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WA State COVID-19 cases and statistics

Skamania County: 3/28/2020
Tests conducted: 20
Confirmed cases: 1

County and Community COVID-19 Updates

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News:

COVID-19 Update, March 31, 2020 

Answering Your COVID-19 Questions

We continue to learn more about COVID-19 and how lives of Washingtonians are impacted. Let’s review some of our Frequently Asked Questions.

Who do I contact to report a business is remaining open?

Remember, “essential” businesses are allowed to operate because they provide a service that is critical to the health and safety of Washingtonians. If you’re concerned that a non-essential business is open and not complying with the governor’s order, you can file a complaint using the online form.

Should my child be getting routine vaccinations now?

During this pandemic, about the last thing we need is to start an outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles on top of COVID-19. This is why the Washington State Department of Health recommends that routine vaccination should continue. We know that right now, some health care providers may not be able to provide well-child visits for all patients in their practice. However, we are asking health care providers, if they can provide only limited well-child visits, to prioritize newborn care and vaccination of infants and young children (through 24 months of age) when possible.

We and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are monitoring the situation and may provide additional guidance in the future. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has also provided guidance on immunizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Don’t these wipes say that they are flushable?

Please do not flush anything but toilet paper and what came out of you. Even wipes that are labeled “flushable” can cause major issues with wastewater and septic systems. Wipes also wreak havoc in municipal systems by plugging collecting lines and pumps.

How does the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order affect kids who live with two parents in separate houses?

The governor has clarified that his stay home-stay healthy order should not interfere with a private parenting plan. So, kids can travel to see both parents, as previously agreed in the parenting plan.

Are funerals banned by the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order?

Licensed funeral homes and cemeteries may conduct funeral services in a funeral home or at a graveside as long as the funeral is attended only by immediate family members of the deceased. The family members in attendance must maintain proper social distancing, by staying six feet apart.

I thought you were going to update the data on your website every day?

We thought so too. And we will. As soon as we can. Please know, we are committed to data transparency. We are working to ensure daily numbers are posted on time, but have had many recent challenges with our tracking system.

We’re having some technical difficulties with the Washington Disease Reporting System (WDRS). WDRS is the database labs and health care providers use to report notifiable conditions, like COVID-19, to us. Usually, we only ask for positive test results, but, for COVID-19, we are also tracking negative test results. The good news is that there are many more negative results than positive. The bad news is that this volume is overwhelming the system. We are working with the vendor supporting WDRS to increase capacity and looking into other ideas that might help. We’ll keep you updated if these technical issues persist.

Practice compassion

Are you working from home? In this virtual world don’t forget actual conversations. Give co-workers a call to check in on them, send an encouraging email, or share a funny (and safe for work) meme. These moments of connection give meaning to our work and make it more enjoyable. Stay home, stay connected, and stay healthy!

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COVID-19 Update, March 30, 2020

Caring for Your Financial Health

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing financial hardship and uncertainty for many of us. Let’s look at some of the resources that might help.

  • The federal stimulus bill has just passed, and Employment Security Department Commissioner Suzi LeVine has a brief video on YouTube to explain some of the changes that benefit Washingtonians. Go to esd.wa.gov to sign up for COVID-19 action alerts so you can take action as things change and apply for benefits you are eligible for.
  • The state’s coronavirus.wa.gov website has information to help sort through other benefits that may be available to you and your family — such as paid family leave and workers compensation — and resources for businesses and employees.
  • Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has developed a list of resources that might help address the financial impacts of COVID-19, including mortgage assistance, financial resources, and financial scams.
  • Beware of scams. The federal stimulus package included about $1,200 per person. This money has not yet been distributed, but some scammers are trying to take advantage of people. Remember — the government will never ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. No fees. No charges. No nothing. The government will not call to ask for your Social Security Number, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer. If you suspect fraud, report it.

Protect your physical and mental health

While you are home, if you come down with a fever and a cough, stay home. Follow our guidance for those who are sick symptoms similar to COVID-19. If you are unsure of how to care for yourself or are concerned about your condition, call your healthcare provider for advice. Keep yourself separated from other people and animals in your home. Cover your coughs and sneezes and wash your hands often. So often.

If you are well, and you have an opportunity to rest, take it. Rest, and nourish yourself physically and emotionally. We live in a world that glorifies being busy. It’s okay to take advantage of this forced break to rest. Walk, stretch, dance. Meditate, play, make music. Read, watch TV, just breathe. The best thing you can do to boost your immune system is to sleep and rejuvenate from your normal busy, hectic life.

