Answering questions about protests and COVID-19

In recent days, community members joined protests locally and across the country in response to the death of George Floyd and so many Black lives that have been taken through senseless, violent and racist acts. This racism and hate comes on top of the stress, burden and illness being inequitably experienced by Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other people of color during the pandemic, the result of centuries of systemic racism.

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Not Everyone Needs to Wear a Face Covering. But Why? 

There are some people who are unable to wear face coverings for good reasons, including people with disabilities, children, and those with specific health or safety concerns. That’s why not everyone needs to wear a face covering.

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Public Health publishes new COVID-19 key indicators dashboard

Our latest dashboard, Key Indicators of COVID-19 Activity in King County, Washington, provides a snapshot of several useful indicators, or metrics, related to COVID-19 activity in our community and the impact on our health and our hospitals. We talked to Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County to learn more about what these indicators mean.

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Vaccinations keep your child safe during and after COVID-19

For parents and caregivers, it is important to continue to bring children in for their wellness check-ups with their doctor. Wellness check-ups allow your child’s doctor to assess your child’s growth, nutrition, and development. Another important part of wellness check-ups are vaccines. Vaccinations help keep children safe.

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Results from new model show necessity of robust contact tracing and other measures to prevent resurgence in epidemic

A comprehensive program of increased testing, isolation of infected people, and contact tracing with quarantine of home and work contacts could prevent growth in the epidemic as King County gradually re-opens, according to a new modeling report by the Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM). The report also found that there was little room to increase […]

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Recognizing an incident with the shadow of a long history of hate

When staff and leadership at Public Health—Seattle & King County learned about the horrific shipment of body bags to our partners at Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB), we were shocked and dismayed. The news generated a private apology and inquiry from Public Health to the CEO of SIHB. And it generated a rapid search of […]

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How to Stay Safe When Cleaning Up After Rodents

If you are in the yard, garage or garden, watch for signs of rodents and take precautions against hantavirus exposure when cleaning up after rodents. Also take steps to protect yourself if you are entering a building that has been closed up during Stay at Home orders. We have tips to help.

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Protecting residents in long-term care facilities – progress and challenges

A looming heartbreak in the coronavirus pandemic is the impact of the virus on people living in long-term care facilities such as skilled nursing homes, assisted living facilities and adult family homes. Locally and nationally, the biggest outbreaks have been in these facilities, which house and care for more than 12,000 people in King County.

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COVID-19 testing is increasingly available in King County

COVID-19 testing is a key strategy for reducing the spread of the virus in our community. Public Health – Seattle & King County is now recommending that anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms or close contact with someone who has COVID-19 be tested right away. Testing as soon as possible after symptoms appear is important to […]

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What You Need to Know about King County’s Health Directive on Face Coverings

A new Health Officer directive strongly urges people in King County to wear face coverings in public places, both indoors in places such as grocery stores and businesses, and also outdoors when it’s difficult to maintain six feet apart from others. While face coverings do not replace proper hygiene or social distancing as protection measures, […]

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Update: Latest report shows COVID-19 transmission rate may be increasing in King County and Western Washington; persisting higher in Eastern Washington

After dropping throughout March and into the first part of April, the transmission rate of COVID-19 is no longer falling and may be rising again in Western Washington, according to the latest report from Bellevue-based Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM). The report also included an analysis of the rate of transmission in the eastern half […]

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Fishing in the time of COVID-19

Now that Washington State has re-opened for some fishing in a phased approach as of May 5, we want you to know how to enjoy the outdoors while staying safe and healthy – from the fishing site to the catch on your plate.

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Need support so you can isolate or quarantine? We’re here to help.

When someone has symptoms of COVID-19, they need to stay away from others by isolating themselves, even from people who live with them. That’s not always possible for those who live with many family members or with young children, or if their home isn’t set up so that the person who is sick can have […]

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Update on Hepatitis A outbreak

April 2020 marks one year since we announced the first case of locally-acquired hepatitis A in a person living homeless in King County. We identified this case in the context of many cities and states across the country experiencing large outbreaks of hepatitis A among people living homeless or who use drugs.

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Update: Latest reports show COVID-19 declining; infections found across King County, most still susceptible

The number of COVID-19 infections in King County has been on the decline since the end of March, according to two recent reports from the Bellevue-based Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM) and the Greater Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN), a disease surveillance initiative in partnership with Public Health – Seattle & King County. The reports […]

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A clean house is awesome. Accidental poisoning is not.

