We are continuing to face the challenge of COVID-19 head on. The virus is continuing to spread in King County and across Washington State, creating challenges for our health care system. With that said, we should not panic, if we all act collectively to practice social distancing and good hygiene, we can blunt the spread of this virus, and begin getting back to normal life.
First, I wanted to make you aware that our local blood supply is in danger of collapse. While inventories are now holding steady as faithful and first-time donors respond to the urgent need, donations will continue to drop in the days and weeks to come. New donors are needed now to step-up and save a life, and for donors to make this a generous and consistent habit. All types of blood are needed for cancer treatment, trauma cases, and many other medical situations. The process only takes an hour and actual donation time is about 10 minutes. Donating blood is a safe activity, and there is no risk of contracting coronavirus from the blood donation process. Bloodworks Northwest has more information on coronavirus, who is eligible to donate blood, and donation locations at www.bloodworksnw.org/coronavirus. You can make an appointment for donating at a center or drive to minimize wait time.
Second, as you may already be aware we have reached a critical point in the battle to slow the spread of COVID-19. Last night, Governor Inslee and Executive Constantine announced a new slate of actions to further encourage social distancing and blunt the spread of this virus. The new measures include:
• All gatherings with more than 50 participants are prohibited until further notice. All gatherings of 50 participants and below are prohibited unless previously announced criteria for hygiene and social distancing are met.
• Restaurants, bars, dance halls, clubs, theaters, health and fitness clubs, and other similar indoor social or recreational venues must cease operations until March 31, 2020. However, restaurants and food service establishments may remain open for drive-through, delivery, and pick-up only through the end of March.
• All other retail such as groceries, pharmacies, banks, gas stations, hardware stores, shopping centers, etc. may remain open provided they meet Public Health directives issued earlier.
I also wanted to provide you with an update on the location of current Isolation and Quarantine Facilities across King County. Please see the map below:
We are living through unprecedented times. It is critical we come together collectively to take the steps needed to stop the spread of this pandemic. Below, I have included some links below that I found informative.
Boosting your immune system: https://www.prevention.com/health/a31286522/how-to-boost-immune-system/
What coronavirus does to the body: https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/2020/03/13/what-coronavirus-does-body-covid-19-infection-process-symptoms/5009057002/
10 reasons you should not panic: https://www.kiro7.com/news/trending/coronavirus-10-reasons-you-should-not-panic/HNZAVLWFB5A2NKOGQN5O3K3R5E/
With best wishes,
Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember