As respiratory illness rises in Washington, resources are available for prevention and containment

January 24, 2024

With the recent rise in respiratory virus activity, several hospitals and health care organizations throughout our state have started requiring staff, patients and visitors to wear well-fitting face masks in either all or some patient care areas. WSHA has received requests from hospital leaders looking for guidance and resources as respiratory illnesses increase. We would like to share some resources for our members.

  • CDC Core Infection Prevention and Control Practices: This document summarizes a core set of infection prevention and control practices for all health care settings. It describes how face masks work for source control and remain an important intervention during periods of high respiratory virus transmission.
  • CDC COVID-19 Infection Control Recommendations: This guidance provides a framework for facilities to implement select infection prevention and control practices (including face masks) based on their individual circumstances. In addition to encouraging everyone to remain up to date with all recommended COVD-19 vaccine doses, it recommends that health care facilities identify local metrics that could reflect increasing community respiratory viral activity to determine when broader use of source control in the facility might be warranted.
  • DOH Respirator Illness Data Dashboard: These dashboards show trends in Washington for COVID-19, flu and RSV. Metrics include hospitalizations, emergency department visits and deaths. Data can be viewed for the entire state, or by Accountable Communities of Health region. A weekly report showing epidemic thresholds for COVID-19, flu and RSV will soon be available from the dashboard webpage.

We appreciate all you do each day to keep our communities safer and healthier. If you have any questions about respiratory infection prevention and control, please contact any of us or your local health jurisdiction. The DOH Health Care-Associated infections team is also available for consultation via email:


Cassie Sauer
WSHA President & CEO


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