For immediate release: September 3, 2021 (21-198)Spanish
Contact: DOH Communications
Public inquiries: State COVID-19 Assistance Hotline, 1-800-525-0127
Protect your health this Labor Day weekend
OLYMPIA – With hospital capacity stressed statewide and health care resources stretched nationally, take steps to reducing your chance of needing emergency care. Keep these safety tips in mind this weekend:
- Prevent foodborne illnesses by following a few simple food safety tips.
- Follow water safety tips if you go swimming or boating.
- Practice emotional well-being for yourself and your loved ones.
- Wear a mask to reduce COVID-19 transmission.
- Get vaccinated to reduce your chances of becoming seriously sick or hospitalized.
Masks are required in indoor public spaces, and strongly recommended at crowded outdoor events, where you cannot physically distance, regardless of vaccination status. Many counties and businesses may have stricter mask requirements than what has been outlined by the state. Know the local requirements if you travel somewhere.
“Enjoy yourselves this holiday weekend, but please be aware of your risk,” said Secretary of Health, Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH. “Our hospital system is stressed and our emergency departments and ICUs are full. We encourage everyone to do their part by being careful - this is the best way to help support our healthcare system.”
To help reduce impact to emergency departments, consider visiting an urgent care clinic instead if you need medical attention for a non-serious injury or illness. Check to see if your insurance offers a nurse helpline to help assess non-urgent care needs.
Vaccination reduces your chances of becoming seriously sick or hospitalized. Visit Vaccine Locator, text your zip code to GETVAX (438829) or VACUNA (822862) to receive addresses of nearby available vaccination sites, or call 833-VAX-HELP.
If you need COVID-19 testing, visit https://doh.wa.gov/testing to find a test near you or call the COVID-19 hotline 1-800-525-0127, then press #.
DOH is working with state, federal, and private partners to mitigate Washington’s health care surge by accessing additional volunteer and contracted resources, coordinating information sharing, and supporting efforts to shift patients to healthcare facilities that can best support their care.
The DOH website is your source for a healthy dose of information. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for the DOH blog, Public Health Connection.