Page updated: May 18, 2021 at 2:24 p.m.
Visit our vaccine page for more information.
Beginning May 18, every county will remain or move to Phase 3 of the Roadmap to Recovery plan. Individual counties may opt to remain in an earlier phase. For now, Whatcom County remains in Phase 3.
During Phase 3:
You can find more information about what activities are allowed and what's open in Phase 3.
Employers and employees who have questions about the new re-opening plan can submit an inquiry to the state’s Business Response Center.
On June 30, Washington State will fully reopen and there will be no more restrictions on social gatherings. Restrictions could lift sooner if 70% of Washingtonians over the age of 16 initiate vaccination before June 30. If at any point - before or after June 30 - the statewide ICU occupancy exceeds 90%, restrictions may be reinstated.
To find out more, visit www.coronavirus.wa.gov.
If you believe a business is not operating in a way that complies with the governor’s Healthy Washington reopening guidance, you can submit an anonymous report. You can also view guidelines for enforcement for the Governor’s order (PDF).
Safety and health complaints about your workplace or job site should be submitted to the L&I Call Center: 1-800-423-7233
Only call 911 for emergency situations.
You generally need to be in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 to get infected. Close contact is defined as being within six feet of a person with COVID-19 for a total of about 15 minutes within a 24-hour period.
If you’ve been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 you should:
If you’ve been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19, you should follow these recommendations (PDF)
If you develop any of these emergency warning signs* for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately:
*This list is not all-inclusive. Talk to your medical provider about any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives.
Quarantine is for people who:
People who quarantine stay home and avoid contact with anyone who is not a household member. This is important because a person can be contagious before symptoms begin.
Isolation is for people who:
People who go into isolation need to avoid contact with all others - including household members. If possible, people in isolation should stay in a separate room, use a separate bathroom, have meals prepared for and brought to them.
People who cannot isolate or quarantine safely in their home can stay at the county’s isolation/quarantine facility at no cost to them. We will help arrange for a stay at the facility.
You don’t have to quarantine following a known exposure if all of the following are true:
If it’s been less than two weeks since the final dose in your vaccine series, you will need to quarantine if you’ve been exposed to someone known to have COVID-19. If you develop symptoms - whether or not you’re fully vaccinated - you will need to isolate yourself and seek testing immediately.
For more information about isolation and quarantine, see the CDC’s Duration of Isolation and Precautions for Adults with COVID-19.
For more information about quarantine and isolation considerations for fully vaccinated individuals, check out the CDC’s Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.
For more information about COVID-19 and pregnancy, refer to this handout from the Washington State Department of Health.
If you have been isolating at home, you can end your isolation when both of these things are true:
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 but did not had any symptoms, you can end home isolation when:
Additional information on preventing the spread of COVID-19 for your household members, intimate partners, and caregivers is available from the CDC.
The return to work procedure for (non-healthcare) workers who are close contacts of someone diagnosed with COVID-19 varies between critical infrastructure workers (who work for essential businesses) and workers at non-essential businesses.
All non-healthcare workers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or are considered "probable" cases must be excluded from work and may not return until they are released from isolation by the Health Department.
You do not need a negative test to return to work.
For healthcare workers with mild to moderate illness, you may return to work when:
For asymptomatic healthcare workers:
For healthcare workers with severe to critical illness, or who are severely immunocompromised:
You should also:
As of March 10, 2021, fully vaccinated healthcare workers do not need to be restricted from work, with some exceptions. For a list of exceptions and additional information, refer to the CDC’s Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination page.
If you’ve been exposed and you’re not yet fully vaccinated, you should actively monitor for symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection, but can return to work provided you:
If you start to experience symptoms, you should go home immediately and contact your healthcare provider.
No. Unless you have a severely weakened immune system or you have experienced a serious case of COVID-19, you do not need a negative test result to return to work.
If you have insurance:
If you do not have insurance:
Contact tracers, or case/contact investigators (CCIs) call people who are diagnosed with COVID-19 and their close contacts.
They talk with each person who has received a positive COVID-19 test to find out:
Once we know this information, we reach out to each person who is a close contact to:
CCIs will ask a few identifying questions:
CCIs will never ask for your:
For more information on how to avoid scammers, visit Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information: Help COVID-19 contact tracers, not scammers.
To find out more, see our COVID-19 Case Investigation fact sheet.
Identifying close contacts and informing them to stay home and monitor for symptoms is an important public health response. Due to recently high volumes of cases and contacts, we may not be able to call all close contacts. You may get a text indicating you are a close contact and can report any symptoms through the Sara Alert system. Learn more about how Sara Alert works here: https://saraalert.org/how-sara-alert-works/ .
If you have questions, you can call us at 360-778-6100.
Data regarding confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our community can be found on our COVID-19 Data Dashboard. We protect private health information and only share limited details about COVID-19 cases.
We get this question a lot. The main reasons are:
Symptoms of coronavirus may include:
The vast majority of people with novel coronavirus infection do not require medical care or hospitalization. A smaller percentage of people get severely ill with respiratory problems like pneumonia. According to the CDC, people most at risk for severe illness are:
While most people with COVID-19 recover and return to normal health, some patients can have symptoms that can last for weeks or even months after recovery from acute illness. Even people who are not hospitalized and who have mild illness can experience persistent or late symptoms. Learn more about long term symptoms on the CDC’s website.
Yes. COVID-19 can be spread by individuals who are not exhibiting typical symptoms. In some cases, the individual may not have developed symptoms yet, and in other cases, people may carry and spread the virus without ever experiencing symptoms.
Variants of concern are newly evolved strains, or variants, of COVID-19 that may be more highly transmissible, cause more severe illness, or resist vaccination. New variants make up the vast majority of new COVID-19 cases in Washington state.
Five variants of concern have been identified in Washington State as of March 17, 2021. Those variants are:
For more information about new COVID-19 variants, visit DOH's COVID-19 Variants page.
The good news is that all the prevention strategies we know work against the original COVID-19 strain work against these variants too. Take the following precautions to protect yourself against variants of concern: