Latest on COVID-19 in WA

According to the WA State Department of Health (as of March 2, 12:30pm), we currently have 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Washington state with 6 deaths (14 in King County including 5 deaths, as well as 4 cases and 1 death in Snohomish County). As of today, our members at Sacred Heart Medical Center, Evergreen Hospital, Overlake Medical Center, and Virginia Mason are caring for patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. The situation is very fluid, and we expect that many of our hospitals will be impacted in the days and weeks to come. A team from CDC is here in Seattle working with Public Health. King County Executive Dow Constantine has signed a declaration of emergency, as has Governor Jay Inslee.

Do you feel prepared to provide care for a patient with known or suspected COVID-19?

Please take 5 minutes and respond to this COVID-19 readiness survey. We need to hear from you in order to address your questions and concerns and continue our advocacy.

Notify WSNA if you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 in your workplace

  • If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, immedi­ately let your Local Unit Officers and WSNA Nurse Repre­sen­ta­tive know.
  • WSNA is tracking reported exposures so we can coordi­nate with public health officials and hold hospital admin­is­tra­tion account­able for your protec­tion as a caregiver as well as ensure applic­able contrac­tual rights and benefit are made avail­able to you.

WSNA response

Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA) is working closely with local and state public health officials. Our primary concern is the safety and protection of our nurses and the patients we serve. Registered nurses and other providers 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 make sure protocols, protections, and rapid communication with caregivers who are exposed are in place. WSNA has assem­bled a staff leader­ship team to coordi­nate the union’s response to this issue, to inform our members, and demand action from hospital manage­ment to protect our nurse members.

WSNA demands immediate trans­parency and account­ability from hospital administration

WSNA intends to hold the hospital admin­is­tra­tion account­able to the safety and welfare of our members. We are currently commu­ni­cating with admin­is­tra­tion at all of the WSNA represented facilities regarding our members who are exposed and may be exposed to ensure the appro­priate personal protec­tive equip­ment and appro­priate precau­tions are avail­able to all nurses. We will continue to commu­ni­cate with you on developments.

Have you been exposed to patients who has tested positive to COVID-19?

Please take 5 minutes and respond to this COVID-19 readiness survey. We need to hear from you in order to address your questions and concerns and continue our advocacy

Joint statement with WA State Medical Association & Academy of Pediatricians

“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.”

Read the full statement

24x7 Department of Health Hotline

If you have questions about how the virus is spread or what to do if you have symptoms: 1−800−525−0127 and press #.

What are the symptoms and what should I do if I believe I have been exposed COVID-19?

  • If you develop symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.) seek medical care from your provider or the emergency department for severe symptoms.
  • Contact the provider or emergency depart­ment to alert them prior to your arrival at the facility.
  • Contact/​notify your health­care provider immediately.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue if you must cough or sneeze.
  • Sanitize hands frequently to prevent spread of infection.

Where can I find more infor­ma­tion about COVID-19?

Personal and family preparedness

While we should expect to see the number of local cases of Coron­avirus increase over the coming week(s), Public Health’s advice on how to protect ourselves remains the same:

  • 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 hand
  • Have extra food on hand
  • Order needed prescrip­tions or medica­tions now (both because many drugs are manufac­tured in China where produc­tion has been impacted by the Corona­virus outbreak)

Finally, remember that stigma does not prevent illness and the risk of novel coronavirus is not connected with race, ethnicity or nationality. We should all do our part to keep informed and not make assumptions, discriminate or spread incorrect information.

Please contact your WSNA Nurse Representative with any questions or concerns