Novel coronavirus

Novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new respiratory disease. Washington State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the first U.S. case of COVID-19 in Snohomish County, Wash. on Jan. 21, 2020. Since then, the virus has spread across the state and country. Clark County Public Health announced the first local case on March 6, 2020.

Questions about COVID-19?

Clark County Public Health call center: 888.225.4625 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday.

Washington State Department of Health COVID-19 assistance hotline: 800.525.0127 6 am to 10 pm Monday, 6 am to 6 pm Tuesday through Sunday and state-observed holidays.

Language assistance is available for both lines.

Please note: The call centers cannot access COVID-19 testing results. For testing inquiries or results, please contact your health care provider.

Report violations

Suspected violations of the governor's order can be reported on the state's Report a Recovery Plan Violation website. Complaints are routed to the appropriate licensing or oversight agency for follow up.

Workplace safety complaints about coronavirus or other issues can be filed by calling Washington Labor & Industries at 800.423.7233.

COVID-19 cases and close contacts

What to expect if you test positive

Health care providers notify Clark County Public Health every time someone tests positive for COVID-19. After receiving the report, Public Health calls the sick person to see how they are doing. We ask them to isolate at home until they are no longer considered contagious. This is to ensure they don’t spread the virus to others.

Those who test positive and have symptoms of COVID-19 can end isolation when:

  • they’ve been fever-free for at least 24 hours without using fever-reducing medicine AND
  • other symptoms are improving AND
  • at least 10 days have passed since symptoms began.

Those who test positive but do not have symptoms can end isolation when:

  • at least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive test AND
  • they have not developed symptoms of COVID-19

See the handout, What to do if you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19, for additional guidance.

Public Health also asks everyone who tests positive to notify anyone they were in close contact with that they may have been exposed to COVID-19.

What to do if you're in close contact with someone who tests positive

Those who had close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 may be at risk of getting sick. This includes close contact that occurred in the two days before the sick person’s symptoms began up until the sick person began isolating. Close contacts include everyone who:

  • was within 6 feet of the sick person for more than 15 minutes
  • was near the sick person’s coughs or sneezes
  • lives in the same home as the sick person
  • cared for the sick person

Those who have been exposed to COVID-19 can develop symptoms 2 to 14 days after being exposed. Public Health recommends people who were in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 stay home for 14 days so if they develop symptoms, they don’t get others sick.

Close contacts should stay home (quarantine) and monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19. People in quarantine should not go to work, school, child care or church, or participate in other social or community activities.

People who live or work in a high-priority setting should quarantine for the full 14-day period, due to the increased risk for a potential outbreak in congregate settings. High-priority settings include long-term care facilities, health care facilities, food processing facilities, the jail, schools and child care facilities.

People who are in quarantine and do not live or work in a high-priority setting may shorten their quarantine in the following circumstances:

  • If a person who is in quarantine has no symptoms, quarantine can end after Day 10.
  • If a person who is in quarantine receives a negative COVID-19 test and has no symptoms, quarantine can end after Day 7. The person must be tested on or after Day 5, and quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than Day 8. Even if a negative test is received before Day 8, the quarantine period should still be a full seven days.

There is a small chance that people who choose to shorten their quarantine period may transmit the infection to others post-quarantine. Anyone who has been in quarantine should continue to monitor their symptoms and wear a face covering around others through Day 14. If they develop symptoms, they should isolate themselves immediately to avoid infecting others and seek testing for COVID-19.

See the handout, What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19, for additional information.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website has additional information about quarantine.

WA Notify

Washington state has launched a new anonymous exposure notification tool on your cell phone called WA Notify.

When voluntarily activated, phones with WA Notify use Bluetooth technology to exchange random codes with the phones of other users they are near. It does this without revealing a user’s identity or location.

The tool will alert users who spent time near another user who tests positive for COVID-19, but it won’t provide any details about the person’s identity or location, nor will it tell the user who tested positive anything about those who were exposed.

Visit the WA Notify website to learn more.

