Here is where to get information about cases in Washington State, along with other helpful links to information you can use to keep you and your family save.
The novel coronavirus (nCoV aka COVID-19) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. It belongs to large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe respiratory diseases, including MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV.
Common signs of infection include flu-like symptoms, as fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia and lead to more acute or fatal symptoms.
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs, and avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
The following organizations are the sources we recommend for understanding what you need to do. Information is changing frequently, you may wish to subscribe to any newsletters or blogs at one or more of these sites to stay informed.
On January 21, 2020, the national Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Washington State Department of Health announced the first case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the United States in Washington State.
Governor Jay Inslee issued a Stay at Home, Stay Healthy order in Washington state which will be effective through May 4, 2020.
Washington State CoV information
The following links provide a good overview and statistics about current CoV in Washington State:
- Social distancing recommendations.
- Washington State Coronavirus Response page contains the latest news and information from government agencies. On the Washington State coronavirus family page, find information about stay-at-home orders, face masks, scams, resources, and more.
- Washington State coronavirus facts is a good resource with a variety of information including scams, face masks, what is “essential” business, stay-at-home guidelines, and other informaton
- Washington State Department of Health Coronavirus page. Includes information about CoV cases by county, demographics, and other data. There are also links to fact sheets, testing information, and many other sources. Information is translated into several languages.
- Washington State Department of Health Coronavirus outbreak frequently asked questions (FAQ)
- Washington State Governor’s Office is another place to get the latest announcement from Governor Inslee’s office.
If you have immediate questions about what is currently happening in Washington State, you can get updates by phone or text:
- Updates by phone: Call 1-800-525-0127 and press # — this service is available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.
- Updates by text: Text the word “Coronavirus” to 211211 to receive information and updates.
U.S. CoV cases
For information about CoV cases across the U.S., visit the CDC coronavirus page.
Public Health agencies in Washington State
Washington State Department of Health protects and improves the health of people in Washington State. The agency helps to prevent illness and injury, promote healthy places to live and work, provides information to help people make good health decisions, and ensure our state is prepared for emergencies.
Find out more about risk factors, download fact sheets in multiple languages, county-by-county tally of CoV cases and deaths, and other information.
For more information about Washington State Department of Health, visit: https://www.doh.wa.gov/
Public Health — Seattle & King County
Public Health — Seattle & King County protects and improves the health and well-being of King County. Public Health provides a wide variety of services for residents and businesses including child health, food safety, emergency preparedness, and many other issues and topics. The County agency is working closely with the CDC. These efforts are intended to slow the spread and reduce the number of infected people.
King county Public Health has developed COVID-19 Public Health recommendations. As this pandemic spreads, recommendations are updated as needed to protect our community.
Public Health recommends that people at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people or anywhere there will be close contact with others. People at higher risk include people:
- Over 60 years of age
- With underlying health conditions including include heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
- With weakened immune systems
- Who are pregnant
For more information about Seattle & King County Publish Health, visit: https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health.aspx
Other Public Health agencies in the Puget Sound Region
These are the other Public Health agencies in the six counties around the Puget Sound region:
- Island County Public Health
- Kitsap County Public Health
- Skagit County Public Health
- Snohomish County Public Health
- Tacoma-Pierce County Public Health
Help for Paying Bills
Puget Sound Energy (PSE) offers two programs for residential customers to help pay electric or natural gas bills. Eligibility is based on your household income and the number of people that live in your home. Get help with your PSE Bills.
Other recommended local resources
- The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at UW Medicine provides rigorous and comparable measurement of the world’s most important health problems and evaluates the strategies used to address them. IHME makes this information freely available so that policymakers have the evidence they need to make informed decisions about how to allocate resources to best improve population health.
- IHME COVID-19 projections
- Seattle Times Coronavirus coverage in the Seattle area, the Pacific Northwest, and the world
How to wash your hands properly
The following PDF posters published by the WHO are particularly helpful in achieving properly clean hands. If your hands are soiled, you should wash them with soap and water. If you simply want to ensure your visibly clean hands are hygenic, use a santizer. In either case, you must rub thoroughly and get all parts of your hand, fingers, fingernails.
What I really like about these posters is the thorough way they describe rubbing or washing each area of the hands in order to achieve clean, safe hands.
My favorite tune to hum while washing hands is the first verse and refrain from The Lion Sleeps Tonight, a 1920s song written by Solomon Linda.
In the jungle, the mighty jungle
The lion sleeps tonight
In the jungle the quiet jungle
The lion sleeps tonight
(A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh)
(A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh)
For a 20-second cleaning, just sing this through. For 30-sconds, you need to repeat two lines of the refrain. For a through washing, you need two repeat the whole thing twice (first verse plus 4 lines of the refrain, and then repeat). But I find it a very pleasant reverie. It was always one of my favorite 45s from my older brother’s record collection.
Originally written in Zulu and recorded in 1939 in south Africa by Solomon under the title “Mbube”. The English version’s lyrics were written by George David Weiss.
The song was adapted and covered internationally by many pop and folk artists in the 1950s and 1960s, with the best-known version by the doo-wop group the Tokens in 1961, that became a number one hit in the United States. If you don’t know the song, you can listen to The Tokens crooning on YouTube:
Check out our other favorite Doo Wop hand washing songs.
Centers for Disease Control
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Center for Disease Control (CDC) protects Americans from disease and health threats, both foreign and domestic. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC helps communities and citizens fight disease.
As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats by conducting critical science and providing information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise. They cover diseases and conditions including ADHD, Cancer, COPD, Diabetes, Flu (Influenza), Heart Disease, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), and any other national health threat.
CDC provides information you want to know, such as how to prevent it, what are the symptoms, what to do if you’re sick, people who are at risk, and answers to common questions many of us have. In addition, CDC maintains data about the number of cases in the U.S. and a summary of the risk assessment.
For more information, visit the CDC website.
CoV related reading
- The Deadliest Flu: The Complete Story of the Discovery and Reconstruction of the 1918 Pandemic Virus (especially Part 4 – Learning from the Past).
- The 1918 Parade That Spread Death in Philadelphia. In six weeks, 12,000 were dead of influenza.
- How U.S. Cities Tried to Halt the Spread of the 1918 Spanish Flu.
- SARS Basics Fact Sheet
- SARS Pandemic: How the Virus Spread Around the World in 2003
- How does the novel coronavirus compare with the flu?
World Health Organization
The international World Health Organization (WHO) works worldwide to promote health and universal health coverage, serve the vulnerable with better health and well-being, and keep the world safe from health emergencies.
To promote universal health coverage, WHO’s focus is on primary health care and access to essential services, medicines, and health products. To improve health and well-being, WHO addresses social determinants, intersectoral approaches for health, and health policies, among other issues.
WHO prepares for emergencies by identifying, mitigating, and managing risks to prevent emergencies. They also support development of necessary tools during outbreaks and deliver essential health services in fragile settings.
In March 2020, WHO declared the COVID-19 to be a pandemic, indicating deep concern both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction. At the time, there were more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives to the disease.
For more information about the WHO and their work, visit: https://www.who.int/