COVID-19 News - Updated Regularly

Release Date: March 13, 2020

cdc COVID-19

Most recent information appears at the top of this page, with the oldest notices at the bottom.

UPDATE. MARCH 23, 2020

For the latest updates, please visit our new resource hub at https://connect.sammamish.us/covid-19-updates


 

UPDATE, MARCH 17, 2020

  • To ensure our compliance with new Public Health regulations and to slow the local spread of COVID-19, tonight's City Council Meeting (March 17, 2020) has been canceled. 
  • Yesterday, Governor Jay Inslee ordered statewide closure of food establishments to sit-in service and the prohibition of gatherings of more than 50 people. Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County, issued a local Health Officer Order for King County to prohibit gatherings of fewer than 50 people unless measures are taken by event organizers to minimize risk. LEARN MORE

UPDATE, MARCH 13, 2020

  • Public Health - Seattle & King County issued new guidance for gatherings of children and youth today.
  • Interior residential building and electrical inspections will be suspended March 16-18, 2020. This downtime will allow city staff to focus on developing alternative inspection methods so that we can continue with this service and help minimize the spread of COVID-19. Building and electrical inspection services for exterior and unoccupied residential construction are not impacted by this suspension of service. Learn More
  • The City of Sammamish is cancelling all rentals at City Parks facilities through March 31st. Renters in April and May have been notified of the possibility of cancellation as well. Learn More

 

UPDATE, MARCH 12, 2020

The City of Sammamish published COVID-19 Economic Resources for Businesses, Employees, and Individuals.

Gov. Jay Inslee announced today that all public and private K-12 schools in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties will close from Tuesday, March 15 through Friday, April 24. Read more from the Washington Governor's Office.


 

UPDATE, MARCH 11, 2020

In following with Washington State and King County Public Health Guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 City Hall is temporarily closed to the public effective immediately on March 11, 2020.

The State of Washington has prohibited events with more than 250 people in attendance. Read more.

The Local Health Officer for Public Health - Seattle & King County issued additional measures:

1. All events of 250 people or more are prohibited.
2. Events with fewer than 250 attendees are prohibited unless event organizers take the following steps to minimize risk:
 Older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions that are at increased risk of serious COVID-19 are encouraged not to attend (including employees);
 Social distancing recommendations must be met (I.e., limit contact of people within 6 feet from each other for 10 minutes or longer);
 Employees must be screened for coronavirus symptoms each day and excluded if symptomatic; and
 Proper hand hygiene and sanitation must be readily available to all attendees and employees.
 Environmental cleaning guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are followed (e.g., clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily or more frequently)
For the purposes of this Order, an “event” is a gathering for business, social, or recreational activities including, but not limited to, community, civic, public, leisure, or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; conventions; fundraisers; and similar activities.


 

UPDATE, MARCH 10, 2020

  • The City of Sammamish is taking proactive steps to protect the health of its customers, community members and staff, in order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and reduce the number of people infected. Starting Wednesday, March 11th, the City will be temporarily suspending in-person services at the Front Desk and the Permit Center until further notice. Staff will still be available by phone and email to provide assistance and answer questions. Learn More
  • Today, Governor Inslee issued new rules for nursing homes and expanded state policies for workers and businesses. Learn More

UPDATE, MARCH 9, 2020

On Friday, the City of Sammamish was notified by Eastside Fire and Rescue (EF&R) that a patient at the Issaquah Nursing and Rehabilitation Center tested positive for COVID-19. Three EF&R firefighters, who had contact with the patient, are self-quarantining out of an abundance of caution and are currently asymptomatic. Emergency response staffing is not affected, and EF&R continues to operate at its full capability.

While this individual case is outside of City limits, we know that residents within the care facility may have ties to our community.

If you, or a loved one, has had recent contact with someone inside this facility, Public Health has specific advice for people who may have been around someone with COVID-19. See their full recommendations here.

First, know that you generally need to be in close contact with someone with COVID-19 to get infected. Close contact includes scenarios like living with or caring for a person with confirmed COVID-19, being within six feet of a person with confirmed COVID-19 for about 10 minutes, or if someone with COVID-19 coughed on you, kissed you, shared utensils with you or you had direct contact with their body secretions.

  • If you may have had close contact with a person with COVID-19 but are not sick:
    • Monitor your health for fever, cough and shortness of breath for 14 days after your last contact with the ill person.
    • Do not go to school or work. Avoid public places for 14 days.
  • If you are a close contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 and are sick:
    • If you are sick with fever, cough, or shortness of breath, even if your symptoms are mild, isolate yourself.
    • If you are at higher risk for severe illness (over 60, with underlying health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes), have a weakened immune system or are pregnant) call your health care provider. They may want to test you for COVID-19.
    • If you have symptoms but are not in a high risk category, talk with your health care provider. They will help you determine if you need to be evaluated.

Our thoughts are with all the affected families in the region. King County Public Health has established a call center for those individuals who believe they may be exposed: 206-477-3977.


