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Covid-19 Information & Updates for Washingtonians

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In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, AARP Washington is providing information and resources to help older Washingtonians and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus and help prevent it from spreading to others.

Important Vaccine Updates

AARP is working to protect Americans 50+ by making sure they have the latest information you need about the COVID-19 vaccines and the distribution plans in Washington State. Visit www.aarp.org/wavaccine to find out who's eligible for the vaccine, when and where vaccines will be available and what you need to discuss with your doctor before you decide.

Read up on the Washington State COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan and learn more about who will receive the first vaccinations, how the vaccines are made, and how they work.

Who can get vaccinated now?

  • People 16 and older who live or work in Washington state

For the most up-to-date information on vaccine distribution including locations, data and other resources, visit http://covidvaccinewa.org/.

Washington State Hotline

For information about the coronavirus and vaccination process call the Washington State COVID-19 Assistance Hotline: Dial 1-800-525-0127, then press #. If you can’t reach the hotline via our regular number, please call our alternate number, 888-856-5816 (a Spanish option is available).

Language assistance is available. Please note: The call center cannot access COVID-19 testing results. For testing inquiries or results, please contact your health care provider.

You may also text the word “Coronavirus” to 211211 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.


Health and emergency information

The Centers for Disease Control recently updated their masking advice to include double masking as a preventative measure to combat some
of the new Covid-19 variants. Learn more about their recommendations and how to make sure your mask fits properly.

The Washington State Coronavirus Response (COVID-19) page is a comprehensive site of daily statistics, government actions, scam alerts, and resources for assistance with health care, housing, food and finances.

Washington State COVID-19 Testing Locations - Click your area on the map below to find testing sites near you. You will find community-based sites, local clinics, drive-through sites, your local health department phone number, and additional lists and maps of sites in the area. 

There is a new tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19: Your phone. WA Notify can alert you if you’ve been near another user who later tests positive for COVID. It’s simple to add and your privacy is protected.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has up-to-date information on symptoms and what to do if you have COVID-19.

For questions about what is happening in Washington or how the virus in spread please call the Washington State Coronavirus Hotline at 1-800-525-0127 and press # from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday - Friday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday - Sunday. Language assistance is available. Please note that this call center cannot access COVID-19 testing results. For testing inquiries or results, please contact your health care provider.

Information is also available by texting the word “Coronavirus” to 211211 to receive the latest information on COVID-19, including county-level updates, and resources for families, businesses, students, and more.

Monitor Washington’s daily Covid-19 Data Dashboard for up-to-date information about the number of individuals tested, confirmed cases, hospitalization and deaths.

People over 60 years old, and people with underlying health conditions, are at higher risk of complications from COVID-19. Here are some resources to help you during this time. Washington State Resources for adults 60+

County information: Many county health departments have specific coronavirus pages with local information and resources. Click this link to find your local health jurisdictions web page.

Many news outlets, including The Seattle Times and The New York Times, have dropped their paywalls for coronavirus coverage so readers can stay informed of new developments.


Housing, employment, and financial resources

Washington’s resource page for workers and businesses affected by the pandemic explains available financial aid, unemployment guidance, and employee rights.

The state Employment Security Department enacted emergency rules to help workers affected by coronavirus-related layoffs, isolation and quarantines.

For questions about returning to work, unemployment, standby, the waiting week, and more visit the FAQ page for Washington workers.

AARP’s free financial and job search tools and resources are available to help you take your next step with more confidence.

A statewide moratorium on evictions of residential tenants for non-payment is in effect until June 30, 2021. Nationally, Fannie Mae has information on mortgage assistance and relief options for homeowners impacted by COVID-19.

Inslee has prohibited public utilities in Washington from disconnecting, refusing to reconnect, and charging late fees during the outbreak. This directive has also been extended in effect through July 31, 2021.

The Disaster Cash Assistance Program was originally designed to provide emergency assistance with natural disasters in mind, like wildfires and flooding. The program has been expanded to help some Washingtonians meet their basic needs during the state of emergency caused by COVID-19 state of emergency.