Maintain healthy relationships

Everyone loves to get mail from a friend! Reach out to a loved one the old fashioned way. Write a letter or send some postcards. Do your kids know how to address an envelope? Help them brighten someone’s day by mailing a drawing or coloring page they did themselves.

If snail mail isn’t the best option for you, reach out to friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, and others in your community through email, social media, text, and video chat. If you don’t know your neighborhood, now is a great time to sign up with your local Nextdoor group.

Daily update on COVID-19 case numbers

Our Department of Health COVID-19 webpage is updated daily with the number of people confirmed to have positive cases and the number of people who have died of COVID-19 in Washington state. Today we have new online dashboard for displaying numbers. Please note that we have shifted our reporting process to make it more accurate, timely, and complete.

Get and spread reliable information on COVID-19

This blog update is current as of the day it is posted, but information changes rapidly. For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19, please check Washington State’s new web portal at coronavirus.wa.gov. Follow the Department of Health’s response at www.doh.wa.gov/coronavirus. Or you can call our COVID-19 hotline at 1–800–525–0127, or email us at DOH.Information@doh.wa.gov.

Fight stigma, public panic, and misinformation by getting your information from trusted sources. Listen to guidance from the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and your local health department.

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COVID-19 Update, March 29, 2020

No Need to Stock Up or Disinfect Your Groceries

Grocery stores are open because they are essential businesses, but we still need to limit our time out of the house. Consider using grocery delivery services, or limit your grocery shopping to one trip a week.

COVID-19 is a new virus. It has been around for three months now, and we’re still learning a lot about it. One thing we know for sure is that it spreads easily from person to person through tiny droplets in the air after someone coughs or sneezes. Most of this spread happens when someone has symptoms, like a cough. These disgusting droplets can travel for up to six feet. It’s important that we don’t come within six feet of one another, so we don’t inhale any of those droplets if someone coughs.

It is possible for the virus to spread when someone doesn’t have symptoms, but this is not the main way it spreads. It is also possible for the virus to spread though droplets on hard surfaces, though this is also not the main way it spreads. That’s why it’s important that we wash our hands and try not to touch our faces, in case we touched a surface that had transmissible virus on it. If you wear gloves, touch a hard surface, and then touch your face with your gloved hands, the gloves have not protected you at all. If you don’t touch your face, you didn’t need the gloves. Just wash your hands.

We have no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 is spreading through food at all. Not through take-out orders, groceries, or produce. When you return home from the grocery store, please thoroughly wash your hands, but there is no reason to try to disinfect your groceries. And please, don’t put disinfecting chemicals like household cleaners on the food you’re going to eat.

Speaking of groceries — agriculture and food production are also considered essential activities. This is to make sure food continues fill our grocery stores and food banks. Deliveries to grocery stores are continuing steadily, and farmers, ranchers, and food processors are producing plenty to meet our needs. There is no need to worry about shortages, and no need to stock up, other than to make sure you don’t have to leave the house more than once each week.

Practice compassion. While you are doing your once-a-week grocery shopping, is there something you can pick up for someone who cannot leave the house? Leave a bag on their porch, ring the bell, then run back to the side of the road to wave!

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COVID-19 Update, March 27, 2020

We’re All in This Together

Remember early March? The kids were in school, and we only needed to stay home from work if we were sick. Today, the US has more cases of COVID-19 (81,321 and growing) than any other country in the world, including Italy and China. This virus has deeply affected all of us. It has changed the way we shop, the way we interact, the way we learn, the way we work, the way we worship, the way we play, and the way we plan for the future. And just as the virus has affected us all, we all have a responsibility to stop it. All of us. Young and old. We are all in this together, and, unless we are doing something on the governor’s list of essential activities, we need to just stay home. Not run to the office quick to get the mouse I wish I brought home. Not drive to the beach where surely there won’t be that many people. Not visit my friend just for a minute. Not let the kids play with the neighbor kids. We need to stay home. We are all in this together, at least six feet apart.

Are you looking for ways to help?

Are you a health care practitioner licensed in another state? 

We are now activating emergency volunteer health practitioners for the COVID-19 response. Under this program, a volunteer health practitioner who is licensed in another state may practice in Washington without obtaining a Washington license. These emergency volunteers will help meet emerging demands for health practitioners in areas impacted by COVID-19. A health practitioner must be in good standing in their home state and be registered with the Department of Health as an emergency volunteer. For more information and to register, see the Department of Health website.