UPDATE, MARCH 6, 2020

Yesterday, the City of Sammamish issued a proclamation of local emergency to support the City’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the public health impacts of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The emergency declaration supports measures to be taken to protect public health, safety and welfare within the City. This declaration will go before the City Council for adoption at their March 10 meeting. Read the full proclamation here, and the press release here.

Per King County recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19, there will be NO IN-PERSON PUBLIC ACCESS TO PUBLIC MEETINGS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. We are taking public comment for Planning Commission and City Council meetings via email & written docs submitted at the front counter. These meetings will continue to be broadcast to Channel 21 within Sammamish and archived on our YouTube Channel. Please check https://www.sammamish.us/ for the most up-to-date information about individual events. Thank you for your patience & understanding.

Public Health - Seattle & King County has issued new guidance on what to do if you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 or are worried that you may have COVID-19.


 

UPDATE, MARCH 4, 2020

Public Health-Seattle & King County released new guidance today. "This is a critical moment in the growing outbreak of COVID-19 in King County and these measures can potentially impact the spread of the disease."

Public Health is recommending, but not requiring, the following steps:

  • People at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible, including public places with lots of people and large gatherings where there will be close contact with others. People at higher risk include:
    • People 60 and older
    • People with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
    • People who have weakened immune systems
    • People who are pregnant
  • Workplaces should enact measures that allow people who can work from home to do so. Taking these measures can help reduce the number of workers who come into contact with COVID-19 and help minimize absenteeism due to illness
  • If you can feasibly avoid bringing large groups of people together, consider postponing events and gatherings.
  • Public Health is not recommending closing schools at this time unless there has been a confirmed case in the school. Public Health – Seattle & King County also respects an individual school’s decisions about closures or postponement of activities as each school knows the needs of their community best.
  • All people should not go out when they are sick.
  • Avoid visiting hospitals, long term care facilities, or nursing homes to the extent possible. If you need to go, limit your time there and keep six feet away from patients.

Do not go to the emergency room unless essential. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your regular doctor first. 

View the full press release.

Today, Public Health-Seattle & King County also released Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Recommendations to Protect Our Community. This includes detailed guidance for people at higher risk for COVID-19, for schools, for employers, for those planning community gatherings and events, for people who are sick, & for the general public.


 

UPDATE, MARCH 3, 2020

At this time, Public Health officials are NOT recommending widespread closures of schools and public venues. However, residents 60 years and older and those with underlying medical conditions or weakened immune systems are urged by Public Health-Seattle & King County to avoid large public gatherings.

  • For a detailed summary of today's events, see Public Health-Seattle & King County's March 3 Public Health Insider blog post.
    • For timely updates and analysis from Public Health, you can subscribe to follow this blog by entering your email address in the black box on the right-hand side of the page.
  • For March 3 press releases and updates from King County, visit their COVID-19 page.  

 

UPDATE, MARCH 1, 2020

Current Situation:

  • COVID-19 is spreading globally and we can expect to see more cases locally. However, transmission of the virus is not occurring on a widespread basis.
  • Most coronavirus illnesses are mild with fever and cough. The majority do not require hospital care. A much smaller percentage of cases are severe and may include pneumonia, particularly in elderly people and people with underlying medical conditions.
  • While it’s understandable that people are concerned, there are specific actions they can take to reduce their risks:

Personal hygiene -

  • More hand washing; less face touching. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Regular use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer covering all surfaces of the hands and rubbing them together until dry will decrease risk that the virus is transmitted to you or other people.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick. 
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others. 

 Be prepared at home -

  • Have a plan to care for family members should they get sick or schools/offices be closed.
  • Know your workplace telecommute options and school/daycare policies.
  • Stock up on food supplies and prescription medications now, so you don’t have to leave your home if you or someone in your household becomes infected.

Information and resources are updated frequently and can be found at kingcounty.gov/COVID.

A public hotline has been set up by Washington State Dept of Health for individuals seeking information about their personal situation: 800-525-0127

Resource: This article in The Seattle Times provides local background and timely updates: 

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/coronavirus-death-seattle-washington-state/


 

UPDATE, FEBRUARY 29, 2020:

The City of Sammamish has been actively working on a measured response to the threat to the coronavirus update. 

Since being updated by King County Public Health yesterday afternoon of the recent cases in King and Snohomish Counties, our Emergency Manager, Andrew Stevens, has activated its Emergency Operations Center and is forming an internal COVID-19 Task Force.

The Sammamish City Council and City Manager were briefed on Friday.

It is very likely that COVID-19 will continue to spread in parts of the United States, including Washington State. When COVID-19 spreads in Washington State and Sammamish, regular day-to-day life may be disrupted in a variety of ways and the City is preparing for that.

Please refer to the City's website for resources, updates, and guidance. It will continue to be updated as needed.

This page will continue to be updated as the situation develops.

The Washington State Department of Health and King County Public Health emphasize these non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) as the most effective way for healthy residents to combat COVID-19:

    1. Increase hand-washing and use of alcohol-based sanitizer
    2. Improve respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette: Cough into your elbow, rather than into your hand or leaving your cough uncovered.
    3. Enhance social distancing: Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others whenever possible.
    4. Frequently clean and disinfect high-touch and common surfaces
    5. Encourage people to remain home through the duration of respiratory illness, and stay home when you're sick.

