Coronavirus in King County

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Councilman Dunn Banner

Your Update on What's Happening at the King County Council  

Conronavirus update


Image courtesy of Public Health - Seattle & King County

Dear Friends & Neighbors: 

As expected, King County has its first cases of novel coronavirus, and more cases have been identified in the U.S. The vast majority of the illnesses around the world are mild, with fever and cough. A much smaller percentage of cases are severe and involve pneumonia, particularly in elderly people and people with underlying medical conditions. 

Sadly, one person in King County has died. It's important that everyone take steps to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Last night, I expressed my full support to our King County Execuitve and public health agencies. This is not the time for policy debate, but instead, we must join together as a single county with the goal of providing the best public health services possible to the nearly 2.4 million people who call King County home. I believe we should be doing everything possible now to prevent, identify and treat COVID 19.  

As I weigh our options, I want you to know that I would rather do too much battling this now than leave options on the table we didn’t employ...and then regret it later. I believe the situation demands that governing approach. I ask for your support as we fight this public health challenge together. 

This is a quickly evolving situation. I will be sending out periodic updates moving forward. But for now, I wanted you to have the following information:

What are the symptoms?

People who have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus have reported symptoms that may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

What to do if you believe you have been exposed or are experiencing symptoms? 

  • Call your doctor – do not go into a medical facility.
  • Your doctor will make an assessment about next steps. If it is determined that you should be screened for coronavirus, your doctor will contact Public Health to make arrangements for screening.
  • Take all appropriate precautions. Do not go to work if you are sick. Wash your hands often and do not touch your face.

How can I protect myself from novel coronavirus?

If you are traveling overseas (to China but also to other places) follow the CDC’s guidance:

Right now, the novel coronavirus has not been spreading widely in the United States, so there are no additional precautions recommended for the general public.

Steps you can take to prevent spread of flu and the common cold will also help prevent coronavirus:

  • wash hands often with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
  • cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

Currently, there are no vaccines available to prevent novel coronavirus infections.

Here is the latest information from King County, including links for more information and guidance for how to minimize risk of infection:

  • There are multiple illnesses associated with a nursing home and a dialysis facility. We are working closely with their leadership, staff, and families to contain and manage the situation at these facilities.
  • Health officials are working as rapidly as possible to identify others in the community who have been exposed, isolate them and get them tested for coronavirus.
  • Public Health – Seattle & King County (Public Health) is fully activated through its Incident Command structure. They are in close contact with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Washington State Department of Health (DOH), hospitals, the Emergency Medical Services system, as well as our state and federal delegation. CDC in particular is providing close assistance, and is sending a high level team to King County to help with the response.
  • King County government is coordinating together with Public Health to share information, deploy resources, and respond at the maximum capacity we are able.
  • We have experience in responding to pandemics and our health officials have tremendous expertise and skills, but this is a very quickly-moving situation and information is changing daily.
  • Health officials expect there will be additional cases locally and nationally as the coronavirus spreads more broadly. Our residents should plan to stay informed and follow health guidance carefully.

Links to more information from Public Health, DOH and CDC:

Again, this is a quickly evolving situation. I will be sending out periodic updates moving forward. 


Until next time, 

Reagan Dunn

King County Council

District 9