Don’t be fooled by COVID-19 misinformation

The World Health Organization has said that not only do we have a pandemic, but we also have an infodemic going on. An infodemic is too much information — some accurate and some not — that makes it hard for people to tell the difference between reliable information and harmful speculation. Don’t get fooled by misinformation!

Illustration of people looking at their phones saying, “Try to stop the spread of false information.”

Help us bust these common myths

COVID-19 has nothing to do with 5G. Viruses cannot travel on radio waves or mobile networks. Also, COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks. COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings or speaks.

Public health officials regularly ask people who are sick with an infectious disease, or who may have been exposed to an infectious disease, to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. This strategy has been used for decades to combat the spread of tuberculosis, measles, Ebola, and SARS. Our experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, and with other infectious diseases, shows the vast majority of people we ask are willing to follow recommendations and isolate or quarantine themselves. Isolation and quarantine at home continues to be the best option and our recommendation for those who can do so safely. All of these actions are voluntary and confidential.

There have been a small number of pets worldwide reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. It does look like people can spread COVID-19 to their pets, but it does not look like it’s very easy for people to get COVID-19 from their pets. Treat pets more or less as you would human family members — do not let pets interact with people or animals outside the household. If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets.

Your cloth face covering is not airtight. It will not keep you from breathing or prevent you from getting enough oxygen. If you ever feel like you’re having trouble breathing, remove the cloth face covering and sit down. If the feeling persists, call 911.

The governor is working to figure out what the next steps will be as we move closer to May 31, when his current order expires. We will continue to open slowly and cautiously, making decisions that are driven by public health data and science. Counties that continue to have large numbers of people with COVID-19 are not in a position to open up stores, restaurants and services safely yet.

Spending time outside is good for our physical and mental health. Most state lands and parks are now open for day use; camping at state parks is still not allowed. Here are some reminders about how to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 at the park:

  • Stay local. Find a place to hike, picnic, or take a walk that is close to home. Please avoid traveling outside your own county borders to popular destinations
  • Avoid crowded areas. Public gatherings are still not allowed.
  • Enjoy the outdoors with people in your immediate household.
  • Follow physical distancing and etiquette rules, such as wearing a cloth face covering and staying six feet apart from others.

Practice compassion

Misinformation can cause fear and anxiety, and we have enough of that already. Take care of your friends and family by making sure to pass on information from credible sources.

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.

Department of Health call center: 1–800–525–0127, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m, seven days a week

Please check our website for the most up-to-date info on Washington’s response to COVID-19 at www.doh.wa.gov/coronavirus.

Spread the facts.

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