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Immigrant and refugee community leaders and organizations urge everyone to know the facts about the coronavirus, not to stigmatize individuals and families from particular groups, and to speak out against bias and harassment.

After the international news broke about the coronavirus and Washington's first case confirmed on January 21, immigrant and refugee community leaders and organizations have noticed an alarming increase in bias and harassment against our Asian American communities. We are deeply concerned about the adverse impact and ask everyone to have accurate information about the coronavirus including what are the appropriate precautions to take to prevent the illness.

Reliable and factual information is available online from our local and state public health officials and from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). We are encouraging everyone to practice preventative measures, like those for the common flu or a cold that includes proper handwashing with soap and water and covering your cough or sneeze in your elbow. If you are ill, stay home and seek healthcare.

For those who may or already have confronted bias or harassment, there are resources, including in some cities, ways to report to local law enforcement an incident of bias. Please check online for additional information. We encourage everyone to promote correct information about the coronavirus, its risk and transmission, and the importance of not stigmatizing a group based on background or country of origin.