|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
March 4, 2020
Media Contact: Melissa Morin, Communications Specialist
Phone: (360) 778-6022; (360) 594-2504
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Daily Updates on COVID-19 Surveillance on Whatcom County Health Department Website
BELLINGHAM, WA – The Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) is providing daily updates of its 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) case information based on disease surveillance activities. Current and total numbers of persons under public health supervision, persons under investigation, and confirmed cases will be updated daily at https://whatcomcounty.us/ncov.
No cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Whatcom County as of 1:30 pm on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. There are two (2) persons under public health supervision and three (3) persons under investigation. We expect that results for COVID-19 tests sent to the Washington State Public Health Laboratory in Shoreline will take up to 48 hours to process once received and approved at the lab.
The total number of persons under investigation does not currently include tests sent directly from healthcare providers to the University of Washington’s Virology Lab, which is also able to test for the virus that causes COVID-19. The health department is notified about presumptive positive test results from either lab.
Testing for the virus that causes COVID-19 remains limited but is expanding. Health care providers and public health professionals are basing their decision-making about testing on evaluation of symptoms and risk of exposure. At this time, samples sent to the Washington State Public Health Laboratory must meet the CDC’s guidelines, which are being updated as new information is rapidly becoming available. Both the Washington State Public Health Laboratory and the University of Washington currently have the capacity to test but it remains limited at this time.
The majority of people don’t need to be tested. Most people with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms that will resolve without the need for testing or treatment.
People with mild symptoms should stay home and rest. People who develop symptoms that require medical attention should call their healthcare provider before seeking care.
For more information on novel coronavirus
This is an emerging outbreak with rapidly evolving information. Updates will be made as new information emerges on the DOH website and Whatcom County Health Department’s website. The Washington State Department of Health 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 #. General questions about COVID-19 in Whatcom County can also be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
This information is also available as a PDF.