By Michell Mouton, Hazardous Waste Management Program, Environmental Health Let’s take a deep breath, slow down and have a talk about cleaning, disinfecting and staying safe. With more people using cleaning products during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been an increase in accidental poisonings in Washington State. The Washington Poison Center reported a 23% increase in […]

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Farmers market season is back, but physical distance is still required

Farmers markets are great opportunities to purchase fresh, healthy, and locally grown foods. They also tend to draw crowds. Farmers markets, and other places that sell food products, like grocery stores, are considered essential businesses under the statewide Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. Throughout Washington State, more farmers markets may continue to open throughout the […]

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Not seeing friends and family is HARD. But it’s worth it.

Grandparents miss cuddling their grandbabies. Teens miss hangouts and deep talks with their closest friends. We miss seeing our siblings and cousins, best friends, barbers, co-workers, teachers, and gym buddies. Everyone is feeling the strain from the lack of in-person interaction that makes life rich and full. COVID-19 is taking a toll, and we all […]

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WIC is open for business

WIC services are open for you and your family! WIC has been identified as an essential service and staff are providing services by phone to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

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No wipes in the pipes: Guidelines on how to avoid clogging the sewer system

Author: Silvia-Antonia Rus The COVID-19 outbreak derails regular routines and supplies in drastic ways. One of the ways that it impacts daily life is the limited supply of toilet paper across stores. People are also using more cleaning wipes to make sure that we clean and sanitize our homes to prevent illnesses. These actions can […]

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Public Health calls for community safety as fentanyl-involved deaths rise

Public Health – Seattle & King County reminds our community that pills purchased off the street or online without a prescription likely contains illicit fentanyl—the drug that can lead to overdose and death. In just the past two weeks, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office identified 14 people whose lives were lost to drug overdose involving fentanyl.

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Mourning together, virtually: How our Muslim community adapted using technology

Authors: Mohamed Ali, Ayan Abshir & Equity Response Team Death is a universal experience, no matter what race or religion one identifies with. In Islam, Muslims are taught to overcome tragic circumstances with containment (Rida), gratitude (Hamd), patience (Sabr), and firm belief in destiny (Qadr). Although, death is a fact of life, it is never […]

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How public health officials decide when to order closures

Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health — Seattle & King County recently interviewed with ProPublica and The Seattle Times to discuss his and the department’s thinking related to the timing of Public Health recommendations to avoid and subsequently prohibit large public gatherings, and in particular in not prohibiting the Sounders match on March 7th. The following is an overview of information Dr. Duchin shared in his conversation and through e-mail.

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Emergency childcare for first responders & essential workers

Employees who are essential workers under the statewide “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order can now access free emergency child care through a King County program to help parents who are working on the front lines of the COVID-19 response.

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Join us in thanking our community’s essential workers

Over the past few weeks many people have transitioned to telecommuting to comply with the statewide Stay Home order to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Many others, who are essential workers, will continue to report to their jobs to ensure critical public health, safety and infrastructure functions continue to support Washingtonians. They are making sure that there is food, water, electricity, trash and sanitation services, buses & trains running, and health care services and spaces.

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Staying connected while staying at home: Tips for older adults

Are you an older adult or do you have older adults in your life that you love? Protecting ourselves and those we love by staying apart is hard. Here are few ways that older adults can stay safe and healthy while still connecting with friends and family!

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How we are monitoring COVID-19 preliminary data by race, ethnicity

Public Health – Seattle & King County is releasing preliminary data of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and confirmed deaths by race/ethnicity. This preliminary data shows COVID-related deaths and hospitalizations are impacting people of all races and ethnicities. Additional data is needed to be able to draw conclusions about the impact COVID-19 is having across racial/ethnic groups in King County.

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Over 20,000 kits to be distributed by Public Health for local COVID-19 testing needs

Update 4.19.20: On April 17, 2020, Public Health – Seattle & King County was alerted by UW Medicine to discontinue use of the 20,000 COVID-19 specimen collection kits donated to Public Health, due to a quality control issue with the viral transport media that preserves the specimen. The kits were recalled from all local partners […]

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Staying safe while getting outdoors

Getting outside for fresh air, exercise, and perhaps even to restore a sense of hope is important. As long as you’re following proper social distancing, getting outside and getting exercise is great for your mental, emotional and physical health.

