How to protect yourself and others
On March 23, Governor Jay Inslee announced a “stay home, stay healthy” order. This means only leaving the home for essential activities, like grocery store trips. It is crucial that everyone follows this order to protect themselves and others. Other ways to protect yourself include the following:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer, with at least 60% alcohol if water is not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
If you have any symptoms of illness, follow these tips to protect others:
- Contact your healthcare provider by phone. Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care, or other health facility without calling first.
- Stay at home while you are sick, and avoid close contact with others.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and immediately dispose of the used tissue.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
Should I wear a mask?
On April 3, the CDC released new recommendations on wearing cloth masks in public. In it, they highlight that we now know that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms. In light of this new evidence, they recommend wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).
On May 11, the City of Seattle Health Officer Directive on mask use is in effect, which strongly urges everyone to wear a mask in public settings. Based on this, we will be requiring cloth face coverings in our communities for all staff on shift, for any resident who leaves their apartment for an essential outing, and for any visitors.
It is critical to emphasize that complying with the Governor’s “stay at home, stay healthy” order, maintaining 6-feet social distancing, and rigorous hand hygeine remains important to slowing the spread of the virus. Mask use does not replace the need to follow these important precautions to prevent illness. Please remember that medical-grade masks are in short supply and should be reserved for health care workers. Cloth masks may be better than nothing at all, but we consider them a last resort for our employees interacting with residents who are ill.
Please note that these pages are not intended to be all-encompassing and should not be considered to be providing medical advice. In all instances, you should consult with a relevant expert for guidance specific to your circumstances.