Frequently asked questions from County of King

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

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The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell.

Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.

People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

Where can I find more information about all the cases in the US?

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You can find a detailed map with the spread of the cases here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html

What should I do if I am sick?

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If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

You can read more about what the CDC recommends here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html

When was the first case of COVID-19 registered in the State of Washington?

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On January 21, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Washington State Department of Health announced the first case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States in Washington State.

How does testing for COVID-19 work in Washington State?

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COVID-19 testing is available at Washington State Public Health Laboratories (PHL) and several academic and clinical laboratories. Symptomatic persons in the following groups are high priority for testing:

  • Healthcare worker or in a high priority occupation (e.g., public safety, fire fighter EMS)
  • Part of an illness cluster in a facility or group (e.g., healthcare, school, corrections, business)
  • A severe case of lower respiratory illness (hospitalized or fatal) without alternative diagnosis
  • Patients with worsening symptoms
  • Patients older than 60 years
  • Patients with underlying medical conditions
  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone who had contact with a suspect or lab-confirmed COVID-19 patient, or who had travel from an affected geographic area, within 14 days of their symptom onset

Testing at PHL will be performed for the first 3 groups and upon specific request by a local health officer; all other testing should be performed at commercial labs.

Is there a public helpline to get more information?

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The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington, or how the virus is spread, please call 1-800-525-0127. Phone lines are currently staffed from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m, seven days a week.

Please note that this call center can not access COVID-19 testing results.

Who can register to vote?

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To register to vote in Washington, you must be:

  • A citizen of the United States
  • A legal resident of Washington state
  • At least 18 years old by election day
  • Not disqualified from voting due to a court order
  • Not under Department of Corrections supervision for a Washington felony conviction

How long can I receive unemployment benefits?

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Your claim is good for a “benefit year,” which is 52 weeks, beginning with the week you file your application. You cannot file a new claim in Washington until your benefit year is over, even though you may have received all of your benefits. Most claims receive between 13 to 26 weeks of benefits.

What is the basic eligibility requirements to apply for unemployment insurance claims in Washington State?

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Unemployment benefits partially replace your regular earnings and help you meet expenses while you look for another job. It is not based on financial need.

  • If you did not work in Washington state: You cannot apply for unemployment benefits in Washington or file weekly claims here if you did not work in this state during the past 18 months. The only exceptions are if you were in the military or worked for the federal government. You must file your claim with one of the state(s) where you worked in the last 18 months.
  • If you did work in Washington state or were discharged from the military: To determine if you are eligible for unemployment benefits, the Department of Labor examines:

    1. Whether you worked enough hours in your base year:
    • You must have worked at least 680 hours in your base year.
    • At least some wages must have been earned in Washington, unless you recently left the military and are currently located in Washington state.

      2. The reason you're unemployed or not working full time.

     3. Your availability for work for the weeks you claim.