Seattle, Wash. — The Washington State Nurses Associ­a­tion (WSNA), Washington State Medical Associ­a­tion (WSMA), and Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (WCAAP), repre­senting more than 30,000 health profes­sionals in the state, today issued the following statement.

We appre­ciate the strong partner­ship between our state’s health care providers and local and state public health officials. Our organi­za­tions are working closely with public health, hospi­tals, and our members to ensure both providers and patients are adequately protected from trans­mis­sion of COVID-19,” said WSNA Presi­dent Lynnette Vehrs, MN, RN.

Nurses and physi­cians are on the front­line of our health care system and will be the first respon­ders as COVID-19 moves through our commu­nity. It is imper­a­tive that we ensure proto­cols, protec­tions, and rapid commu­ni­ca­tion with caregivers who are exposed are in place,” said Vehrs. And we join public health in urging our commu­ni­ties to frequently wash hands, to cover coughs and sneezes, and to stay home when sick.”

The Washington State Medical Associ­a­tion extends its grati­tude for the tremen­dous ongoing efforts of our public health and health provider commu­nity, who are responding urgently and skill­fully to manage this outbreak,” said WSMA Presi­dent William K. Hirota, MD.

We urge all physi­cians and health care colleagues providing patient care in Washington to follow the recom­mended screening and reporting guide­lines for COVID-19, as well as the neces­sary safety precau­tions” said Dr. Hirota. And please — talk with your patients, answer their questions, and help guide them to accurate, evidence-based infor­ma­tion. We are a trusted source of health advice for our patients. As we work to stem the spread of this virus, let’s also do our part to stem the spread of misinformation.”

In addition, I urge extra precau­tion when using approved disin­fec­tant wipes, and not to inadver­tently mix those which contain chloride bleach with those that contain ammonium chloride. Both of these wipes are utilized in cleaning equip­ment in our hospi­tals and facil­i­ties,” said Dr. Hirota

The Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics echoes the grati­tude expressed for front­line caregivers across the state working with public health officials to help stem the spread of COVID-19 in our commu­ni­ties. While we are thankful that a small minority of severe cases thus far have been reported in children globally, the situa­tion is constantly changing, and pediatric providers must be vigilant in following screening guide­lines and safety precau­tions outlined by public health officials,” said WCAAP Presi­dent Eliza­beth Meade, MD, FAAP.

We also recog­nize that parents of young children are likely to be among the most worried about COVID-19, and we encourage parents to follow preven­tive guidance, and health care providers to continue to direct families to evidence-based, reputable sources of infor­ma­tion,” said Dr. Meade. Families may be affected by school closures, and it is critical that children with respi­ra­tory symptoms stay out of school just as adults who are ill should avoid going to work.”

The WSMA, WSNA, and WCAAP are working closely with the Washington State Depart­ment of Health and the state’s provider commu­nity to ensure health profes­sionals have the latest, up-to-date clinical guidance on COVID-19. While health care providers will be working to respond to new cases of COVID-19, the organi­za­tions encourage Washing­to­nians to follow public health guidance on how to prevent disease transmission:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not readily avail­able, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover coughs or sneezes with tissue and then wash hands.

###

About WSNA
The Washington State Nurses Associ­a­tion is the leading voice and advocate for nurses in Washington state, providing repre­sen­ta­tion, educa­tion, and resources that allow nurses to reach their full profes­sional poten­tial and focus on caring for patients.

About the WSMA
The Washington State Medical Associ­a­tion repre­sents nearly 11,000 physi­cians, physi­cian assis­tants, resident physi­cians and medical students in Washington state. The WSMA has advocated on behalf of the house of medicine more than 125 years. Our vision is to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care.

About the WCAAP
The Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics has advocated for the health and well-being of Washington’s children and their families since 1934. The WCAAP repre­sents over 1100 pediatric health care providers from across Washington State. Our mission is to optimize the health and well-being of children and their families while advancing pediatric care. WCAAP frames and leads the public discus­sion on child health issues, advances public policy to benefit children, and empowers pedia­tri­cians to provide quality medical care.

CONTACT

Ruth Schubert
WSNA Commu­ni­ca­tions Director
206.713.7884 or rschubert@wsna.org

Graham Short
WSMA Associate Director of Commu­ni­ca­tions
206.956.3633 or gfs@wsma.org

Jennifer Donahue
WCAAP Commu­ni­ca­tions Manager
206.713.1087 or jdonahue@wcaap.org

200303 covid statement logos