Health Advisory: COVID-19 Outbreak Updates

Older man in lab coat with gloves inserting liquid into a vial

Requested actions:

Follow CDC’s updated testing criteria for suspected COVID-19.

  • Be aware COVID-19 cases are increasing in Washington and throughout the United States.
  • Commercial labs now offer the COVID-19 test, in addition to the University of Washington and State Public Health labs.
  • Immediately report these types of suspect cases to the Health Department:
    • Healthcare workers.
    • Residents of:
      • Long-term care.
      • Senior or elderly care.
      • Congregate living.
      • Shelters.
      • Jails.
      • Inpatient mental health.
    • Deaths.
  • Report confirmed cases to the Health Department. Confirmed cases can be reported to us via fax to our secure fax line (360) 425-7531.
  • Seriously ill patients should be tested.
  • Low-risk people with symptoms should stay home until 7 days after symptom onset or 72 hours after they are fever-free, whichever is longer.
  • Healthcare systems, including hospitals and long-term care facilities, should consider implementing visitor restrictions, health screening and restricting children in high-risk areas.

Patient instructions

Provide patients with these instructions.


Most COVID-19 illnesses are not severe—80% are mild. In outbreak situations, lab capacity can be limited. Healthcare systems can become overwhelmed. Patients who are mildly sick likely do not need a healthcare visit. Direct patients to self-care measures, staying home when they are sick and calling their healthcare provider if symptoms worsen.

Outbreaks of COVID-19 in King and Snohomish counties, along with changes in CDC testing guidance, have exceeded public health’s ability to immediately respond to reports of suspected COVID-19. Hospitals and healthcare providers on the front lines are seeing increased demand on resources.

Contacting the Health Department after business hours

To report, call (360) 414-5599 x 6431 during business hours, (360) 636-9595 after hours. Confirmed cases can also be reported to us via fax to our secure fax line (360) 425-7531.

Additional resources