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How to get to medical appointments safely

We all know that we’re supposed to stay home, especially if we’re not feeling well. But what about getting to important medical appointments like dialysis? Or visiting your health care provider after calling their office and telling them about your COVID-19-like symptoms? Sometimes we need to get from our homes to the doctor’s office for […]

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Pandemic in Seattle: A comic strip about 1918 and now

How is today’s COVID-19 pandemic in Seattle similar–and different–than what happened during the 1918 influenza pandemic? We explore how public health measures made a difference then, and what that means now, through a comic strip.

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Faith leaders provide strong support in times of physical separation

With the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order now in effect through May 4, connecting with faith-based and cultural communities continues to be a vital source of support. Earlier this month, Public Health had the opportunity to stand in solidarity with faith and spiritual leaders who are building unity and connection in times of physical distancing.

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Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Give Blood

For the health of our community, it’s critical that 1,000 people donate blood every day. Potential blood donors are exempt from the statewide Stay Home, Stay Healthy stay-at-home order, which does not include essential health services, such as those provided by Bloodworks Northwest and its donors. Learn more about how to give blood!

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Staying at home is essential, but when distancing is difficult, wearing a non-medical mask may help limit the spread of COVID-19

Updated at 7:30pm on 4-3-2020 Staying apart from others is our best protection against COVID-19. The most important ways of preventing COVID-19 are frequent handwashing, avoiding touching your face, staying away from ill people, staying home and avoiding all non-essential activities and contact with others. Mask use does not replace the need to follow these […]

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Stopping Racism Fueled by COVID-19 Fear

Many of us have read and seen the stories of Asian Americans being harassed and berated on the streets, in parks, and on public transit. Unfortunately, our Asian- American community is now a major target in the reawakening of anti-Chinese rhetoric, affecting the elderly and the young. In this post, we offer some resources and practical tips on how to stop racism fueled by COVID-19 fear.

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Introducing SCAN: the greater Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network

Washington state reported its first case of COVID-19 on January 21st. Since then, government officials and public health experts have been asking: How many more cases are there? And where will the virus show up next? These are important questions. Understanding how common COVID-19 is and how it is spreading are critical to informing our […]

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A parenting guide during COVID-19: Be kind to yourself

By Erin Murphy and Megan McJennett COVID-19 is causing stress for a lot of people and that stress can manifest very differently. So parents, this blog post is for you. Because parenting during COVID-19 is HARD. Parents already worry about their kids and COVID-19 only increases those worries. Thoughts may crowd your mind like, “what […]

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Sing while you scrub and hopscotch outdoors: How to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in childcare settings

By Emma McVeigh, Alanna Beebe, and Ellen Flamiatos With the closure of schools, child care is even more important to parents and to our communities than ever. Child care plays an essential role for parents who don’t have work flexibility, including those who work in healthcare, critical infrastructure, grocery stores, pharmacies, and other services we […]

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Community is our anchor during COVID-19

How do we get on with living when life is so altered? Our best answer is that we’ll get through this outbreak by building community and making sacrifices out of love. What does that look like? It means preserving the healthcare system for those who need it most, social distancing but not social isolation, and supporting one another.

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Showing up for our kids during the outbreak

We know that new measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community are particularly stressful for parents, and for anyone who cares for kids. As we continue to work together to protect our friends and neighbors and slow the spread, we face new challenges, including showing up for our kids in a scary, […]

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Public Health Guidance for Childcares

As COVID-19 continues to spread in King County, Public Health is asking everyone in our community to take steps to slow the spread of the virus. These actions are meant reduce the number of people who become ill, and protect our families, friends and neighbors who are at risk for severe illness. On March 12, […]

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We want social distancing, not social isolation

In light of the coronavirus outbreak in King County and our current community recommendations, Best Starts for Kids shares resources and ideas to help fight social isolation in the midst of social distancing.

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New data dashboard from Public Health on key indicators of COVID-19 activity

Summary:    Public Health – Seattle & King County published today a new data dashboard that provides a snapshot of key indicators related to COVID-19 disease activity, testing capacity, and healthcare system status. These data will be useful to help guide decisions about whether restrictions and precautions are adequate, or whether they need to be strengthened […]

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