 Are you eligible to donate blood? Blood donation is an essential activity because it saves lives. Contact Bloodworks Northwest to make an appointment. In order to meet social distancing recommendations and ensure the best and safest experience possible, they are accepting scheduled appointments only. It’s important for donors to keep their appointments, and make future appointments now to ensure blood stays available in our community.

 Do you know a child? Call or videochat with a child today and listen to how their day was. Did they read a book today? Maybe you can read one with them!

 Do you know someone who lives alone? Social distancing may be particularly isolating for them. Reach out and let them know you are thinking about them.

Stay tuned to our blog for more information on how you can help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Daily update on COVID-19 case numbers

Our Department of Health COVID-19 webpage is updated daily with the number of people confirmed to have positive cases and the number of people who have died of COVID-19 in Washington State. As of this writing, 3,700 people in Washington have tested positive for COVID-19, and 175 have died of the disease. We are very likely to see more people with COVID-19 identified in the coming days.

Get and spread reliable information on COVID-19

This blog update is current as of the day it is posted, but information changes rapidly. For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19, please check Washington State’s new web portal at coronavirus.wa.gov. Follow the Department of Health’s response at www.doh.wa.gov/coronavirus. Or you can call our COVID-19 hotline at 1–800–525–0127 and press #, or email us at DOH.Information@doh.wa.gov.

 Fight stigma, public panic, and misinformation by getting your information from trusted sources. Listen to guidance from the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and your local health department.

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COVID-19 Update, March 25, 2020

Social Distancing and Mental Health

We need each other. Being isolated from other people can make our physical and mental health worse and can especially trigger anxiety and depression. Especially if you live alone, social distancing is hard on our bodies and our emotions. And when we add to that the worries about unknowns—will I get sick? Will someone I love get sick? What will happen to my job?—we layer on additional stresses to our physical and mental health. If you find yourself lonely, stressed, or anxious, pay attention to these emotions and take action:

  • Avoid watching, reading, or listening to news reports that cause you to feel anxious or distressed. A near-constant stream of news reports is not calming. Seek out information from reliable sources like the Washington State Department of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just a couple times a day. Fact check what you see on social media. Spread good information.
  • Stay connected with others and maintain your social networks. Go for a walk and wave to your neighbors from six feet away. Ask them if they are well and if they need anything.  
  • Introduce structure into your day. Structure and routine may be helpful for people with mental health vulnerabilities, especially during times of uncertainty. Even if you are working from home or if your life looks completely different right now, try to maintain familiar routines in daily life as much as possible. Maybe we’ll feel better if we shower, get dressed, and eat breakfast.
  • Check out these resources to help support your mental health or that of a loved one:

And if you are in crisis, don’t hesitate to call the 24-Hour Crisis Line at 866-427-4747 or text HEAL to 741741 to get confidential text access to a trained crisis counselor any time of the day or night.

Remember, you can find great information on the state’s new web portal for information about COVID-19 (coronavirus.wa.gov), on the Department of Health website (www.doh.wa.gov), or on the CDC website (www.cdc.gov). Or you can call our COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-525-0127 and press #, or email us at DOH.Information@doh.wa.gov.

Practice compassion. Staying away from other people is not good for us. It doesn’t make any sense except in the light of the compassion we have for our loved ones and communities. Stay at home to protect the people you love. Stay home and stay healthy!

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COVID-19 Update, March 24, 2020 

Getting Your Questions Answered 

So much has changed in the last several weeks, and the world has learned so much about COVID-19. Let’s review some of our Frequently Asked Questions. Some of the answers have changed since we last asked and answered them!

Do I have COVID-19? The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever (temp over 100.4 degrees F), tiredness, and dry cough. Some people also get aches and pains, stuffy or runny nose, a sore throat, or diarrhea. Some people get COVID-19 and don’t get any symptoms at all! Some people will get very sick with high fever and difficulty breathing. One of the reasons we are all staying at home as much as possible now is that we can’t always tell when someone might have COVID-19 or be contagious. So if we all stay home, we will not spread the virus, even if we don’t have symptoms (yet) or if we misinterpreted a new cough as allergies or something else.