Health care and insurance

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange the state’s marketplace of health and dental insurance for individuals and families, has a special enrollment period for qualified individuals seeking health insurance. It also has a coronavirus FAQ for consumers.

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner also has an FAQ on health insurance and coronavirus. The office recently ordered state-regulated health plans to waive copays and deductibles for required COVID-19 tests.

Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave, a new benefit that began this year, allows eligible workers to receive paid leave. Learn how and if the benefit applies if you’re sick with COVID-19, quarantined or caring for someone with the virus.

For veterans, the Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs has phone numbers, local resources and program information listed by county.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Tool Kit for the coronavirus.


Help with food, meals and senior services

During the suspension of in-person meals at many senior centers, the following resources can help seniors, caregivers and families connect with meal deliveries, food pantries and other services:

Community Living Connections is a statewide network that helps people, especially seniors and people with disabilities, find services they need. You can search resources online or call 1-855-567-0252 for help.

Washington 2-1-1 is a free community service that connects people to local services, including utility assistance, food, housing and childcare services. You can search resources online or call 2-1-1 from anywhere in Washington state to reach a referral specialist.

From the WA Aging and Long-Term Support Administration, the new FamHelp webpage presents facility information and visitor status updates to friends and family with loved ones that are long-term care residents. The site also offers a searchable database of all Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Facilities and Adult Family Homes in the state of Washington.

Eldercare Locator, a part of the U.S. Administration on Aging, can help connect you to services for older adults and their families.


Avoiding COVID-19 and vaccine scams

Scammers and price-gougers have unfortunately taken advantage of the outbreak. The Food and Drug Administration recently warned consumers of fake, unauthorized COVID-19 test kits and the Department of Agriculture warned of scams against food benefit recipients.

Scammers are also capitalizing on confusion surrounding the vaccination process. Be aware of offers to skip the line or purchase the vaccine. Learn more about what to watch out for in this informational flyer from the FBI, Department of Justice, and the Centers for Mediare and Medicaid Services.

Resources include:

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office, which is investigating complaints of price gouging. It’s encouraging people to file complaints online.

AARP Fraud Watch Network Call Center is staffed by volunteer fraud fighters.Report scams at 1-877-908-3360 Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET.The Washington State

Coronavirus Response (COVID-19) page lists recent scam alerts.


Grocery stores/pharmacies to know about

Many essential retail businesses like grocery, hardware, and drug stores have implemented special shopping hours for vulnerable adults. We have gathered a partial list. However, we do recommend you call ahead to verify your local stores hours before visiting.

Albertsons: Stores are open from 7 to 9 .am. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for seniors and at-risk customers to shop.

Bartell Drugs: Normal operating hours, varies by location

Costco: Any member 60 and older can shop from 8 to 9 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday. No more than two people can enter the store with each membership card at one time.

CVS: Normal operating hours, varies by location.

Fred Meyer: Seniors and at-risk customers can shop from 7 to 8 a.m. Monday through Thursday.

QFC –Seniors 60+ and at-risk customers can shop 7 to 8am, Monday - Friday

Rite Aid: Seniors and at-risk customers can shop from 9 to 10 a.m. on weekdays.

Safeway: Stores are open from 7 to 9 .am. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for seniors and at-risk customers to shop.

Sam's Club: Seniors and at-risk customers can shop every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 to 9 a.m.

Trader Joe's: Stores will dedicate the first hour (either 8 to 9 .am. or 9 to 10 a.m.) to seniors and at-risk customers. Call your local store to find out exact hours.

Target: Stores are reserving an hour on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for "vulnerable shoppers." Call your local store to find out exact hours.

Walgreens: Tuesdays are considered "Seniors Day" with all-day discounts and seniors-only shopping from 8 to 9 a.m.

Walmart: Stores, including the pharmacy, will open one hour early every Tuesday for this shopping event (typically 6-7 a.m.).

Whole Foods: Stores open one hour early for 60 and older and at-risk customers to shop. Please check their store finder page

WinCo Foods: Every Tuesday and Thursday, seniors and at-risk customers can shop from 6 to 7:30 a.m.


