Stay Home, Stay Healthy

What to do if you are ill 

If you are ill with fever and a cough or shortness of breath, stay home. If you are unsure of how to care for yourself or are concerned about your condition, call your health care provider for advice. If you feel you need to visit your doctor, call them first. Keep yourself separated from other people and animals in your home. Cover your coughs and sneezes and wash your hands often. 

Leave some for your neighbor. Don’t buy more than you need! 

Washington's supply chains are operating normally, yet consumers are overstocking and clearing store shelves of the items that sick neighbors, doctors, dentists and emergency response personnel need to stay safe. Health experts emphasize the best way to protect yourself from infection is through washing your hands frequently and limiting contact with others, not by overstocking certain supplies. Leave some for the folks who need them most! 

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Governor Inslee has asked Washington residents to stay home. You might have questions about what that means. Here are some answers that may help.  

What does it mean to stay home 

Can I go outside? 

Yes. In fact, it is good for you to go for walks, check your mailbox, and sit in the sunshine. Just remember to stay at least six feet away from others, avoid travel, and avoid crowds.  

Can my family or friends come visit? 

You should cancel or postpone in-person visits. But, you don’t have to isolate yourself! Keep in touch with your family and friends through phone and video calls, emails and letters, and virtual gatherings. You can use phone apps and social media platforms for group conversations and video chatting. 

I live with other people who come and go. What do I do? 

Encourage everyone in your household to stay home unless they need groceries, prescriptions, or if they are still required to work. Anyone who goes out should wash their hands immediately when they get home. In your house, clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces, such as remote controls, phones, countertops, and doorknobs.  

How can I protect myself if I have to go out? 

If you have to go out, carry hand sanitizer or disinfecting wipes, stay at least six feet away from others, cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, and wash your hands when you get home. It’s a good idea to also clean off any items you bring home with you before you use them.  

How can I get groceries and prescriptions? 

Many grocery store chains will deliver goods and prescriptions. Stores are also reserving times for people who are older, pregnant, or have health conditions to shop. Check your local grocery store for more information. You can also ask friends and family to help you get what you need.  

Should I cancel my vacation plans? 

Yes. It is best to cancel or postpone any plans that involve traveling or being around people.  

Should I cancel my doctor appointments? 

Talk to your doctor about whether you should cancel your appointments. If you have a condition that requires treatment, your doctor may ask you to come in. Or, your doctor may be able to conduct your appointment over the phone or online. 

I have a healthcare appointment. Can my healthcare provider still see me? 

Before going to an appointment, please contact your healthcare provider by telephone or online to confirm they are still seeing patients. Ask what steps you may need to take before arriving to help protect yourself and others. Some service providers and insurance companies are providing some healthcare consultations virtually. Check with your healthcare provider or insurance company for more information.

Should I wear a homemade cloth facemask?   

The Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that people wear homemade cloth face coverings when they are in public settings where they cannot maintain six feet of distance from others. This might include trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, hardware store, health clinic or similar places.

This recommendation is not a substitute for existing guidance to maintain six feet of physical distance from non-household members and performing frequent hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Wearing cloth face coverings will not prevent spread of COVID-19 without these other protective measures. 

Can I go to my place of worship? 

Phase 1 of Governor Inslee’s Safe Start plan allows for drive-in spiritual services. In addition, many places of worship are offering services over the internet. 

Will I get my Social Security benefits? 

Yes. If you get a phone call from someone who says there is problem with your Social Security account, hang up. Unfortunately, people are scamming others.  

What should I do if I start to feel sick? 

Call your doctor before you leave the house to get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have symptoms that are getting worse, have a chronic health condition, or have shortness of breath. If you are experiencing an emergency, call 9-1-1. 

Where can I get tested for COVID-19? 

Call or email your healthcare provider for information about local testing options. If you do not have a local healthcare provider, please check with your county health department.

How long will this last? 

Governor Inslee’s current Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is through May 31 with limited non-essential activities allowed under Phase 1 of the Safe Start reopening plan.

Resources: Stay Home, Stay Healthy