling a "cluster" of recently confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
The cases were traced to a group meeting of approximately 60 people in early March, health officials said Saturday.
The investigation revealed more than half of the attendees who were at the gathering are now confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19.
"This situation clearly illustrates the highly contagious nature of COVID-19 and emphasizes the importance of following social distancing guidelines in order to control the spread of the virus," health officials said.
All the symptomatic and asymptomatic attendees of the meeting, as well as their close contacts, have been contacted by the health department and advised to quarantine or isolate themselves.
Health officials said if you have not been contacted, then you were not an attendee of the meeting.
The Skagit County Public Health Department is strongly urging residents to follow the social distancing guidelines to help limit the spread of the virus.
The department recommends postponing or canceling any gathering outside of immediate household members.
"Everyone should assume that anyone they come into contact with could have COVID-19," health officials said.
Officials said the community should expect to see a significant increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county in the coming days.
While Gov. Inslee has not issued a shelter in place order at this time, people across the state are encouraged to stay home. People at high-risk, including those over 60, people with underlying health conditions, compromised immune systems, and people who are pregnant are especially urged to stay at home.