Today we are reporting the 100,000th Washingtonian diagnosed with COVID-19. This a sad and sobering milestone.

One hundred thousand people is too many. Too many worried families. Too many fevers. Too many coughs. Too many nights spent awake struggling to breathe.

This has been a tough seven months for all of us. We’ve done hard things to keep our neighbors and loved ones safe. We’ve missed celebrations for birthdays and milestones. We’ve lost jobs and small businesses. We’ve missed visiting loved ones in the hospital. Our kids miss seeing their friends and teachers in school. We miss hugs, handshakes, a friend’s comforting hand on our shoulders. We are tired of these hard changes and of the isolation.

And it’s not over yet.

The number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in western Washington counties is climbing at an alarming rate right now. Last Friday there were 70,000 new cases in one day in the United States. This is the most people diagnosed in one day since July. There are more and more people getting sick right now because there is widespread disease transmission — not just local outbreaks.

We need to stay focused on protecting each other to keep our health care system running smoothly, support plans to open schools, and support businesses and the state’s economic recovery.

We can do it. You know the drill.

  • Get your flu shot.
  • Mask up! Wear your cloth face covering, even with people you see regularly and in your smallest social circles. Keep your mask on in your own home or vehicle if you are with people who do not live with you.
  • Keep gatherings very small and hold them outside whenever possible.
  • Avoid indoor social gatherings, but if you must participate, wear a mask and keep windows and doors open to maximize ventilation.
  • Check out our new guidance on having safer gatherings for more tips.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often.
  • Stay home if you’re sick or if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.

Practice compassion. According to Johns Hopkins University, as of October 22, 91,055 people in China have been diagnosed with COVID-19. More people in Washington state have had COVID-19 than in all of China. If this feels like a hard time, that’s because it is.

More information

Stay tuned to our blog for more information on how you can help stop the spread of COVID-19. Sign up to be notified whenever we post new articles.

Information in this blog changes rapidly. Check the state’s COVID-19 website for up-to-date and reliable info at coronavirus.wa.gov.

Answers to your questions or concerns about COVID-19 in Washington state may be found at our website. You can also contact our the Department of Health call center at 1–800–525–0127 and press # from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday — Friday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday — Sunday. Language assistance is available.

Please note that this call center cannot access COVID-19 testing results. For testing inquiries or results, please contact your health care provider.