Should I get tested? Testing is becoming more available, but we still don’t have as many test kits as we would need to be able to test as many people as we would like. Remember—there are no specific treatments for COVID-19, and most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing medical care. So getting a test result doesn’t change the medical advice you will get. If you have a fever, you should rest, drink lots of fluids, and eat nourishing foods.

I saw on social media that there’s a vaccine or cure or top secret thing doctors don’t want you to know about! Don’t believe everything you see on the internet. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for COVID-19. Antibiotics don’t work against viruses, including this virus. There is nothing you can eat, rub on yourself, or inhale that will protect you from this virus or cure it. There is quite a bit of research going on into a vaccine or medications that may help, so I hope to be able to pass on that good news soon. But until then, just scroll past anything that sounds too good to be true.

Does ibuprofen make COVID-19 worse? This is such a new virus that doctors must make quick decisions for their patients without all the information they need. Some French doctors currently advise against using ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, many generic versions) for COVID-19 symptoms based on a few observations of people with COVID-19 who were taking ibuprofen and got worse. Of course, some people with COVID-19 do get worse. The studies that can help tell us whether ibuprofen may contribute to people with COVID-19 getting very sick haven’t been done yet. So, doctors and public health institutions have to figure out what to do with this little bit of unclear information. The World Health Organization initially recommended using acetaminophen instead of ibuprofen to help with fever and aches related to COVID-19. They have since updated that recommendation to say that either acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used.

I have a regularly scheduled doctor or dental appointment. Should I go? No. At this point—both to conserve the masks, gowns, and gloves that keep health care safe and to support us all in staying home—you should call your doctor and see if your appointment can be done over the phone or videochat or rescheduled. If you are not in pain, your dental appointment should be rescheduled. Elective surgeries should be rescheduled.

Can I get this from my pet? No. We have no reason to believe our pets can spread COVID-19 to us. Not from licking us or from us petting their fur. And, no, you should not try to get your pet tested for COVID-19.

What can I do to keep my immune system strong? The best way to keep your immune system strong is to take great care of yourself. Rest, eat fruits and vegetables, drink water, get moderate daily exercise. Try to reduce your stress, and get enough sleep. Connect with a friend or loved one.

What all is closed now? Well, actually, it’s easier to say what’s open. Gov. Jay Inslee has issued a Stay Home, Stay Healthy order in Washington state which will be effective for a minimum of two weeks. The order requires every Washingtonian to stay at home. We can leave the house to get groceries or takeout, go for a walk or other exercise, or go to work at an essential business. All grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and food supply chains will remain open.

Do I work at an “essential business”? Your work is very important. Here is the list of what is defined as “essential”: https://coronavirus.wa.gov/whats-open-and-closed/essential-business

How long is this going to last? The governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order will last at least two weeks. It is likely that some amount of social distancing will be necessary for weeks or months beyond that. The better we do at staying home and away from other people, the quicker we will get the virus under control.

If we haven’t covered your question here, you can find great information on the state’s new web portal for information about COVID-19 (coronavirus.wa.gov), on the Department of Health website (www.doh.wa.gov), or on the CDC website (www.cdc.gov). Or you can call our COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-525-0127 and press #, or email us at DOH.Information@doh.wa.gov. 

Practice compassion. Misinformation can lead to stigma, discrimination, and really poor decision making. Please help us spread good information!

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COVID-19 Update, March 23, 2020

Coronavirus is Not Fair

If you have kids, maybe you’ve had a chance to develop your version of the “life’s not fair” speech. Here’s the public health version of it. There’s nothing fair about disease. Families in our state do not have equal access to medical care, or jobs, or food, or housing. And this puts some of our families at higher risk of getting sick, or losing income or even their homes as a result of a serious illness. Even the way we fight the spread of COVID-19 isn’t fair--some of us are able to stay home and protect ourselves and our loved ones, but some of us have to go to work to provide medical care or keep our grocery stores open. Some kids have access to on-line learning and leftovers in the fridge, and some kids do not. And on a fundamental level, some of us will get COVID-19, and some of us won’t. Some of us will recover, and some of us won’t. Some of us will be able to help others and some of us will need help. There’s nothing fair about it, but at least we know we are all in this together.

We have loved hearing stories about Washingtonians finding creative ways to help people in their communities who are in need. We have heard about Facebook communities connecting people who can help with people who need food or groceries delivered. A medical supply company donated their entire supply of personal protective equipment to local hospital emergency rooms. People are sewing masks in their own homes. Chefs and restaurants are turning their restaurants into community kitchens and providing meals to folks in need and to hard working first responders. Artists are hosting virtual dance classes and live concerts on line to keep us entertained. People have found creative ways to help each other, share what they have and build community, all while staying home! 

