April 6, 2020
The novel coronavirus (named “2019-nCoV”) was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11th, 2020. Over a million confirmed cases of coronavirus have spread throughout the world. In the U.S., hundreds of thousand cases have been confirmed to date, though health authorities anticipate more cases to develop.
Washington State Impact
- In Washington State, there are currently more than 8,000 COVID-19 infections and over 330 people have died from the virus, most related to a assisted living facility in Kirkland, Washington, outside of Seattle.
- On February 29, Governor Jay Inslee issued a declaration of emergency for Washington State in order to mobilize resources and maximize containment of infections. King County issued an emergency declaration on March 2, and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan followed with a Proclamation of Emergency. The declarations allow the state, county and city to mobilize resources quickly to contain COVID-19 spread.
Guidance for Travelers
- On 3/15 Governor Inslee announced, "Given the explosion of COVID-19 in our state and globally, I will sign a statewide emergency proclamation tomorrow to temporarily shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities. Restaurants will be allowed to provide take-out and delivery services but no in-person dining will be permitted. The ban will not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies. Other retail outlets will have reduced occupancy."
- The U.S. Department of State and Centers for Disease Control have issued advisories for travel to foreign countries with sizeable COVID-19 outbreaks:
- Travelers arriving to the U.S. from China are required to be monitored for 14 days
- The CDC operates public health entry screening/quarantines at the 13 U.S. airports and border crossings in El Paso and San Diego. Airport screening checkpoints for Chinese inbound flights include Seattle-Tacoma (SEA); New York (JFK); Los Angeles (LAX); San Francisco (SFO); Chicago (ORD); and Atlanta (ATL); Anchorage (ANC); Boston (BOS); Dallas (DFW); Detroit (DTW); Minneapolis (MSP); Newark (EWR); Washington Dulles (IAD); Philadelphia (PHL); and San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU).
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) travel advisory
- The airport has installed additional hand sanitizers and dispenser stations and regular airport cleanings are using hospital-grade disinfectants. Janitorial contractors have been trained in bio-hazard cleaning in case it's needed. Cleaning protocols for employee shuttle buses, buses serving the rental car facility, and bigger transport buses that shuttle passengers to and from planes have been stepped up and improved.
- A webpage devoted to Covid-19 resources throughout Washington can be found here.
- On 3/23, Washington State Parks and Recreation announced the closure of all state parks until further notice. Details can be found here.
Public Health and Traveler Resources
- Travelers are encouraged to follow guidance issued by official public health sources
- Washington State Department of Health
- Washington State Health Care Authority
General COVID-19 Information