Late last week, the governor and secretary of health announced several updates to the Safe Start plan to help us have fewer, shorter and safer interactions with people outside our households. This includes reductions in the number of people who can be in a restaurant or fitness center at one time, and restrictions around other opportunities for gathering with other people for longer periods of time.

The most important thing you can do is reduce the amount of time you are around people outside your household. You can do that by having fewer, shorter, and safer interactions with other people. It’s still most effective for us to all stay home as much as possible. If you do go out, be sure to keep it quick, keep your distance from others, and wear your cloth face covering. Then wash your hands as soon as you get home.

Below are a few resources to help us continue to manage through this difficult period:

Washington 211 COVID-19 call center is a general information line related to COVID-19. If you need information or have a general question, call 1-800-525-0127 or text 211-211 for help. You can also text the word “Coronavirus” to 211-211 to receive information and updates on your phone wherever you are. You will receive links to the latest information on COVID-19, including county-level updates, and resources for families, businesses, students, and more.

Washington Listens helps people manage stress and anxiety they may be experiencing because of COVID-19. If you or anyone you know is having difficulties managing stress, call the Washington Listens support line at 1-833-681-0211. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. TTY and language access services are available by using 7-1-1 or their preferred method. Resources and self-help tips are available on

Want to help? Join the Washington Mask Challenge. The Lt. Governor’s office has partnered with the United Ways of the Pacific Northwest and Serve Washington to organize a statewide homemade mask-making initiative to encourage the general public to make, wear, and donate cloth masks. Visit for information.