Answering your COVID-19 questions

We continue to learn more about COVID-19 and how lives of Washingtonians are impacted. Let’s review some of our Frequently Asked Questions.

Who do I contact to report a business is remaining open?

Remember, “essential” businesses are allowed to operate because they provide a service that is critical to the health and safety of Washingtonians. If you’re concerned that a non-essential business is open and not complying with the governor’s order, you can file a complaint using this online form.

Should my child be getting routine vaccinations now?

During this pandemic, about the last thing we need is to start an outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles on top of COVID-19. This is why the Washington State Department of Health recommends that routine vaccination should continue. We know that right now, some health care providers may not be able to provide well-child visits for all patients in their practice. However, we are asking health care providers, if they can provide only limited well-child visits, to prioritize newborn care and vaccination of infants and young children (through 24 months of age) when possible.

We and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are monitoring the situation and may provide additional guidance in the future. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has also provided guidance on immunizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Don’t these wipes say that they are flushable?

Please do not flush anything but toilet paper and what came out of you. Even wipes that are labeled “flushable” can cause major issues with wastewater and septic systems. Wipes also wreak havoc in municipal systems by plugging collecting lines and pumps.

How does the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order affect kids who live with two parents in separate houses?

The governor has clarified that his stay home-stay healthy order should not interfere with a private parenting plan. So, kids can travel to see both parents, as previously agreed in the parenting plan.

Are funerals banned by the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order?

Licensed funeral homes and cemeteries may conduct funeral services in a funeral home or at a graveside as long as the funeral is attended only by immediate family members of the deceased. The family members in attendance must maintain proper social distancing, by staying six feet apart.

I thought you were going to update the data on your website every day?

We thought so too. And we will. As soon as we can. Please know, we are committed to data transparency. We are working to ensure daily numbers are posted on time, but have had many recent challenges with our tracking system.

We’re having some technical difficulties with the Washington Disease Reporting System (WDRS). WDRS is the database labs and health care providers use to report notifiable conditions, like COVID-19, to us. Usually, we only ask for positive test results, but, for COVID-19, we are also tracking negative test results. The good news is that there are many more negative results than positive. The bad news is that this volume is overwhelming the system. We are working with the vendor supporting WDRS to increase capacity and looking into other ideas that might help. We’ll keep you updated if these technical issues persist.

Got more questions? Check out the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website to find answers.

Practice compassion

Are you working from home? In this virtual world don’t forget actual conversations. Give co-workers a call to check in on them, send an encouraging email, or share a funny (and safe for work) meme. These moments of connection give meaning to our work and make it more enjoyable. Stay home, stay connected, and stay healthy!

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 call center at 1–800–525–0127. Hours: 6 am-10 pm, seven days a week.

Public Health Connection

From the Washington State Department of Health

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