Staying Healthy

Our community—and our entire state—is working together to slow the spread of COVID-19. We all have a role to play.

The governor's office has translated information on COVID-19 into a variety of languages.

Reopening & Staying Safe

The state of Washington is gradually starting to reopen under Washington Governor Jay Inslee's "Safe Start Washington" Plan.

Spokane County was authorized to move forward into Phase 2 on May 22, after seeking a variance to move to phase 2 early based on guidance for larger counties released by the Governor. That guidance allows counties that have had less than 10 new cases per 100,000 population over two weeks to seek the variance. Ten counties have the possibility of seeking that variance. Meanwhile, 10 smaller counties were authorized to move ahead into the second phase of the plan earlier.

Under the Safe Start Washington plan, more businesses and activities will re-open in phases with adequate social distancing measures and health standards in place. Social distancing, effective cleaning, and good personal hygiene remain critical in all phases.

Each phase will be at least three weeks, and data and metrics will be used to determine when the state or individual can move from one phase to another. The state currently is in phase 1 of that plan, with phase 2 anticipated on June 1. See the plan and metrics used to evaluate status. Guidance on requirements to enter Phase 3 hasn't been developed yet.

Guidance is being established for various industries as they prepare to open for more traditional ways of doing business. See the industry by industry guidance as well as more details of the opening plan.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to adhere to guidance provided by the state and health officials, the City has changed how it delivers many services. These changes will evolve over time as the state reopens for business.

Getting Testing & Other Important Health Measures

As areas reopen, here are some of the important health measures:

  • Health Care System Readiness
  • Testing Capacity & Availability
  • Case & Contact Investigations
  • Ability to Protect High-Risk Populations

Spokane County Health Director Bob Lutz addressed these issues for the Spokane area in the current variance application. See the latest Spokane area COVID-19 statistics.

For a successful reopening for Spokane, more people need to be tested. Testing is now more available to our citizens. Here is the latest information on who should be tested.

Testing is available in a variety of locations, including a dedicated site at the Spokane County Fairgrounds that is run by the National Guard. Information on this test site and others is found on the Spokane Regional Health District's web site.

Wearing Masks

Spokane County Health Director Bob Lutz issued a health directive requiring the use of cloth face coverings to maintain the public's health and prevent the spread of COVID-19, as businesses begin to reopen.

Spokane County residents at indoor or confined public settings are strongly recommended to wear cloth face coverings over their noses and mouths in situations where they are not able to maintain six feet distance from other people who do not live in their same household.

What is COVID-19?

By now, you know that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus strain that has only spread in people since December 2019. Health experts say the virus can cause severe illness and pneumonia in some patients. Slowing the spread of the disease allows the health care system to better handle the community's needs. We have dozens of confirmed cases in Spokane, and thousands of cases statewide.

The City is collaborating with Spokane Regional Health District to provide information on the disease's symptoms and how it is spread. Symptoms may appear between two and 14 days after exposure to the virus and include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

The Health District is updating its web site frequently with the most recent information from the state Department of Health and federal Centers for Disease Control to make sure citizens have access to current and accurate information.

If you want to talk to someone about medical information, we would suggest you call the Washington State Department of Health's hotline at 1-800-525-0127. Press #.

Tips for Staying Healthy

Spokane's citizens and visitors can help reduce the spread of COVID-19, along with other similar diseases like colds and flu. Help reduce the spread of COVID-19 (PDF 164 KB).

The Spokane Regional Health District encourages people to take the following steps to stay healthy:

  • Stay home when you are sick. Staying home when ill prevents the spread of infections to others.
  • Use good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene in all community settings, including homes, childcare facilities, schools, workplaces and other places where people gather. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and put the used tissue in a waste basket. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 60-95% alcohol) if you can’t wash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth: Germs often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
  • Have contingency plans for your family during school closures. Ask your employer about working from home, not only to prepare for school closures, but also to prevent possible exposure.
  • Support each other, regardless of race, ethnicity or nationality, and including individuals who have become ill. Show compassion and support for individuals and communities most closely impacted and anyone who might be sick.
  • Do you have travel plans? Take time to read the CDC’s guidance on travel (available on SRHD.org) to see how your plans may be affected.

Managing Stress