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Wildfire smoke preparedness during COVID-19 pandemic

  • Wildfire smoke is unhealthy for everyone. Children, pregnant women, people over 65 years of age, or who have a respiratory disease or illness, heart disease, or diabetes are must vulnerable.
  • Wildfire smoke this summer may create additional risk for people with COVID-19 and worsen symptoms.
  • Many people most susceptible to COVID-19 are also those most vulnerable to the impacts of wildfire smoke.
  • Cloth and surgical masks will only provide very little protection against wildfire smoke. N95 respirators can help protect against wildfire smoke when used properly. Due to COVID-19, these types of respirators are in short supply.
  • Be prepared for wildfire smoke this year by taking steps to prepare your home, knowing where you can go, making a personal health plan with your healthcare provider, and learning how to stay informed about air quality conditions and wildfire smoke forecasts.
  • Prepare your home by filtering the air inside your home
    • If you have an HVAC system, upgrade your system's filters with MERV 11, MERV 13, or HEPA filters according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
    • Consider buying an indoor portable air cleaner to filter air in a single room to create a cleaner air room in your home.
  • Creating your own air filter is also a low-cost way to improve air quality of a single room in your home to create a cleaner air room. Information on how to make a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) portable air cleaner and important safety tips to follow can be found on Puget Sound Clean Air Agency's website: and on the Public Health Insider (includes a 2 minute video instruction).
  • If you have an existing health condition, create a personal health plan to make sure you are prepared for wildfire smoke by talking with a healthcare provider about your health and how wildfire smoke might impact you.
  • Stay informed about air quality conditions and wildfire smoke forecasts this summer going to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency's website.