 Numbers. The latest numbers are on our webpage, which we update daily.  As of today’s web refresh, 33,933 people in Washington have been tested for COVID-19. Of those, 2,221 people in Washington have tested positive for COVID-19, and 110 have died of the disease.

Practice compassion. Stories of discrimination against members of the Asian community are still being reported in the media. This is not fair. All people should feel safe and supported in their communities. 

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COVID-19 Update, March 21, 2020

Pandemic Stress

Disease outbreaks bring feelings of overwhelm, helplessness and worry. Social distancing is absolutely necessary right now to protect ourselves and people we love. And it comes with a cost. It is massively disruptive to our lives and it takes away many of the usual outlets we have for blowing off steam—gyms are closed, bars and restaurants are closed, social media is an incessant reminder of the pandemic. If you have a chronic disease or deal with depression and anxiety on a daily basis, you may be especially stressed right now. And, remember, those helping with the response efforts – nurses, doctors, first responders - are doing so while also worrying about their own health, and their families.

So what can we do to cope during this public health emergency?

Connect! It’s our relationships that will see us through this. Find a way to invest in those important relationships from at least 6 feet away. Skype, Facetime, Zoom or just talk on the phone. Videochatting is fun! You feel like a techno-wiz and you can see your friend and their pets and kids and make each other smile!

Take care of yourself. The old fashioned way—with nourishing foods, lots of sleep, deep breaths, and exercise. Exercise is especially good for your mental health. Unplug from social media. You know, after you’re done reading this.

Focus on anything else. Clean, cook, garden, sing, play games, create, read, write. Do whatever it takes to allow your mind to focus on the parts of your life that bring you energy and joy!

Know when to call for help. If you continue to feel overwhelmed and struggle to get through the day, call your health care provider, therapist or mental health provider and set up a telemedicine appointment.

Today's Frequently Asked Questions:                              

Don’t you have any good news? A little! China’s greenhouse gas emissions were down 25% in the last month. The skies in Wuhan are blue. The lack of boat traffic on the canals in Venice has improved the air quality and allowed the sediment in the water to settle. The water in the canals is clear and you can see fish. The carbon monoxide emissions in New York City are down 50% compared to last year this time. Let’s pay attention to what the world looks like when we prioritize the health of our communities, and, when all this is over, let’s come back to the world gently.

Numbers. The latest numbers are on our webpage, which we update daily.  As of today’s web refresh, 27,121 people in Washington have been tested for COVID-19. Of those, 1,793 people in Washington have tested positive for COVID-19, and 94 have died of the disease.

Practice compassion. Coronavirus is an international pandemic. It belongs to the whole world now. Calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus” or anything else that references China is inappropriate and divisive.

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COVID-19 Update, March 19, 2020 

Child Care and Frequently Asked Questions

Many parents are trying to find child care options for their children since the Governor ordered the closure of all Washington schools to increase social distancing measures to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. As much as you can, please try to keep your children at home and postpone play dates for a while. If this is not possible for your family, many child care facilities remain open. We have information on our website to help child care facilities keep kids and families safe from COVID-19. We are asking child care facilities to increase social distancing and maintain their cleaning and disinfection procedures.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is it true that if you gargle/deep breathe/drink water you can keep yourself from getting coronavirus?
No. We can all use a good deep breath and a drink of water right now, but there is a lot of misinformation on social media. You can find good information from the Washington State Department of Health website, the CDC, and the World Health Organization. The best way to keep yourself and others from getting COVID-19 is to stay home as much as possible, wash your hands frequently, and don’t touch your face.

Um, I’m out of toilet paper.
Thank you for not hoarding! The short supply in the grocery stores is because we have bought too much and overstocked. Toilet paper will be back as grocery stores re-stock and we all purchase just what we need. In the meantime, use something else and then throw it in the trash. “Flushable” wipes, facial tissues, and paper towels were not designed to break down the same way as toilet paper, and they can cause blockages in treatment plants, plumbing, and septic systems. Please do not flush anything besides toilet paper and what came out of you.

Practice compassion.
COVID-19 is a worldwide pandemic. There is no part of the world that is not affected. There are people in all 50 states who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. It is now up to each of us to keep ourselves and our communities safe.

