Dealing with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic

Coronavirus illustration with text "COVID-19"King County is taking proactive steps to protect the health of our community as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues. Stay safe and informed by following guidance provided by Public Health – Seattle & King County and other trusted health partners.

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Information provided by Washington State Department of Health 
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Information provided by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
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It’s going to be a doozy – get ready for summer!

Summer is here – officially and heat-wise! After a record-tying hot weekend, current forecasts call for a small cool down, and then a rise in temperatures on Saturday and Sunday this coming weekend (June 26-27), reaching over 90 in the Seattle area and even the mid- to upper 90s inland. This is likely to bring high risk for much of the population, especially those who are heat sensitive and those without effective cooling and/or adequate hydration.

Going to a movie theater (if you are vaccinated), a mall, or the library to cool off after work may be the best way possible for most of us in King County. You can also cool down at King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks’ Weyerhaeuser-King County Aquatic Center or at the outdoor pool at Cottage Lake Park operated by Northshore YMCA.

King County Fire Marshal Chris Ricketts has issued a Stage 1 fire safety burn ban for the unincorporated areas of King County starting Thursday, June 24. The ban will remain in effect until further notice. If your property is inside city limits, please contact your local jurisdiction for their requirements.

Public Health – Seattle King County has shared several ways to stay cool and safe during hot weather.

For everyone when days are hot:

  • Keep window blinds or curtains closed when outdoor temperatures skyrocket. This reduces indoor temps and reduces the strain on cooling equipment, if in use.
  • Keep windows and doors closed in locations with air conditioning.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (but avoid alcohol, caffeine, or lots of sugar that can make you lose body fluid).
  • Dress in layers to manage varying temperatures.
  • Minimize extended time outside.
  • Turn off unnecessary lights and unplug unused electrical equipment.
  • Take a tepid shower or bath to cool down.
  • Avoid hot and heavy meals that can raise your body temperature.
  • Check on vulnerable family or neighbors by phone or text to make sure they are safe and cool.
  • NEVER leave pets or children in a hot car. Call 9-1-1 if you see a child or pet in a hot car.
  • For summer tips for pets, Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC) can help you out.
  • Learn the warning signs of heat illness that happens when the body can’t cool down. If someone has heat stroke, they need to call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room immediately.

If you must be outside:

  • The most important thing to do is to drink lots of water. When it’s really hot, drink up to a quart of water every hour with moderate to heavy physical activity.
  • Carry a water bottle.
  • Consider sports drinks for electrolyte replacement when sweating a lot.
  • Wear loose, light clothing with materials designed to wick sweat.
  • Wear a hat with a brim.
  • Check with your supervisor about adjusting your work hours to start earlier, when it’s cooler.
  • Stop all activity if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, faint or have a pounding heart or trouble breathing.
  • Hot, sunny weather invariably brings more people to King County’s parks and trails. More information about what is open can be found on Parks’ page.
  • Although the lakes, rivers and streams can be a tempting way to cool down, remember to get used to the cold water slowly and wear personal protective devices to be safe in the water.

Water safety

And a reminder, King County, Public Health – Seattle & King County and the King County Sheriff’s Office encourage kayakers, boaters, rafters, swimmers, and other river users to check conditions and scout rivers thoroughly for hazards before entering the water. Sometimes the best plan is to not enter the water.

River managers and emergency responders carry the most concern for swimmer safety during the warm weather early in the season when people are drawn to the water for floating, swimming, and boating while water temperatures are still cold.