Washington Department of Health

Is Wildfire Smoke Coming? Be Ready, Just In Case

Aug 19, 2020
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The air quality around the Northwest is gradually worsening with the increasing number of wildfires burning this week.

Health and air quality officials are urging people to be prepared in case the smoke becomes more prominent.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Part of the battle for local health officials in monitoring the coronavirus is getting enough testing and personal protective equipment for health care workers.

The Spokane Regional Health District relies almost exclusively on the state Department of Health for its supplies.

Health Officer Bob Lutz says that supply chain has been somewhat spotty. But he hit the motherlode last week with a shipment of about 125-thousand KN-95 masks.

Spokane COVID Response

UPDATED: Monday 3 pm

Spokane County added nine new Covid cases on Monday. That, added to 31 reported over the weekend, continues the steady increase in confirmed cases since the county moved to phase two of the state’s reopening strategy. The official count is now 842.

The trend in Spokane has caught the attention of the Washington Department of Health.

Washington Counties Ready To Apply To Level Three

Jun 2, 2020
Washington Department of Health

The Board of Health for Washington’s three northeast counties voted today [Tuesday] to apply for phase three of the state’s four-phase coronavirus reopening protocol.

Tomorrow [Wednesday] is the first day for Washington counties to apply. They must have spent a full three weeks in phase two before they can apply to move up.

Spokane COVID Response

UPDATE: Spokane County Health Officer Bob Lutz reports 23 new cases on Wednesday and more than 100 in the last week. No new deaths and eight people are current hospitalized.

Spokane County is now at 526 confirmed Covid cases.

Washington Department of Health

Washington state health officials have added three more counties to list of those eligible to apply for coronavirus-related variances.

Grant County is the only one of the three east of the Cascades.

Washington Department of Health

Spokane area elected officials voiced optimism on Thursday that the county will soon receive the state’s permission to allow more businesses to reopen.

Their strategy focused on a regional approach, allowing eastern Washington counties to craft their own reopening strategies. It has largely worked, but not for their county.

Washington Department of Health

Washington state Health Department officials today [Monday] granted Stevens County the variance it sought to move to the second phase of the state's four-phase reopening plan.

Health Secretary John Wiesman announced Stevens can join Wahkiakum and Skamania Counties in moving to the next phase.

Second Big Health Issue Looming: Wildfires

May 8, 2020
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Spokane County Health Officer Bob Lutz has plenty to worry about with managing the local public health response to the coronavirus. But now he has another issue on his radar screen: wildfires.

Lutz is regularly on the phone with Washington Department of Health officials about Covid-related issues. But Thursday afternoon, he was also preparing to talk with them about the upcoming wildfire season.

Centers for Disease Control

UPDATED Wednesday, 5:15 pm

The Everett, Washington man who contracted the coronavirus while traveling in China this month continues to recover.

Authorities held a press briefing in Seattle today [Wednesday]. They say the man, who is in his 30s, continues to rest in an isolation unit in an Everett hospital. He took himself to a clinic on Sunday when he felt ill, a few days after returning from Wuhan, China.

Public Health Seattle and King County

Washington state and King County health officials say the state has recently recorded the first case of a person contracting a severe lung disease due to vaping.

King County health officer Jeff Duchin told reporters today [Wednesday] a young man in his late teens suffered acute respiratory failure while vaping in August.

Washington Health Care Authority

Today, we’ll devote much of the program to a conversation with Washington state Health Secretary John Wiesman. Wiesman is the state’s top public health officer. He came to Olympia four years ago from Clark County, where he was the health officer there. He has spent most of his career in public health and he has thoughts about the direction in which his industry is headed. He calls it Public Health 3.0, a return back to the way public health was a few generations ago.

But we started by asking him about his top priorities.