[VIDEOS] Health officials in Washington State are urging residents to renew efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 ahead of the holiday season. Washington State Department of Health’s latest statewide situation report on the virus shows disease transmission is happening at an accelerated pace across the entire state. Kathy Lofy is State Health Officer:
Health officials are calling the current situation “extraordinarily urgent” with “explosive growth” of COVID-19 statewide. They are also saying we are running out of time to change direction. John Wiesman is Secretary of Health:
When COVID-19 transmission increases, hospitals and healthcare workers get overwhelmed which has wide-ranging consequences. So, officials are asking for sacrifices before the holidays but especially two weeks before Thanksgiving. Lacy Fehrenbach is Deputy Secretary of Health for COVID-19 Response:
As the holidays approach, everyone should take steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including:
- Limit in-person gatherings as much as you can. That means reducing the number of times you gather, how many people attend and how long you spend together. Gather outside if possible, or open windows and doors to maximize ventilation inside.
- Always wear a face covering when you’re around people who don’t live with you. This includes close friends and family. It may feel awkward to do this around people we know well and trust, but many people get COVID-19 from someone who doesn’t have symptoms yet. Even if you’re keeping some physical distance, it’s still a good idea to wear a face covering.
- Talk to your family and friends about alternate ways to celebrate the holidays. Brainstorm ideas for virtual celebrations so you can still enjoy spending time together without putting each other at risk.
- Make a safety plan for in-person gatherings. Have a conversation with your family and friends about what you’re going to do to reduce risk of spreading COVID-19 when you gather.
- Stay home if you’re sick or have been exposed to COVID-19. If you’re feeling a little under the weather but aren’t sure if you’re getting sick, take the cautious approach and protect others by staying home.
- Keep up your good hygiene habits. Wash or sanitize your hands often and avoid touching your face.