Below I have compiled updates around a new testing program, the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, and real time global COVID-19 data.
NEW TESTING PROGRAM TO BETTER UNDERSTAND COVID-19 OUTBREAK
To better understand how widespread the COVID-19 outbreak is and whether social distancing efforts are slowing the spread, Public Health – Seattle and King County has partnered with the Seattle Flu Study to launch a home testing program called SCAN.
The outbreak surveillance program will send home tests to a random cross-section of residents around King County and use the collected data to better predict the number of people who may be infected but unrecognized. SCAN will help answer questions like how the virus is affecting our kids, and which groups in King County are most at risk for infection, so we can better protect them.
People can sign up to participate – whether you have symptoms or not – or simply learn more by visiting scanpublichealth.org.
STAY HOME, STAY HEALTHY
Yesterday evening, Governor Jay Inslee announced a statewide order that requires everyone in the state to stay home, effective immediately.
The Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is similar to orders that other governors, in places such as California and New York, issued last week. It requires every Washingtonian to stay home unless they need to pursue an essential activity. This will ban all gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational purposes and close all non-essential businesses.
The proclamation states it’s still safe for people to go outside as long as they remain at least six feet from each other. Grocery stores, doctor’s offices and other essential businesses will remain open. People can still participate in activities such as bike rides, gardening, and dog walking — as long as they follow social distancing rules.
REAL TIME GLOBAL COVID-19 DATA: CHECK THIS OUT
I also wanted to bring to your attention a website that tracks the total number of COVID-19 cases by country, including confirmed cases, daily changes, confirmed deaths, and recoveries. The website is designed and managed by a 17-year-old high school junior from Mercer Island named Avi Schiffmann. Check out the website, www.ncov2019.live/data and learn more about Avi in this interview with Democracy Now. Please note, the website pulls data from public health websites around the world every minute, but not every country reports the data uniformly.
We are continuing to grapple with an unprecedented crisis. By staying home, we can stay healthy, and protect the health of our community as well. As always, I am at your service.
With best wishes,
Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember