While coronavirus (COVID-19) is new, preparing for responses to disasters is not. Hospitals and health systems conduct emergency preparedness training year-round, in each region and facility.
Hospitals treat patients with infectious diseases every day. There are protocols in place to care for these patients while ensuring the safety of hospital staff, visitors and the larger community. Hospitals also share information and best practices and deploy specific strategies that work best for their communities.
When there is threat of an illness that could cause a surge of patients, each individual hospital steps up its preparedness and coordination activities. In the case of COVID-19, hospitals around the state are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control, the Washington State Department of Health and local public health to coordinate response efforts.
COVID-19 cases in Washington are growing quickly. If you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19, we strongly recommend self-quarantining until you can get tested or your symptoms have been gone for seven days. During that time, you should wash your hands with soap and water, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, cover your mouth/nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and then through that tissue away. You can also rest, drink lots of fluids and take pain and fever medications.
The Washington State Hospital Association has collected a variety of information and resources to assist hospitals, the public and the media in responding to COVID-19, which you can view by clicking the links below.