Grays Harbor Health Officer Recommends Social Distancing Due to COVID-19

Submitted by Grays Harbor County Public Health & Social Services Department

The risk of COVID-19 in Washington is increasing. Take steps now to protect yourself and people around you from the disease.

The risk of COVID-19 in Washington is increasing and Public Health expects that more cases will be identified now that the criteria for testing have broadened.

on March 13, Governor Inslee ordered closure of all K-12 schools across the State of Washington by March 17, 2020 and established requirements that restrict in-person learning in higher education institutions. Inslee’s orders also prohibits large gatherings of more than 250 people statewide.

These restrictions reinforce social distancing. Social distancing means taking extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people.  These measures are put in place to slow the spread of infectious disease so that a lot of people are not sick at the same time.  When a lot of people become ill at one time, critical services like first response, health care, and government may not be able to function.  These systems must remain intact to keep the community safe.

“I understand that social distancing can be very difficult for many, but I know our community has the creativity and compassion to get through it together,” says Dr. John Bausher, the County’s Health Officer. Public Health officials are asking everyone to:

  • Find child care options that do not rely on people (such as those over age 60, have underlying health conditions, or are pregnant) who are at high risk for severe disease from COVID-19.
  • Talk to your friends and neighbors about how you can help each other if people in your households get sick.
  • Find alternatives to gathering or meeting in person whenever possible.  If web or phone options are not feasible, consider cancelling or postponing non-essential events.
  • Consider alternative methods of service delivery whenever possible, especially for persons at high risk for severe illness.
  • Create opportunities and provide infrastructure for employees to telecommute to ensure that they stay healthy and are able to continue working.
  • Identify key staff and critical functions and create a plan for continuity of operations in the event that a large number of people are out ill or caring for children. Evaluate sick leave policies and alter as needed.
  • Use isolation and quarantine guidance to make decisions about excluding people from work.
  • Help people feel more comfortable by respectfully refraining from handshakes and hugs.
  • Practice compassion. Reach out to someone you care about who is at home sick or social distancing. A text, a phone call, or video chat makes a difference. Keep your distance physically, but not emotionally!

More information about Washington’s school closures can be found on the web at and

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