Stay tuned to our blog for more information on how you can help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Get and spread reliable information on COVID-19
This blog update is current as of the day it is posted, but information changes rapidly. Please check our website for the most up-to-date info on Washington’s response to COVID-19 at www.doh.wa.gov/coronavirus.

Fight stigma, public panic, and misinformation by getting your information from trusted sources. Listen to guidance from Washington State, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and your local health department.

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COVID-19 Update, March 17, 2020

Save Some for Your Neighbors!  Shop responsibly.   

Yesterday, Gov. Jay Inslee announced an immediate two-week closure of all restaurants, bars, and entertainment and recreational facilities.

But you know what’s still open? Grocery stores!

We are still seeing store shelves that are empty of many supplies, especially hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, toilet paper, and plastic gloves. This is because we are “overstocking” — buying too much and making it hard for our neighbors to find products when they need them. Reduce waste and help your neighbors by buying just what you need.

And now that you’ve got just the groceries you need, here are some tips for cooking them up at home!

  • Only handle food when healthy. People who are coughing, feverish, short of breath, or otherwise sick should stay out of the kitchen.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before and during food preparation.
  • Rinse fruits and vegetables before cutting or eating. Bagged lettuces that are ready-to-eat do not need additional washing.
  • Wash, rinse, and sanitize cutting boards, tables, utensils, and other food contact surfaces often.
  • Read the whole recipe before you start cooking. (Not for your health. This is just a good tip.)

There is no reason to suspect that COVID-19 is spread through food or water. Just rinse raw fruits and vegetables before cutting or eating like always. The governor has closed restaurants for the next two weeks to increase social distancing, not because the food is a risk. That’s why takeout and delivery are still good options!

Stay tuned to Washington State Department of Health's blog for more information on how you can help stop the spread of COVID-19. The full article can be found at: https://medium.com/wadepthealth/save-some-for-your-neighbors-c61b013ae939

This blog update is current as of the day it is posted, but information changes rapidly. Please check our website for the most up-to-date info on Washington’s response to COVID-19 at www.doh.wa.gov/coronavirus.

Fight stigma, public panic, and misinformation by getting your information from trusted sources. Listen to guidance from the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and your local health department.

If you have questions or concerns about COVID-19 in Washington state, start by visiting Washington State Department of Health website. 

Washington State Department of Health

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COVID-19 Update, March 15, 2020 

Social Distancing vs. Social 'Disruption"

Good afternoon! The state Department of Health wants to keep you as informed as possible about continuing developments surrounding COVID-19 as well as guidance and resources you can share with employees, clients, or customers. If you want to manage your e-newsletter subscription preferences, you cando so here.

Coming together to stay apart. If it has started to seem like social distancing might be a major inconvenience, well, yes, it is. Social distancing is a huge disruption. A disruption that is necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19, to make sure we have enough health care resources to take care of the people who need them most, and to protect our loved ones who are at high risk for severe disease.

Let’s talk about what social distancing means for our daily lives.

  • It generally means we stay out of places where people gather: Places like movie theaters, religious gatherings, public transportation, group fitness classes, coffee shops. (I understand there are YouTube videos reminding us how to make coffee at home.)

  • We all need to stay at home as much as possible. And when it isn’t possible, we need to work together to stay at least 6 feet away from each other.

  • Many people cannot work from home. If it is at all reasonable for you to do your work at home, please do. Every day.

  • The schools are closed to keep the kids away from each other so that they do not spread germs to one another and to the community. We need to keep them away from each other. Please do not arrange large playdates, sleepovers, or parties. Take your children to parks and enjoy the outdoors. Take lots of walks outside, but get used to saying, no, sorry, you can’t come pet the dog.

  • Use a grocery delivery service to reduce the number times you need to go to the grocery story. If you do need to physically go to the store, try to go at odd hours when they won’t be busy, and be sure to wash your hands before and after your trip.

Stopping a pandemic in its tracks calls for cooperation, patience, handwashing and, yes, isolation. We can do it.

Numbers. The latest numbers are on our webpage, which we update daily. As of today’s web refresh, 769 people in Washington have tested positive for COVID-19, and 42 have died of the disease.

Practice compassion. And all the while we are working to stay physically apart from one another, think about what you can do to maintain connections with your friends and neighbors. Drop off a great book on a neighbor’s porch with a little note. Call a friend to check in. Help your kids draw a picture or a card to mail to a relative. Stay connected, from a distance of at least 6 feet.

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