From the Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs:
You are receiving this email because you are an important partner in helping inform communities across Seattle. Please feel free to forward this to your networks.
The Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) and other City departments are working in close coordination with our partners at the local and state level to provide the most accurate information about COVID-19 from Public Health – Seattle & King County (Public Health), Washington State Department of Health, and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
By now, you have probably heard that Public Health has announced 14 confirmed cases of the illness in King County, with the situation rapidly evolving.
A few more important recommendations that Public Health wants to highlight is below. We have been working closely with Public Health to produce accurate translated information that you can help distribute to the communities you serve and/or are a part of. You can find the below information translated into: Amharic, Chinese (Traditional), Korean, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese here: welcoming.seattle.gov/covid-19. We will be producing additional translations as the week progresses.
- The most important issue right now is to spread messages of calm that include facts. Panic will make this issue much worse.
- The vast majority of the illnesses around the world are mild, with fever and cough. A much smaller percentage of cases are severe and involve pneumonia, particularly in elderly people and people with underlying medical conditions.
- Wash hands often with soap and water. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
- Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
- If you have cough, fever, or other symptoms, call your regular doctor or nearby community clinic first. Do not go to the emergency room. Emergency medical services need to serve the most critical needs first.
- Currently, there are no vaccines available to prevent novel coronavirus infections.
If you have questions about what is happening in Washington state, you can also direct people to call 1-800-525-0127 and press #. This helpline is open from 6 AM-10 PM every day, and the operators there are able to connect with a third-party interpreter. The caller will need to be able to tell them in English what language they need for interpretation. Lastly, callers may experience long wait times.
Also, because of this recent outbreak, our community partners have decided to cancel a number of workshops and clinics and will reschedule them at a future date:
- March 4th Rainier Valley Food Bank Public Charge Information Session at the Columbia Branch of the Seattle Public Library
- March 7th CISC Public Charge Information Session at CISC
- March 21st ACRS and Korean Community Service Center Citizenship Clinic at the Lake City Community Center
We only know about event cancellations related to our programs. You can check seattle.gov/OIRA/publiccharge and newcitizencampaign.org for any updates on further cancellations. We also recommend following OIRA’s social media profiles here:
Lastly, I also wanted to let you know that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Seattle Field Office Facility has instructed that all individuals experiencing flu-like symptoms should proactively reschedule any USCIS appointment(s).
Appointments will be rescheduled if the individual:
- Is experiencing any flu-like symptoms (such as runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, or fever); OR
- Was in China within 14 days of the appointment; OR
- Believes may have been exposed to COVID-19 (even if individual has not been in China recently).
USCIS adds that appointments will be rescheduled without penalty when the individual is healthy.
Please look out for each other and thanks for all you do!