Update on statewide response to 2019 novel coronavirus

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

From the Washington Department of Health

As the investigation into 2019 novel coronavirus continues, the Washington State Department of Health is sharing important data points to help the public understand and track the progress and the work being done statewide. 

The immediate health risk from novel coronavirus to Washington residents is still considered low at this time.

Across the state, we have identified 8 persons under investigation (PUI). A person under investigation (PUI) is an ill person with possible 2019 n-CoV infection who is in the process of being tested.

The current number of close contacts stands at 63. This is the number of people potentially exposed to the virus who are being actively monitored in Washington state. A close contact is a person who has been within about 6 feet of a person with confirmed 2019 n-CoV infection for a prolonged period of time or has had direct contact with secretions from a person with confirmed 2019 n-CoV infection. The definition used in Washington is the same as the CDC definition. We plan to update the number of close contacts daily at 3pm here on the Department of Health website.

We will update our website daily with:
  • The number of confirmed 2019 novel coronavirus cases in Washington.
  • The number of people who are currently being monitored due to having close contact with a person who is confirmed to have 2019 novel coronavirus.
  • The number of ill persons under investigation (PUI) for possible infection.

The patient with confirmed 2019 n-CoV is still in satisfactory condition and in the same unit at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett. Providence is coordinating with the CDC, the Department of Health, and the Snohomish Health District to monitor and treat the patient. No discharge date has been set.

The 2019 novel coronavirus is concerning because it’s a new strain and can cause pneumonia

The Washington State Department of Health wants to ensure that the public is aware of the ways we are working to keep the public informed every day. The multi-agency public response to Washington’s first case of 2019 novel coronavirus is ongoing, as these teams partner to learn more about this emerging issue.

There are steps people can take to reduce their risk of getting any viral respiratory infections. These include:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces

It is also important for people to stay at home away from others if they are sick and for people to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash their hands

DOH has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington state, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.


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