Public Health – Seattle & King County shared perspectives from our local leadership about George Floyd's tragic death, yet one more in an endless string of violence perpetrated against Black people in our country, and answered questions about participating in protests while reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19.
In recent days, community members joined protests locally and across the country in response to the death of George Floyd and so many Black lives that have been taken through senseless, violent and racist acts. This racism and hate comes on top of the stress, burden and illness being inequitably experienced by Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other people of color during the pandemic, the result of centuries of systemic racism.
Public Health recognizes the difficult choices that people were faced with this past weekend. Many in our community grappled with attending protests to stand up against these injustices while also wanting to keep our community safe from further spread of COVID-19.
Statements by public health leaders and answers to key questions are available at our recent blog post, Answering questions about protests and COVID-19.
Here are ways to help keep our community safe:
- Remember that physical distancing and other measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 are not all-or-nothing. Even if you attended large group gatherings, it's just as important that you continue to stay home whenever possible, remain at least 6 feet away from others and wear a face covering when in public, wash your hands, and avoid touching your face.
- People who have been at group gatherings should take precautions, understand the risks and monitor their health for 14 days afterwards. Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested right away, whether they've been at a protest or not.
- This is an extremely difficult time for many and may place a particular burden on Black people in our community. Tending to the emotional and mental health needs of our community is an important part of public health, especially now. Witnessing this trauma repeatedly effects mental health, especially for communities of color. Check-up on friends, family and community, as well as checking in with yourself. Take a look at this blog post for more mental and emotional health resources.
King County proceeding toward limited business re-opening
As part of the Governor's Safe Start reopening plan, King County anticipates submitting its application for a modified Phase 1 permit to the Washington State Department of Health on Tuesday, June 2nd. This will allow for limited re-opening of some businesses that are able to meet the State's reopening guidance. Assuming full state approval, local businesses should prepare for modified Phase 1 activities as soon as Friday, June 5th.
Daily totals for new COVID-19 cases and deaths are available on Public Health's Data Dashboard webpage, which updates as soon as data are available, typically between 1-3 p.m.
Isolation and quarantine facilities update
Isolation and quarantine is a proven public health practice for reducing the spread of disease.
Eighty-four people are currently staying in King County isolation and quarantine facilities. This number includes crew members admitted on Sunday from an American Seafoods’ fishing boat that returned to its home port in Seattle with a number of cases of COVID-19. For more information, contact American Seafoods.