Keeping Your Family Safe During COVID-19

Stress from the COVID-19 epidemic has led to higher risk for some preventable injuries.

These resources for families in King County and Washington State can help keep your family safe and well.

  • Critical Resources Include:
  • Mental Health & Suicide Prevention
  • Safely Storing Medications & Firearms
  • Preventing Violence in the Home
  • Helping Families Cope with Stress

Download the full Keeping Your Family Safe During COVID-19 packet.

Language Support

Español: Manteniendo A Su Familia Segura Durante COVID-19

Tiếng Việt: Giữ An Toàn Cho Gia Đình Quý Vị Trong Đại Dịch COVID-19

People are feeling a lot of stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mental health concerns, including thoughts of wanting to hurt or kill yourself, continue to be a challenge during the current public health crisis. The stress of new health risks, lost work, and many other uncertainties may increase chances of having suicidal thoughts.

Tips to cope with stress during COVID-19:

  • Talk with others, particularly those at risk of suicide. Reach out via telephone, social media, and video conferencing (Zoom, FaceTime, etc.)
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or hearing news stories.
  • Take care of your body.
  • Make time to unwind & meditate.
  • Lock up medications & firearms.

Mental Health & Suicide Prevention resources:

Downloadable Mental Health & Suicide Prevention information page.

Safely Storing Medications and Firearms

Safely & securely storing medicines, firearms, and other dangerous items is an effective way to keep you & your family safe.

Why safe storage?

  • Stops children from finding & using your gun.
  • Reduces the risk of accidental injuries, as well as suicide and self-harm.
  • Stops people from stealing your gun.

If families need help or resources practicing safe firearm storage at home:

Downloadable Safely Storing Medications & Firearms information page.

Preventing Violence in the Home

COVID-19 may mean that people are isolated in homes that may not be safe. We want people to know they are NOT alone during this pandemic.

Helpful tips if someone is in a crisis:

  • Reach out to trusted friends, coworkers, or family for support and to create a safety plan.
  • Practice self-care. Take time for health & wellness checks when possible.
  • Consider if you can stay with friends or family while sheltering in place.

Resources:

Downloadable Preventing Violence in the Home information page.

Helping Families Cope With Stress

The outbreak of the coronavirus may be stressful for parents. Fear and anxiety about the pandemic and stress related to social distancing restrictions can cause strong emotions in children and adults. Children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events.

Helpful Tips:

  • Take care of yourself and get support.
  • Offer lots of love and affection.
  • Give everyone space to share their fears.
  • Create routines, yet be flexible.
  • Talk to your children about the pandemic: offer comfort, honesty, & reassurance.
  • Model and share how to manage your feelings.
  • Focus on the positive: find joy.
  • Additional Support is available through helplines.

Resources:

Downloadable Helping Families Cope with Stress information page.

Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools

Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall 2021 is a priority. Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Promoting vaccination can help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports.

  • Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction continues to be a priority.
  • Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Promoting vaccination can help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports.
  • CDC recommends universal indoor masking by all* students (ages 2 years and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
  • New CDC guidance has reduced the recommended time for isolation and quarantine periods to five days. For details see CDC’s page on Quarantine and Isolation.
  • In addition to universal indoor masking, CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms to reduce transmission risk. When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, such as when schools cannot fully re-open while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer multiple prevention strategies, such as screening testing.
  • Screening testing, ventilation, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning and disinfection are also important layers of prevention to keep schools safe.
  • Students, teachers, and staff should stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care.
  • This guidance emphasizes implementing layered prevention strategies to protect students, teachers, staff, visitors, and other members of their households and support in-person learning.
  • Localities should monitor community transmission, vaccination coverage, screening testing, and occurrence of outbreaks to guide decisions on the level of layered prevention strategies (e.g., physical distancing, screening testing).

Source: Centers for Disease Control, **updated January 13, 2022

Source: UW Medicine Newsroom