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City News / Press Releases

Posted on: March 5, 2020

Local Health Officials Announce New Recommendations to Reduce Risk of Spread of COVID-19

Late yesterday, state and local officials announced new recommendations to King County residents aimed at reducing their risk of exposure to COVID-19.

King County Public Health is recommending, but not requiring, the following steps:

  • People at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible, including public places with lots of people and large gatherings where there will be close contact with others. People at higher risk include:
    • People 60 and older
    • People with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
    • People who have weakened immune systems
    • People who are pregnant
  • Workplaces should enact measures that allow people who can work from home to do so. Taking these measures can help reduce the number of workers who come into contact with COVID-19 and help minimize absenteeism due to illness. If you can feasibly avoid bringing large groups of people together, consider postponing events and gatherings.
  • Public Health is not recommending closing schools at this time. If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19, Public Health will work with the school and the district to determine the best measures including potential closure of the school.
  • All people should not go out when they are sick.
  • Avoid visiting hospitals, long term care facilities, or nursing homes to the extent possible. If you need to go, limit your time there and keep six feet away from patients.

More detail on these measures will be available at www.kingcounty.gov/covid

King County Novel Coronavirus Call Center:

  • If you are in King County and believe you were exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, or if you’re a healthcare provider with questions about COVID-19, contact our novel coronavirus call center: 206-477-3977.
  • The call center will be open daily from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM PT.
  • For general concerns and questions about COVID-19, please call the Washington State Novel Coronavirus Call Center at 800-525-0127.

When to seek medical evaluation and advice:

  • If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, call your healthcare provider. Do not go to the emergency room. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs.
  • If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

In addition to the recommendations listed above, the public can help:

  1. Do not go to the emergency room unless essential. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your regular doctor first.
  2. Stay home when sick.
  3. Practice excellent personal hygiene habits, including handwashing, coughing into tissue or elbow, avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth.
  4. Stay away from people who are ill, especially if you are 60 and older or have underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or a weakened immune system.
  5. Stay informed. Information is changing frequently. Check and subscribe to Public Health’s website (www.kingcounty.gov/COVID) or blog (www.publichealthinsider.com).

Remember to take every day preventive action such as washing hands, and if you are sick, stay home.

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