All of us at BEST understand how challenging the past three years have been. We hope that the information and outreach we share have been helpful to you. As of May 11th, all federal COVID restrictions and mandates will be lifted. This means that after May 11th COVID will be considered a seasonal virus; much like the flu is treated. In the United States, we still average over 40,000 new cases every day and 30,000 people are hospitalized every day.
Even with the coming changes in how COVID will be tracked and reported, and who will bear the burden of care for those with COVID, particularly those with Long COVID, we urge you to continue protecting your health and respect the health choices of others.
We cannot provide current information for everyone but are committed to ensuring that general guidelines and Washington State requirements, vaccine status, and relevant links are provided to make navigating these confusing times a little easier.
If you are a resident of Washington or visiting our state keep in mind that local health officials have the authority to put health orders in place to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19 within their jurisdiction. These orders may be more strict than the statewide orders. BUT they cannot be less strict than statewide mandates.
Winter is here and with it comes flu season. As of 28 November COVID cases and COVID deaths are increasing as we roll into the holidays.
While the CDC, WA Department of Health no longer require masks in most settings they are still encouraged in crowded indoor settings where it is difficult to physically distance.
Washington State face-covering remains mandatory for people age 5 and older in health care, long-term care and correctional facilities. Though face masks are no longer required in many indoor settings, including public transportation and transportation hubs masks are still an important tool for reducing the transmission of COVID-19.
Private businesses and local governments may still require masks if they choose. Many individuals may want to continue wearing masks for added protection from COVID-19.
Not everyone will be comfortable in groups or indoor places without a mask. Remember, most superheroes wear masks and they are kind to those who don’t.
Wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth is a simple way to protect yourself and others from getting sick. Masks help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others.
- Wear a mask when inside public places,
- Keep at least six feet away from others,
If you are interested in more details click here for the Washington Department of Health
Data Dashboard or copy and paste this link into your web browser;
Click on the image to download a poster you can print and display at home, at work, or at support group meetings. The information is as important today as it was when we first posted it.
We know many people have gotten vaccinated. But not everyone. We encourage those of you who have yet to be vaccinated to get vaccinated. Vaccinations are available at no cost to you and so are boosters. That’s right! No one should be charging you for a vaccination.
Boosters are available for those who are already vaccinated. Boosters will help you fight off serious illness in the event you get sick with the COVID virus.
If you must go out remember that while mask mandates are ending it is recommended you wear a mask when indoors with others. These recommendations are to protect you as much as they are in place to protect others.
We created a brief video on how to go about getting your vaccine/booster …
Many people have different ideas about what COVID is, whether they will get sick or not, if the vaccine is safe, and much more. We’ve put together a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page to answer the most common, and often confusing, questions people have asked us. Visit our COVID FAQ page to read more.
We have resources and links to help you make the best decisions for yourself and your family. PLUS we have printable downloads. Visit our Resources page for more information.
Many support groups want to gather again. The health and safety of all of our precious support group members are of utmost importance to us during the continued spread of the COVID virus.
Remember, caution and care save lives.
(This page was last updated 2 February 2023)