Recap of Recent COVID-19 News and Updates
Statewide Response Updates
Newest numbers. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) reported a total of 1,544,119 confirmed cases as of 11:59 p.m. on May 17. There have been 12,770 COVID-19 deaths in Washington.
Data note (Wednesday, May 18): Due to a technical issue in our data systems, the Hospital Use data may be incomplete.
For the most recent number of cases by county, demographics, and more, visit the Department of Health's dashboard.
Updated DOH guidance documents
Interim Recommendations for SARS-CoV-2 Infection Prevention and Control in Healthcare Settings consolidates all healthcare guidance into one document to clarify language and maintain consistency. Two substantive changes are:
Healthcare workers should wear eye protection for all patient encounters when working in areas with substantial to high community transmission. (pg. 42)
Nursing home residents who are not up to date with COVID-19 vaccines should be placed in quarantine on returning to the nursing home if away for more than 24 hours. No recommendation for quarantine of residents in non-nursing home long-term care facilities on admission or returning to the facility following a visit in the community. (pg. 56)
COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Commercial Maritime Settings in Washington State provides guidance for maritime settings on minimizing the frequency and severity of COVID-19 outbreaks to protect the health of workers and passengers. It provides guidance for these vessels entering or departing from Washington ports:
Commercial seafood vessels
Cruise ships on an interstate or intrastate voyage with an itinerary anticipating an overnight stay on board or a 24-hour stay on board for either passengers or workers
Any other commercial vessels on an interstate or intrastate voyage with an itinerary anticipating an overnight stay on board or a 24-hour stay on board for either passengers or workers, such as research vessels and other ships that sail for multiple days at a time
Reported COVID-19 reinfections in Washington state. This weekly report includes information on hospitalizations and deaths, demographics, trends over time, and vaccination status of people with a reinfection for which DOH has information about both infection events. Read the full May 18 report.
COVID-19 cases among children and youth in Washington. This weekly report provides information on COVID-19 in all children and youth, ages 0 to 19 years. Cases are broken down by educational service district (ESD) regions and age. Read the full May 18 report in English and in Spanish.
COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths by vaccination status. This weekly report provides a brief overview of confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths among those who are not fully vaccinated in Washington state. Read the full May 18 report.
DOH SARS-CoV-2 sequencing and variants report. This weekly report summarizes genome sequencing coverage of Washington SARS-CoV-2 specimens from multiple laboratories from across the United States and our state. It provides a statewide view of sequencing capacity and data, including breakouts by county and demographics. Read the full May 18 report.
SARS-CoV-2 vaccine breakthrough surveillance and case information resource.This weekly report provides data and criteria on fully vaccinated people who test positive with SARS-CoV-2 and may or may not develop COVID-19 symptoms. Read the full May 18 report.
COVID-19 morbidity and mortality by race, ethnicity, and spoken language in Washington state. This bimonthly report provides an overview of confirmed or probable COVID-19 case, hospitalization, and death rates by race and ethnicity at state and regional levels. It also provides counts and percentages of confirmed or probable cases and hospitalizations by primary language spoken. Read the full May 17 report.
Get a vaccine, exposure notifications, COVID-19 testing, and proof of vaccination. Use the DOH vaccine locator to help end the pandemic. Next, get WA Notify so you’ll know if you’ve been near another WA Notify user who later tests positive for COVID-19. To get quickly and easily tested anywhere in Washington, visit the DOH COVID-19 testing locations page. For K-12 students, staff, and parents/guardians, learn more about our partnership that helps schools provide easy COVID-19 testing on site. Once vaccinated, you can provide your vaccination status using WA Verify.
Care Connect Washington assistance. Care Connect provides food and other support to people who test positive for COVID-19 so they can isolate at home. People who have been exposed to the virus and are actively quarantining are also eligible. Making it easier for people to stay home helps slow the spread of the illness. Call the COVID-19 Information Hotline at 1-800-525-0127, then press #. Language assistance is available. The hotline hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and observed state holidays.
Latest COVID-19 reopening guidance for businesses and workers. See a full list of current reopening guidance from the Governor's Office.
Guidance and resources for employers and business owners. Sign up for the Economic and Business Resilience Newsletter.
The state COVID-19 Assistance Hotline is a general information line related to COVID-19. If you need information or have a general question, call 1-800-525-0127, then press # or text 211-211 for help. New hours of operation are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and on observed state holidays. You can also text the word “Coronavirus” to 211-211 to receive information and updates on your phone wherever you are. You will receive links to the latest information on COVID-19, including county-level updates, and resources for families, businesses, students, and more.
Washington Listens helps people manage stress and anxiety they may be experiencing because of COVID-19. If you or anyone you know is having difficulties managing stress, call the Washington Listens support line at 1-833-681-0211. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. TTY and language access services are available by using 7-1-1 or their preferred method. See resources and self-help tips from Washington Listens.