Support for well-being and coping with isolation

Washington has launched Washington Listens, a support program and phone line to help people manage elevated levels of stress due to the pandemic. Those who call the Washington Listens support line will speak with a support specialist and get connected to community resources in their area. The program is anonymous. The support line is 1-833-681-0211. It is available 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.

The CDC has guidance for coping with stress during the outbreak. Crisis Connections operates a 24-hour crisis line at 1-866-427-4747 (866-4CRISIS) for people in emotional crisis, along with other help lines that provide support, crisis intervention and local referral services.

From University of Washington's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute has a great list of online resources featuring lectures from the UW campus, local community and other institutions across the country, including a list of nature and wildlife cams to connect you to the outdoors.

The Seattle Public Library provides free access to e-books, audiobooks, music, movies, podcasts and other digital media for anyone with a library card.

Many arts and cultures groups are broadcasting performances for people isolating at home, including the Seattle Symphony, which is broadcasting free concerts on its YouTube and Facebook channels.


AARP resources

AARP Coronavirus Response - Aggressive steps are being taken during the illness' outbreak to inform and protect older Americans. AARP's site provides the latest advice and resources, including information about our weekly live Coronavirus Information Tele-Town Hall.

The AARP Foundation’s Connect2Affect is a network of resources that meets the needs of anyone who is isolated or lonely, and that helps build the social connections older adults need to thrive.


Tele-Town Hall Recordings

Statewide Tele-Town Hall
AARP Washington hosted this live event to provide the latest COVID-19 vaccine distribution information. This event featured Governor Jay Inslee, Dr. Umair A. Shah, Secretary of Health, Washington State Department of Health, and Doug Shadel, AARP Washington State Director. Doug Shadel opened the event with updates about the vaccine process and what to know as we emerge from the pandemic. Participants asked questions regarding what can be done to stop wearing masks, what is being done about false information regarding the vaccines, and spreading the virus.

Pierce County Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall
On Thursday, April 8, 2021, AARP hosted an important conversation about the latest COVID-19 vaccine distribution information and how to stay resilient during these uncertain times. Guests wereDr. Anthony Chen, Director of Health with the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department and Jeananne “Bunny” Smith, Executive Director at the Mid-County Community Center.



Coronavirus and Vaccine Tele-Town Hall
On Tuesday, March 9, 2021, AARP hosted a statewide telephone town hall meeting with Washington State Department of Health Secretary Dr. Umair Shah, and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson on a Teletown Hall featuring the latest info on vaccines and the scams circulated around the vaccine.



King County Coronavirous and Vaccine Tele-Town Hall
On Tuesday, February 16, 2021, AARP hosted a county-wide telephone town hall meeting with Patty Hayes, Director of Public Health Seattle & King County and Dr. Scott Barnhart, Physician and Professor of Medicine and Global Health at the University of Washington about how we can combat COVID together, as well as the latest about the vaccine distribution in King County. 



Tacoma-Pierce County: Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall
On Monday, April 13, 2020 AARP held a live telephone town hall event with Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards and Nigel Turner, Communicable Disease Control Division Director, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. This live Q&A event provided the latest updates on the coronavirus crisis and how the public can protect themselves from the virus and reduce the spread to others.


City of Seattle: Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall
Listen to a recording of our April 8th telephone Q&A with Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and other public health officials about the latest information on COVID-19 in King County, hosted by AARP state director Doug Shadel.



Stay Informed - Stay Healthy : Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall
On Saturday, March 21, AARP held a live, statewide tele-town hall event with Governor Jay Inslee, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and State Secretary of Health Dr. John Wiesman.Our state leaders provided updates and answered listener questions about the virus, how it affects older adults, and what scams to watch for during the COVID-19 outbreak.

King and Snohomish County: Coronavirus Information
On Thursday, March 12, AARP Washington held a one-hour live phone Q&A with King County and Washington State experts Ingrid Ulrey, the Public Health Policy Director for Seattle & King County and Dr. Marisa D’Angeli, Epidemiologist from the Washington State Department of Health, Office of Communicable Disease Epidemiology.

About AARP Washington
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