Friends and neighbors,
As the novel coronavirus has become more prevalent in Washington throughout the week, many of us are rightfully uneasy about the spread of this disease given how close it is to our communities. As more tests become available to Washingtonians who have been exposed, we will likely continue to see the number of cases rise in the coming weeks. This is a normal albeit scary thing to see – but please remember that the Centers for Disease Control and the Washington Department of Health are emphasizing precautions to prevent the further spread. This week, health officials have been highlighting measures like:
- Washing your hands often with warm water and soap for 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song twice).
- Wiping down frequently touched surfaces with disinfectants.
- Avoiding touching your face and eyes.
- Staying home from work if you are sick.
- Calling the DOH coronavirus hotline at 1-800-525-0127, press # if you have questions or are concerned that you have symptoms. If you are in King County, you can also contact the King County novel coronavirus call center at 206-477-3977.
If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, call your healthcare provider. Isolate yourself and wear a mask before leaving the house. Do not go to the emergency room, as they need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
The Legislature has been acting to get funding to respond to this outbreak as quickly as possible. The House passed a bill yesterday that would allocate $100 million from Washington’s Budget Stabilization Account via the Disaster Response Account to go to state agencies and local governments for response to the outbreak. We will be working to pass that bill here in the Senate as soon as possible, too.
As this outbreak is ongoing and information is constantly changing, stay up to date and informed with accurate information at the links above. In this time of uncertainty, it is vital that we are working with what we know to be true rather than spreading false information.