About COVID-19

COVID-19 is a new virus that was only begun to be studied since early January 2020, though similar viruses have been predicted for some years. Always rely on authoritative sources of information as the science and knowledge about COVID-19 are changing daily. 


Anticipate scams and biased reporting from others before long!


VashonBePrepared recommends getting your information from:

Current Advice:

  1. Do not go to the emergency room unless essential. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your regular doctor first.
  2. Stay home when sick
  3. Practice excellent personal hygiene habits, including handwashing, coughing into tissue or elbow, avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth.
  4. Stay away from people who are ill, especially if you are 60 and older or have underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or a weakened immune system.
  5. Stay informed. Information is changing frequently. Check and subscribe to Public Health’s website (www.kingcounty.gov/COVID) or blog (www.publichealthinsider.com)

How to reduce your exposure to COVID-19

Masks, hand washing, social distancing, avoiding prolonged inside contact with others, and staying home as much as possible will help to stem the continued spread of COVID-19. Two vaccines are currently being delivered in the United States, but it will take several months before enough people are vaccinated that we can ease up on protective measures.

For detailed advice on proper handwashing techniques and other guidence, see: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

King County Guidance

King County has particularly relevant information as we're the beachhead for the virus in the US.

Their current info is at: www.KingCounty.gov/covid and www.publichealthinsider.com

Some specific resources:

COVID vs. Other Infections

Note: Average case-fatality rates and transmission numbers are shown. Estimates of case-fatality rates can vary, and numbers for the new coronavirus are preliminary estimates.

-- From www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/world/asia/china-coronavirus-contain.html, updated 2/28/2020

COVID-19 Signs & Symptoms

Detection can be problematic as most people only have mild symptoms such as a sore throat - and some may not have any symptoms! 

Only a licensed health care provider can make an accurate determination. 

Certainly don't let stereotypes guide your judgement as the virus is quickly becoming world-wide: anyone could be a potential carrier.

Vashon Specific GUIDANCE

  • Ensure you and your friends are signed up for Voice of Vashon's Emergency Alert Service at:
  • Also sign up for King County Alerts at https://kingcounty.gov/depts/emergency-management/alert-king-county.aspx
  • Learn what the experts say - before your family has contact with this new flu.
  • Now is a great time to update your local neighborhood's (NERO) email and phone list, so that face to face communications can be limited if needed.
  • In the event that there is official advice to stay home as much as possible, NEROs could band together to send out one or two individuals to procure supplies, if needed, for the NERO (groceries, medications).
  • Update your disaster supplies, any prescriptions you may need, and ensure you are current on your flu vaccine.

10 ways to manage respiratory symptoms at home