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 (as of Sunday evening):

  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)

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.

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:

How to reduce your exposure to COVID-19

Masks are visible, but hand washing, social distancing, and other techniques can be a better place to start your preparations. Some 20 vaccines are being worked on, but nothing is likely to be publicly available until sometime in 2021. Its not even known yet whether exposed individuals will have resistance for life, for some weeks, or may even be more susceptible to future exposure.

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

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.

Mental Health Resources

Let’s be gentle and compassionate with ourselves and others.

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.* Let’s be that community.


*How to Manage Anxiety & Stress from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Advice for the people you care about, for you, parents, responders, those released from quarantine

If you need to ask for help, please do not hesitate to call:

Vashon Youth and Family Services walk in or call 206-463-5511; in-person, tele-counseling, or video chat

20110 Vashon Highway                         

Individual, youth, family counseling weekdays 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.


After hours: call 206-463-5511 for transfer to King County Crisis Connections at 1-866-427-4747.

If a Vashon intervention is needed, they will contact VYFS Crisis Phone for on-call provider.


Neighborcare Health Call 206-463-3671 to make an appointment.

The behavioral health consultant at the Vashon clinic is seeing current Neighborcare patients by phone.

School-based health patients who need support can email the patient's name, date of birth and phone number to SBHC@neighborcare.org. Neighborcare's School Based Health Care (SBHC) teams will follow up with them.


King County Crisis Connections 206-461-3222 or 1-800-621-4636

24-hour hotline for mental health emergencies, suicide assessments, de-escalation techniques, and referrals for voluntary counseling or hospitalization.


Teen Link for youth; Substance Abuse Recovery Helpline, M-F; Call 211 or Text zipcode to 877-211-9274                                    

King County Crisis and Commitment Services 206-263-9200

24-hour helpline and in-home evaluation for involuntary detention of people with behavioral disorders exhibiting or threatening danger to self or others: call 911 if in imminent danger


Seattle branch: National Alliance for the Mentally Ill 206-783-9264

Helpline for mental health consumers and families for support services: Helpline@NAMISeattle.org

Support groups, education, and advocacy for consumers and families


Washington State Recovery Helpline (24/7) 1-866-789-1511

Assistance with substance abuse disorders, gambling, addictive behaviors, mental health challenges. Offers treatment and support recommendations, language interpretation available


National Institute on Drug Abuse      1-800-622-HELP (4357)

Resources for patients and families, military and families.

Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator

Find treatment and behavioral health service locations.


National Suicide Prevention lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Ayuda En Espanol 1-888-628-9454


National Institute of Mental Health                                                           

Health topics include Coping with Coronavirus, managing Anxiety and Stress

Crisis text line: Text “Hello” to 741741


Veterans Crisis Line: Text 8382555 or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) x1

Disaster Distress Crisis Line: Text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 or call 1-800-985-5990


Know how to protect yourself and your loved ones, and when to seek medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find the latest updated information on infections, resources and care from King County Seattle Public Health or sign up for email alerts.

Local Health Care

Neighborcare Health and Vashon Natural Medicine are continuing to provide primary care to their patients during this pandemic. Both clinics have made changes, including offering telemedicine, to keep patients and staff safe.

 Contact Neighborcare Health at 206-548-5710 or see neighborcare.org. Neighborcare is providing both medical and mental health services.

Contact Vashon Natural Medicine at 206-463-4778 or see vashonnaturalmed.com.

COVID-19 Symptoms

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

·       Fever

·       Cough

  • Shortness of breath
  • Additional symptoms may include tiredness, aches and pains, stuffy or runny nose, a sore throat, and diarrhea.

When to Seek Care

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends seeking medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Protect Yourself

The best way to avoid getting sick is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

·       Follow the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, and go out in public only when necessary.

·       Wash your hands often.

·       Avoid close contact with others. Follow the social distancing guidelines of 6 feet between you and another person.

·       Stay home if you are sick. We can help pick up and deliver what you need. Contact

·       Clean and disinfect your home.

 For more complete information on protecting yourself, friends, and family, follow advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Caring for Someone who Is Sick

If someone in your house is ill with COVID-19, follow instructions from their health care provider, monitor their symptoms and prohibit visitors.

The sick person should remain in a separate portion of the house, with his or her own bathroom if possible. See the important precautionary measures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 It is important to stay informed - information is changing frequently as we learn more about this virus. Subscribe to Public Health-Seattle and King County’s website and blog, Public Health Insider.

Read about symptoms, the latest about testing and keeping your immune system strong at the Washington Department of Health.

HHS COVID-19 Web Resources

V 4.0, 4 Mar 2020
From: Gregory T Banner, Regional Emergency Coordinator, US Dpt of Health and Human Services 






Region I (New England) Government Information Sites: