Coronavirus Disease 2019 | COVID-19

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by infection with a new strain of coronavirus scientifically named SARS-CoV-2 and was first detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019.

What is the Risk?

The risk posed by a virus outbreak depends on factors including how well it spreads between people, the severity of the illness it causes, and the medical or other measures we have to control the impact of the virus (for example, vaccine or treatment medications).

  • COVID-19 is spreading in several communities in Washington, the risk of exposure is increasing for people who live in our state.
  • Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Those who have had close contact with persons with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring are at elevated risk of exposure.

*The COVID-19 outbreak is rapidly evolving. This page will be updated as needed.  


Symptoms may appear between two and 14 days after exposure to the virus and include the following:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • (less common) abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea

About Coronaviruses

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses most often associated with the common cold in humans. Coronaviruses are commonly found in many animal species, including cattle, cats and bats. Animal coronaviruses can sometimes infect people and then change, allowing them to spread from person to person, which occurred in the case of the SARS virus in 2002-2003 and with the MERS virus in 2012.