Please note this is the initial guidance regarding COVID-19. For the latest info on reopening, please visit our Safe Start page.
I am over 65, in good health and would like to visit my family. Should I?
No. Governor’s Inslee’s Safe Start Washington plan recommends that high-risk populations, defined by the CDC as persons 65 years of age or older, anyone with underlying medical conditions, people who live in nursing homes or a long-term care facility, to continue to stay home until Phase 4, which may begin in July. It is recommended to “stay home, stay healthy”, maintain social distancing measures and wear a face mask when you go out. You put yourself and others at-risk by venturing out too early.
Older adults, 65 years and older, are at higher risk for severe illness. COVID-19 is a new disease and we are learning more about it every day. Here’s a link to the CDC with information about seniors and COVID-19. New studies show that thousands of droplets from the mouths of people who are talking loudly in confined spaces can stay in the air for between eight and 14 minutes before disappearing. For more information, read the U.S. National Institutes of Health findings.
What should I do at home to stay healthy?
The CDC has a checklist of how to prepare your home and stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, going to the bathroom and always before preparing food or eating. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Stay home when you are sick. COVID-19 signs and symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and potential inflammation in your toes. Call your physician if you develop these symptoms.
If you are having trouble sleeping, there are a handful of steps that you can take to promote better sleeping:
- set your schedule and routine
- reserve your bed for sleep, not watching tv
- see the light
- be careful with naps
- stay active
- practice kindness and foster connections with others
- use relaxation techniques
- watch what you eat/drink’
- contact your doctor if necessary
I have limited mobility and social distancing is difficult. How are others coping during this time?
We encourage you to take a moment to complete a survey from the University of Washington on mobility impacts from COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has abruptly changed travel habits of most people in the region, with telecommuting, online shopping, virtual socializing, and remote learning becoming much more widespread. Regional leaders are interested in getting a better understanding of these changes. Results from the survey will provide important information on how to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution after the threat of COVID-19 is gone.
Survey findings will be added to other data and analysis that will help shape planning activities like the update of the Regional Transportation Plan.
Will any local farmer’s markets be open for curbside pickup?
• Snohomish Farmers Market Every Thursday 3-7pm at Stocker Farms, 8705 Marsh Road, Snohomish
• Everett Farmers Market Starting 5/17/20-Every Sunday 11am –3pm Please visit website for guidelines.
• Everett Station Farmers Market Will be opening June 10th. Visit website for current status.
• Edmonds Farmers Market Saturdays 9am –2pm. Visit website for current status.
• Woodinville Farmers Market Visit website for current status.
• Monroe Farmers Market Starting Wednesday, May 27th from 2:30pm –7pm @ Galaxy Theatre in Monroe.
If you can’t make it to a market, try Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) as a way to support local farmers. CSAs are a subscription-based service where you receive boxes of farm fresh produce at an agreed time. Some will mix and match items.
I’d like help to develop a care plan that includes my healthcare directives. How do I do that?
A care plan is a form that summarizes a person’s health conditions and current treatments. Many care plans include a summary of your health conditions, medications, healthcare providers, emergency contacts, and end-of-life care options (for example, advance directives). CDC Healthcare Plan
What “errands” are considered “essential”?
Essential errands include grocery shopping, getting takeout food, getting gas, and/or visiting the pharmacy or doctors. Stay home if you are sick, and order food and other items online for home delivery. Consider ordering your grocery items online using the instacart.com web site. Rite Aid, Safeway, QFC, Costco, Fred Meyer, Petco, CVS Pharmacy, Bartell Drugs, and Albertsons in our area use this service. It’s easy and convenient.
I am a senior and would like to shop locally when there aren’t so many people in the store. What should I do?
Several local stores are offering special hours for seniors to shop:
- QFC: 7-8am Monday-Thursday.
- Albertsons, Haggen, and Safeway: Tues. & Thurs. from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m
- Target: Wednesdays, first hour after opening
- Whole Foods: Daily, one hour before opening to the general public.
Consider using instacart.com to order your groceries and pharmacy needs online.
Have any safe grocery shopping tips?
The State Department of Health has created Grocery Shopping Tips about what you should do before you go out shopping, what to do at the store, then what you should do once you get home.
Can I donate blood?
Yes! Please donate blood or plasma by scheduling online (to help minimize social contact) at https://www.bloodworksnw.org/donate (there are no mobile blood drives because they have issues transporting themselves to sites. But they have great procedures in place at their facilities). Thank you!!
I have pets. Can I get my dog groomed? Should I be concerned about them getting COVID-19?
Governor Inslee has released pet grooming guidelines as effective May 18 to allow pet groomers, veterinary clinics and other facilities that provide cleaning services to domestic animals to resume operations if they can meet and maintain certain safety practices.
The Centers for Disease Control confirmed two cases of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) infection in two pet cats. These are the first pets in the United States to test positive for SARS-CoV-2. The cats live in two separate areas of New York state. Both had mild respiratory illness and are expected to make a full recovery. SARS-CoV-2 infections have been reported in very few animals worldwide, mostly in those that had close contact with a person with COVID-19. Testing of pets is not recommended.
Public health officials are still learning about SARS-CoV-2, but there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading the virus in the United States. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals that may compromise their welfare. Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals, including pets, could be affected.
Until we know more, CDC recommends the following:
- Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
- Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
- Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals.
- Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.
If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test), restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would around other people.
- When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick.
- Avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding.
- If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.
Through the generous support of GreaterGood.org, a national nonprofit that protects people, pets and the planet, Seattle Humane worked with a team of shelter partners to create a distribution hub to get GreaterGood’s ongoing donations of pet food and supplies to those struggling financially. Check here for the map of locations. It includes Volunteers of America in Everett and some north Seattle locations that are not too far.
How do I safely remove, clean and reuse a face mask?
Montana State University has developed a handy guide about removing and cleaning a face mask. Face-Mask-Taking-Off-For-Reuse
My neighbor has a large gathering in violation of the social distancing order.
If it concerns you, you may consider reminding them of the order. Otherwise, you can call the Mukilteo Police Department’s non-emergency number 425.407.3999. Consult the Governor’s Phased Approach to business openings to keep up to date on which phase we’re in.