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Guidance for residential care settings respond to outbreaks of COVID-19

This site links you to the information necessary to respond to transmission of respiratory viruses in residential care settings. Residential care settings include assisted living facilities, adult family homes, supported living facilities and enhanced services facilities.

Residential care settings should follow standard community prevention strategies for respiratory viruses. This guidance outlines prevention strategies that all residential care facilities are recommended to follow.

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) encourage residential care settings to follow the DOH guidance for what to do if someone has COVID-19 or another respiratory virus. The DOH guidance includes standard community prevention strategies and some additional protections for high-risk settings.

The care provided in residential care settings and resident risk factors may vary. Residential care settings are encouraged to assess the risks of their residents or clients and determine if the healthcare guidance should be used. This may be particularly important during times of high respiratory virus circulation in the community. Learn more about local respiratory virus data.

Facilities experiencing an outbreak are encouraged to use the COVID-19 Preparedness and Outbreak Control Checklist for Long Term Care Facilities (396 KB) (DOH).

Key resources:

Outbreak definitions

PHSKC aligns with DOH outbreak definitions for COVID-19. Review current definitions for your setting (642 KB).

Reporting to Public Health – Seattle & King County

  • New cases and outbreaks in King County should be reported to PHSKC using the Public Health COVID-19 Intake Survey.
  • COVID-19 cases linked to an existing outbreak should be reported every Monday through the weekly investigation update.

King County Resources

To request an onsite Infection Control Assessment, email your request to

To request support for COVID-19 vaccines for your residents, please call 206-848-0243 or email