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COVID-19 : Northwest Response 2020

March 5th, 2020


Washington State - Leads the nation in national public health crises which first emerged in Wuhan, China in January of 2019. Called the Novel (new) Corona Virus or 2019-nCoV was later named COVID-19 adding the year of discovery to the name. Over time this virus could mutate creating an entirely new version which could be named COVID-20, if discovered this year.

At this time CDC along with other local, state, tribal, and federal communities and organizations are working to either contain or mitigate the effects of virus spread.

Social Distancing:

In short, keep your distance away from other people. This is an effective non-pharmacological interventions (NPI) strategy to mitigate the spread between people. However, virus could not still live on surfaces once people are dispersed. Disinfecting surfaces is critical to to creating safe spaces.

The governor has under his authority the ability to cancel or suspend public gatherings. In the weeks to come there could be enough concern to begin that process. At this time events that have been cancelled have been voluntary.

Long Term Impacts:

At the time of this writing several major companies have cancelled events, closed places of primary business, and employed social distancing practices for as much as 24 days or longer. Employees choosing to attend industry events that were deemed at risk may not be allowed to return to work for as long as 14 days, based on current incubation period.

Emergency Declarations:

What does it mean when an declaration is issued? This means that organizationally funding, access to resources, and the ability to modify work priorities become possible. Activation of Emergency Operations Center (EOC) or Emergency Coordination Center (EEC) support coordination of resources need to support operational requirements of the emergency. The activation of one of these centers also allows the formation of a Policy Group. This group determines if creating or modifying existing policy is needed to support the incident. Closure of businesses, cancelling events, and managing resources are often determined by this body.

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