Dear friends and neighbors,
We want to help pass along the information that Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has shared with the public regarding COVID-19 or Coronavirus. First, the response to Coronavirus in Pierce county is evolving. Currently, there are 14 cases of COVID-19 in the county. The health department has a few ways to stay updated on the department’s response and the status of Coronavirus locally.
Additionally, Anthony L-T Chen, the Director of Health at the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has recently recorded a video giving good context to COVID-19, how to keep yourself safe, and what steps the health department may take.
DOH recommendations & resources
As this situation continues to rapidly unfold you can track the latest developments at the Department of Health Coronavirus website, and continue protecting yourself and your family by following these recommendations:
Additionally, you can follow the DOH links below for information on home quarantine and testing protocols:
The Department of Health also has recommendations on who should quarantine at home.
If you have a cough and a fever
Stay home and away from people for 7 days or until 72 hours after your fever and symptoms are gone, whichever is longer.
- If you have had a test and actually been diagnosed with COVID-19.
- If you have NOT had a COVID-19 test, but have had close contact with someone who has had been tested and diagnosed with COVID-19.
- If you have NOT been around anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. You may have COVID-19 or any number of other respiratory diseases circulating in our communities and should still quarantine at home.
If you feel fine:
- BUT you have had close contact with a sick person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Please monitor your health for fever, cough, and shortness of breath during the 14 days after the last day you were in close contact with the sick person with Coronavirus. You shouldn’t go to work or school and should avoid public places for 14 days.
- BUT your kid or someone else in your household has a cough and a fever but has NOT been tested for COVID-19. The sick person needs to stay home until their fever and symptoms have been gone for 72 hours. You and the rest of the household can continue to go to work and school as long as you feel well. There are many potential respiratory diseases that can cause cough and a fever.
- BUT a friend of a friend of yours has Coronavirus. You can continue to go to work and school if you feel well. The chances that you’ve been infected are fairly low if you have not been around someone with COVID-19.
- BUT you are worried about your older or medically fragile friends and relatives. Practice social distancing. Avoid shaking hands, high fives, and hugs, stand 6 feet or more away from others. Work from home if you can and wash your hands frequently.
Resources for businesses and workers
The Governor’s office created a site with a list of resources that compiles comprehensive information on how several agencies can help those impacted by COVID-19:
- Financial assistance from the Department of Revenue.
- Export assistance from the Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration.
- Employer and worker assistance from the Employment Security Department
- Insurance assistance from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
We encourage you to take a look at that site if you, someone in your household or in your place of work is sick, or just to be prepared in case you need to access any of these resources in the near future.
Knowing what steps to take ahead of time to help your own circumstances can save you hours of frustration trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do at the last minute.
Remember to have compassion
This is an evolving situation that requires care and compassion. Remember, a virus doesn’t discriminate, and neither should we. In times of disease outbreak, stigmas can be attached to specific communities or people. If you see harassment, speak up and help us combat stigmatizing these communities. People experiencing sickness deserve our support, not prejudice. Please help us fight this virus with heart and compassion.
Nigel Turner, Director of Communicable Disease at the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department said it best when he told House lawmakers last week: “Disinformation spreads faster than any virus.” We hope this e-newsletter provides useful and timely information to our 27th District constituents.
Speaker Laurie Jinkins Rep. Jake Fey