COVID-19 cases by verification date

COVID-19 data

Clark County COVID-19 data on cases, deaths and hospital capacity. LEARN MORE>

school books and blocks

COVID-19 cases in schools 

Data on COVID-19 confirmed cases in Clark County public and private K-12 schools. Updated weekly. LEARN MORE> 

man being tested for COVID-19

COVID-19 testing

Information about COVID-19 testing locations in Clark County. LEARN MORE> 

washing hands at sink

COVID-19 recommendations

Information about staying healthy, face coverings, symptoms and testing. LEARN MORE>

COVID-19 vaccine bottles

COVID-19 vaccine

Information about COVID-19 planning, allocation and distribution. LEARN MORE> 

virus causing COVID-19

COVID-19 resources 

Additional COVID-19 resources for parents and caregivers, businesses, food establishments, community facilities, and more. LEARN MORE>

Healthy Washington

On March 11, Gov. Inslee announced an update to the state’s phased COVID-19 reopening plan, Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery.

Under the update, the reopening plan will transition from a regional approach to a county-by-county plan. Clark County moved into Phase 3 of the reopening plan on Monday, March 22.

Every three weeks, counties will be evaluated to determine whether they meet criteria to remain in Phase 3. Criteria is based on new cases per 100,000 population over 14 days and new COVID hospitalizations per 100,000 population over 7 days. If a county fails both metrics, it moves down one phase.

Evaluations occur on Mondays with any possible changes taking effect that Friday. 

Additional information about the Healthy Washington plan, including the metrics for remaining in Phase 3, are available on the state's Risk Assessment Dashboard

Businesses approved to reopen must follow industry-specific guidance issued by the governor. Businesses, nonprofits and workers with questions about the plan for returning to work, safety guidelines for your business or industry, or financial assistance can submit an inquiry to the state.

Additional resources for businesses and employers are available on the COVID-19 resources page.

Frequently asked questions

Novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new respiratory disease. Washington State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the first U.S. case of COVID-19 in Snohomish County, Wash. on Jan. 21. COVID-19 is part of a larger family of coronaviruses, some of which are normally circulating in the community and can cause illnesses like the common cold.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will continue to update the symptoms list as more is learned about COVID-19.

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get 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.

Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their health care provider about testing as soon as possible. Early testing is critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Clark County.

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get 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.

Here is additional guidance for people who have or think they have COVID-19:

Most health care facilities now offer COVID-19 testing. Contact your health care provider to request testing.

People who are unable to access testing through their regular health care provider, those who do not have a health care provider or those who are uninsured can contact one of several local clinics providing testing to the community. Visit the COVID-19 testing webpage for a list of clinics.

Clark County Public Health is urging everyone to take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community:

  • Wear face coverings. Cloth face coverings should be worn anytime you are in public or gather with others from outside of your household.
  • Give space. Stay at least 6 feet away from other people, in public and anytime you're around people you don't live with.
  • Don't congregate. Gatherings should be small (no more than five people) and infrequent.

Everyday practices to prevent colds, influenza and other respiratory illnesses can also protect people against coronaviruses, including COVID-19. Clark County Public Health recommends people take the following actions to keep themselves healthy:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Stay home and away from others when sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.

There is no specific treatment for COVID-19 that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. People with COVID-19 can receive supportive care from hospitals to help relieve symptoms.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for recommendations about traveling within the U.S. and internationally.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 Travel Planner has information about COVID-19 travel restrictions, guidance, and resources in cities and states across the country.

Yes. Face coverings should be worn anytime you go in public or gather with people who you do not live with.

People infected with the virus causing COVID-19 may not have any symptoms (asymptomatic) but still spread the virus. And people who are infected can spread the virus up to two days before they develop symptom (pre-symptomatic).

When a person who is already infected with the virus (even if they don’t have symptoms) wears a cloth face covering, it can prevent the spread of infection to others by blocking droplets from spreading when the person coughs, sneezes or speaks.

Pregnant people might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. Additionally, there may be an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, among pregnant people with COVID-19. 

For more information about COVID-19 and pregnancy, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

While COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China, the disease is not specific to any ethnic group or national origin. The risk of infection is based on exposure to disease, such as through travel to an area where the disease is occurring, and not on race, ethnicity or where someone was born. Viruses do not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, gender or birthplace.

You can help to reduce stigma and discrimination associated with a disease outbreak by doing the following:

  • Speak up if you hear, see or read stigmatizing or harassing comments or misinformation.
  • Show compassion and support for individuals and communities most closely impacted and anyone who might be sick.
  • Do not make assumptions about someone’s health status based on their ethnicity, race or national origin.
  • Share accurate information. Rely on trusted sources of information about the causes of outbreaks from reputable sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Washington State Department of Health.

Here are additional resources with tips for reducing stigma:

Report businesses suspected of violating the governor's order here. Workplace safety complaints about coronavirus or other issues can be filed by calling Washington Labor & Industries at 800.423.7233.