[6 minute read]
In this article:
You can take these actions today and help keep you and your family safe.
Information on where to get tested and where to get vaccinated.
Send a message of support to Swedish caregivers.
The Puget Sound region is facing a record number of COVID-19 cases. Washington State is averaging over 10,000 new cases per day. And at Swedish, our cases are up over five times where we were in December. Swedish, and our entire healthcare system nationally, has been struggling, but we’re doing all we can to ensure that patients receive the urgent and emergency care they need.
Many of us feel powerless right now, but we aren’t. There are actions we can take today to help fight COVID-19, get our communities through this challenging time and help keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy.
Here are five things you can do today to support our communities and help ease the burden on our hospitals and caregivers:
1. Get vaccinated. Vaccination is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission and reduce the emergence of new variants. Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations and death due to the omicron variant. Need to get vaccinated? Make and appointment to get vaccinated at the clinic at the Amazon Meeting Center or visit www.seattle.gov/vaccine for more information on locations, hours of operation, and eligibility and help spread the word to your friends and family.
2. If you need a COVID-19 test, visit a testing site, not a hospital emergency department. Unless you are experiencing severe symptoms you should not seek a COVID test from a hospital ED. If you do feel sick and have symptoms of COVID-19, get tested right away, even if you're vaccinated. Early testing is important to help prevent COVID-19 from spreading to our friends, families and community. You should go to a local testing site, not a hospital emergency department, to get tested. Visit these sites for more information about COVID-19 testing, locations and guidance:
- City of Seattle COVID-19 testing
- King County COVID-19 testing locations and guidance
- Washington State Department of Health testing for COVID-19
4. Donate blood. January is National Blood Donor Month. Hospitals across the country, including right here in the Puget Sound Region, are facing critical blood shortages. COVID-19 has made it very difficult for blood banks to schedule the community blood drives that are so important for our blood supply. Sign up today to donate blood and save a life.
5. Show Swedish caregivers some love. Swedish caregivers have been on the front lines of the pandemic for almost two years. And they continue to rise to the challenge of omicron and make unfathomable sacrifices every day to protect us and our communities. Visit www.swedishfoundation.org/gratitudegarden and send a Swedish caregiver a message of support today!
Want to learn more?
Elizabeth Wako, M.D., MBA, chief executive, Swedish First Hill and Cherry Hill, shares some additional information in this message:
Here are the latest updates on how we’re handling COVID-19.
Find a doctor
Whether you require an in-person visit or want to consult with a doctor virtually, you have options. Swedish ExpressCare Virtual connects you face-to-face with a practitioner who can review your symptoms, provide instruction and follow-up as needed. If you need to find a physician, caregiver or advanced care practitioner, you can use our provider directory.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional’s instructions.