Spokane COVID-19 FAQ
What do the states of emergency mean in Washington State?
They are intended to activate the broadest possible resources for transmission containment, directing the state and agencies to use all resources necessary to prepare for and respond quickly and effectively to an outbreak. The state declaration also allows the use of the Washington National Guard, if needed, or to tap federal disaster assistance.
Elected officials and public health officials aim to get out ahead of transmissions. Governor Jay Inslee said: “Washingtonians can be assured we’ve taken this threat seriously and have been working in collaboration with our health care partners to develop plans and procedures to prepare for what could likely become a worldwide pandemic.”
What does Governor Jay Inslee’s “Stay home, Stay Healthy” proclamation mean?
It means, stay home! Governor Inslee has asked all non-essential businesses to close. You may leave home to go to the grocery store or pharmacy. Restaurants may still offer dine-out options. If you are considered an “essential worker,” you may travel to and from work. State, county, and city elected representatives and public health officials are working in tandem to deploy the quickest and most effective means of “community mitigation.” Viral experts and lessons learned in Asia point to social distancing and large group restrictions as the best strategies. Similar directives related to COVID-19 have been made across the U.S.
To read the Proclamation by the Governor, copy and paste this link into a new browser window: https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/20-25%20Coronovirus%20Stay%20Safe-Stay%20Healthy%20(tmp)%20(002).pdf
Does Visit Spokane have a message for travelers?
Travelers to Spokane – and all destinations – should continue to observe the health recommendations of national and local public health officials, as they plan to travel, when they travel, and when they are visiting any destination. Travelers to Spokane should know that Visit Spokane is in close contact with regional public health officials and elected officials, as well as with national travel associations, and will actively communicate with visitors if the situation changes.
Is it safe to travel to Spokane/Washington State?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has consistently advised the public to practice every-day preventative measures to help stop the spread of germs, as typical in the current flu and respiratory disease season. There are currently no travel restrictions or advisories in the domestic U.S., which includes Washington State.
What is the impact on the tourism industry in Spokane County?
The tourism industry in Spokane County has seen significant impacts on business because of COVID-19. The loss of three Spokane conventions with March dates, the Division I NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Washington State Middle School Championships and the Pacific Northwest Qualifier have been canceled; approximately $20 million in lost economic impact is related to just those three cancellations. More cancellations are expected throughout the spring months.
Are there any projections on the future impacts on the tourism industry?
No. There is no data currently available that allows us to project, and the fluid progression of COVID-19 adds yet greater complexity.
Are there any closures of note for visitors to Spokane County, such as attractions, hotels, restaurants or meeting venues?
Following Governor Inslee’s proclamation to “Stay home, Stay Healthy,” visitor attractions, playgrounds, arts organizations and restaurants have announced temporary closures. Additionally, Washington State Parks has shut down all state parks, which includes Riverside State Park and Mount Spokane State Park. Many Spokane hotels have been forced to temporarily shut down due to a lack of guests. Visitors should check with individual websites for updates before visiting.
What are the best resources for travelers who want to monitor this developing situation?
There are currently no domestic travel advisories or restrictions, and no advisories or restrictions to travel to Seattle, King County or Washington State. However, the federal government has issues travel advisories for several foreign countries with sizeable COVID-19 outbreaks:
Travelers can monitor Seattle/King County travel via the following:
What are the best travel industry resources?
U.S. Travel Association maintains national status updates on COVID-19 and travel industry talking points.
Meetings Mean Business maintains meetings industry updates and message points on its web site and is actively issuing media and public messages about the importance of fact-based reporting and messaging. The organization conducted a survey that determined that currently, the direct impact on U.S. meetings business has been limited or nonexistent.
Skift maintains a continually updated COVID-19 blog related to the travel industry
Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) event planning guidelines
What are the best public health resources for Spokane County?
The following resources can be used for travelers or locals:
What to do if you are sick or suspect you are infected with coronavirus?
Many people are understandably anxious about coronavirus, but flu and colds have similar symptoms. Most people infected with coronavirus have mild illness. A smaller portion has a severe illness.
What should I do if I have a cough, fever, or other symptoms?
Call your regular doctor first and wear a protective mask when going to the appointment to avoid infecting others. Do not go to the emergency room, as it needs to be able to serve the most critical needs.
Where can I learn more about COVID-19 and download fact sheets?
What is the best resource for business planning for a coronavirus pandemic?
Where can I go if I’ve been laid off work due to COVID-19 business restrictions?