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Officials are encouraging everyone to stay informed on COVID-19 (formerly referred to as Novel Coronavirus). To prevent fear and panic people should be checking the following websites for accurate information.
Mason County Public Health has released the following facts:
- COVID-19 (formerly referred to as Novel Coronavirus) is a new virus strain spreading from person-to person in China and other countries including the United States. In most instances, cases outside of China have been associated with travelers from China.
- There has only been 1 person in Washington state with a confirmed case of COVID -19. A total of 14 confirmed cases in the United States.
- Persons returning to the United States from China have been contacted; and are being closely monitored for signs and symptoms of the virus.
- Signs and symptoms of the virus include fever, cough, shortness of breath. These signs and symptoms are similar to symptoms exhibited with influenza (respiratory flu) and other respiratory illnesses that are currently circulating.
- If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms, we recommend you contact your Health Care Provider first. If you have traveled to or from China, notify your Health Care Provider of this information.
- The best prevention for any of these respiratory diseases is to cover coughs and sneezes. Stay home when you are ill and wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Widespread use of masks is not recommended.
According to the Washington State Department of Health, the immediate risk to the general public in Washington and the United States is considered to be low. However, this is a rapidly evolving situation, so authorities are encouraging businesses and employers throughout Washington to be informed and prepared.
Sharing accurate information during a time of heightened concern is one of the best things we can do to keep rumors and misinformation from spreading, including avoiding stigma and related discrimination
The DOH has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.
Here are some other resources that may be helpful:
- General updates from the Washington State Department of Health: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus
- Specific information for employers: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Coronavirus/Workplace
- Planning for a Coronavirus Pandemic – A guide of businesses and organizations from Public Health – Seattle & King County