Despite high level of attention on COVID-19, your risk remains low | Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department

The flu is much more dangerous, as there have been 12 deaths in Pierce County due to the illness.

  • Tuesday, February 18, 2020 10:11am
  • LifeNews
Image courtesy the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department

Image courtesy the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department

The following was written by Stephanie Dunkel for the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department blog, Your Reliable Source:

Your exposure risk to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Washington remains low. The amount of national and internal news coverage on the unprecedented global response to the outbreak may make it hard to keep the low risk here in perspective.

WHAT IS MY RISK OF COVID-19?

Your risk of contracting 2019 novel coronavirus very low. Pierce County still has no novel coronavirus cases.

Our state has had only one confirmed case of the disease—a man in Snohomish County. He is out of the hospital and recovering.

Limits on travel and health screenings for people who visited mainland China—where the outbreak originated—keep the risk of infection here very low. These measures were part of the Jan. 31 presidential order.

WHAT IS PUBLIC HEALTH DOING TO RESPOND TO COVID-19?

Since Jan. 24, more than 42 staff have been working 24/7 on a special response team to keep the risk low. This is your public health system working. We take these steps to protect people’s health, and our community can be confident in this public health safety net.

In response to the first U.S. case of novel coronavirus, we quickly began working to:

  • Coordinate with our partners in other local health jurisdictions, Washington Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control to ensure the public health safety net protects our community.
  • Work with our healthcare partners to provide up-to-date guidance for screening patients.
  • Plan and prepare for public health prevention strategies if we see disease spread.
  • Keep the public informed with timely and accurate information.

Out of an abundance of caution, we are working with Pierce County residents who have recently traveled from mainland China. Our guidance asks them to self-monitor and stay home from work, school, and social gatherings. They are not sick. We provide them with a line of communication if they have any changes in their health.

The monitoring period lasts 14 days—the incubation period for the disease. This is a proactive public health intervention to prevent the potential spread of disease. Once they complete the monitoring period without symptoms, they can return to their normal activities. If someone in self-monitoring develops symptoms, we will act quickly to get a healthcare provider to evaluate the person and get them tested.

While the risk of novel coronavirus remains low, the flu is cause for concern in Pierce County. We have 12 reported deaths and hundreds of people have gone to the hospital. It’s not too late to get a flu shot, your best protection against the flu. To prevent the spread of disease, also remember to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Stay home when you’re sick.

The novel coronavirus may be new. Our preparations and response are not. This is the work public health does day in and day out to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County.

Please make sure to rely on and share trusted sources of information and avoid comments that spread misinformation.

Learn more about novel coronavirus at www.tpchd.org/coronavirus.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

A train route that would shuttle people between Eastern and Western Washington could tie in with the proposed ultra-high-speed rail between B.C. and Portland. Photo courtesy RobertStafford/Pixabay.com
State receives King County to Spokane rail study

It would take about eight and a half hours to reach the Inland Empire from Puget Sound.

Assessments are in, Pierce County property values continue to climb

Properties in Orting saw the greatest percentage increase over last year

Courtesy of Mountain View Fire and Rescue
Mountain View Fire and Rescue seeks levy on Aug. 4 primary ballot

Service area includes unincorporated King County near the cities of Auburn, Enumclaw and Kent.

Bret Chiafalo. File photo
Supreme Court says state can punish WA faithless electors

Justices: Presidential electors, including Everett man, must keep pledge to back popular vote winner

Enumclaw, Black Diamond police blotter | June 24 – July 6

Garbage bears, racing jet skis, and illegal fireworks.

Owner of proposed Enumclaw Recycling Center ordered to close Auburn location

King County has been trying to shutter the Buckley Recycle Center for nearly 15 years, and claims the lack of progress at the Enumclaw site shows the owner has little interest in complying with county regulations.

Gov. Jay Inslee issued new guidance allowing the resumption of self-service buffets, salad bars, salsa bars, drink stations and other types of communal food sources in Phase 2. File photo
Buffets and salad bars back on the menu in King County

Gov. Jay Inslee has revised rules to allow self-serve food areas in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening.

Brian Tilley (left) and Katie Dearman work the wash station Friday at Kate’s Greek American Deli in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Governor’s no-mask, no-service order begins across Washington

“Just do not ring up the sale,” Gov. Jay Inslee said about customers who do not don the proper masks.

King County homeless count: 11,751 people, up 5 percent from 2019

One night a year, volunteers spread out across Seattle and King County… Continue reading

Most Read