These are broad based community-wide actions that can be taken to prevent disease spread, and they are unrestrictive or minimally restrictive.


 

UPDATE, FEBRUARY 28, 2020:

COVID-19 Updates: Currently, the local risk to individuals remain low, but precautions such as staying home when sick and washing your hands thoroughly and regularly are highly advised. King County Public Health recommends that organizations and individuals prepare now in order to reduce the number of illnesses and negative effects that could occur in our community.

Resources:

CDC (updated 2/27): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

King County Public Health (updated 2/26): https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/communicable-diseases/disease-control/novel-coronavirus.aspx

Public Health Insider (Seattle & King County Public Health blog, which puts the data into perspective for local residents): https://publichealthinsider.com/


 

UPDATE, FEBRUARY 4, 2020: 

  • For the general US public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV remains low. There is currently only one case in Washington (Snohomish County, via SeaTac airport) and the case did not have close contact with the general public while infectious.
  • Seattle-King County Public Health is not recommending that people wear masks when they are in public. Currently, the immediate health risk to the general public in Washington is low, and there are questions about the effectiveness of using masks in public to prevent illness. 
  • Additional information about 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is available on Public Health’s website.

    Update on federal measures to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus:

    • On January 31, the White House announced new temporary measures to prevent spread of novel coronavirus infection to the United States. The measures went into effect at 5:00p (ET) on Sunday, February 2.
    • Any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been in Hubei Province in the previous 14 days will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine to ensure they are provided proper health screening.
    • Any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been in the rest of mainland China within the previous 14 days will undergo enhanced entry health screening by the CDC at eleven designated airports (SeaTac airport is one of these). They will undergo up to 14 days of monitored self-quarantine to ensure they have not contracted the virus.
    • Additionally, a presidential proclamation temporarily suspends the entry into the United States of foreign nationals who pose a risk of transmitting the 2019 novel coronavirus. Foreign nationals, other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled in China within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the United States at this time.
    For details about passenger screening and what travelers from China should expect, see the Department of Homeland Security’s news release.

 

UPDATE, January 30, 2020: Although the World Health Organization upgraded the international risk level today, the public health risk locally and within Washington State remains low.

Situation Summary

The City of Sammamish Office of Emergency Management is in close coordination with County and State Public Health officials regarding the recent outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

At this time, the risk to the general public is considered to be low, given that there is only one confirmed case identified in Washington and there is not yet evidence of sustained person-to-person transmission.

This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington state, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

What is happening?

On January 21, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Washington State Department of Health announced the first case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the United States in Snohomish County, WA.

The patient recently returned from Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, where an outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus has been ongoing since December.

2019 novel coronavirus is concerning because it’s a new strain, appears to be spreading quickly, and can cause pneumonia.

How is it spread?

Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

  • The air by coughing and sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
  • Rarely, by fecal contamination

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of coronavirus may include:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • A general feeling of being unwell

If you have traveled to and from Wuhan City, or been in close contact with someone who has, and you have symptoms, contact a health care provider. Be sure to let them know about your recent travel to Wuhan City, if applicable.

If you have been notified by public health authorities that you might have been exposed, please follow instructions provided by the King County Public Health Department.

How can people protect themselves?

Protect yourself from Novel Coronavirus by following the same steps used to reduce your risk of getting any viral respiratory illness. These include:

  • Wash your hands often with warm soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid close contact with others
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
  • Stay at home and away from others when sick

What is the treatment?

There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own. However, you can do some things to relieve your symptoms, including:

  • Take pain and fever medications (caution: do not give aspirin to children)
  • Use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough
  • If you are mildly sick, you should drink plenty of liquids, stay home and rest

Resources

Questions and Answers about Novel Coronavirus in WA: https://publichealthinsider.com/2020/01/21/questions-and-answers-about-a-novel-coronavirus-in-washington/

PREGUNTAS Y RESPUESTAS SOBRE UN NUEVO CORONAVIRUS EN WASHINGTON (Q&A about novel coronavirus in Washington, Spanish): https://publichealthinsider.com/translations/espanol-spanish/preguntas-y-respuestas-sobre-un-nuevo-coronavirus-en-washington/

關於華盛頓新型冠狀病毒的問題和解答 (Information about a novel coronavirus in Washington in Chinese, Traditional): https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/communicable-diseases/disease-control/novel-coronavirus/chinese-traditional.aspx

Novel Coronavirus Fact Sheet: https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/communicable-diseases/disease-control/~/media/depts/health/communicable-diseases/documents/novel-coronavirus-facts.ashx

Novel Coronavirus Fact Sheet in Chinese 关于华盛顿新型冠状病毒的问题和解答: https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/communicable-diseases/disease-control/novel-coronavirus/~/media/depts/health/communicable-diseases/documents/2019-nCoV-blog-ch-simp.ashx

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2019 Novel Corona Virus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

City of Sammamish Emergency Preparedness Guide: https://www.sammamish.us/media/2069/sammamish-emergency-preparedness-guide.pdf