Below you will find a few updates on improved testing capacity in our region, as well as state resources and cases in King County.
Testing Capacity Expanding in Region
Testing is an essential component to contain the spread of COIVD-19. Limitations in testing supplies have hampered the response to the COVID-19 outbreak both locally and across the United States. Thanks to donations of test kits from UW Medicine, Seattle Flu Study (SFS) and the Washington State Department of Health, Public Health – Seattle & King County will be distributing needed supplies to test for the virus that causes COVID-19.
UW Medicine is contributing 20,000 test kits, prioritized for first responders, health care workers and people who live and work in high-risk congregate settings, including long-term care facilities and homeless shelters.
SFS, which is executing SCAN in partnership with Public Health, will be making an additional 2,000 self-swab kits available to healthcare workers in long-term care facilities. These are primarily being provided as part of a study to understand coronavirus prevalence among healthcare workers, and may also inform recommendations for protecting patients. In addition, SFS will continue to offer testing to approximately 100 homeless shelter residents and staff each week as part of a separate study. The Washington State Department of Health is also making 1,000 kits available locally for testing of emergency medical service providers through existing operations.
Learn more about testing on the Public Health Insider blog, including an infographic that explains the current testing process.
Governor Inslee Social Distancing Video
Gov. Jay Inslee, in a new video posted Thursday, shared new outbreak projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and stressed the need for Washingtonians – and everyone – to continue staying home and social distancing. You can watch the video here.
Got Questions About COVID-19? The Department of Health has Answers
If you have questions or concerns, or just want some information about the coronavirus (COVID-19), Washington state has a hotline you can call.
The state Department of Health partnered with Washington 211 to answer questions about coronavirus from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Pacific time, seven days a week. Washington 211 replaces the department’s novel coronavirus call center. Callers can continue to dial 1-800-525-0127 and press # to be transferred to a Washington 211 call taker. The Washington 211 call center is not able to provide clinical information or test results. For test results and other information specific to your health, contact your health care provider.
King County Case Update
As of Thursday at 3:00 p.m. Seattle – King County Public Health was reporting 198 new cases in King County for a total of 3,886, as well as 14 new deaths, bringing the total of COVID-19 deaths in King County to 258.
Stay In. Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.
Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember