How Community and Faith-based Organizations Can Help Slow the Spread of Coronavirus

Recommendations from Public Health-Seattle & King County

Dear Community Partners,

Community and faith-based organizations provide essential services for our community and often have their own spaces or utilize community spaces to convene people or to provide services and resources. We know that the inequities that normally impact the health and safety of community members are exacerbated in an emergency. 

We want to offer guidance based on questions many of you have been asking. These are actions that you can promote in your various organizations and/or programs to help reduce and slow the spread of coronavirus. We know there are language needs and are in the process of developing translated versions of this messaging and the attached documents.

There is a more specific guidance document for faith-based organizations in development.

If you have additional questions, needs, or suggestions for us, please email We will continue to be in touch.

  1. Use soap and warm water to wash hands frequently and use alcohol-based sanitizer. Make handwashing a part of the regular programming.
  2. Cough in a tissue and throw it away or cough in your elbow. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Model and discuss these behaviors. Post signage to help communicate this.
  3. Limit personal contact like hugs and handshakes and maintain as much space as possible between individuals during programing. Post signage to help communicate this.
  4. For frequently used surfaces such as door knobs and handrails, clean and disinfect at least twice per day.
  5. Encourage all participants and volunteers to stay home if they are sick at all. Remind them to call their healthcare provider prior to going to the clinic or hospital to protect themselves and others.
  6. Expect that staffing and volunteer ratios will be impacted, create programing and communication plans to prepare in advance.
  7. Explore alternative programing and services that do not require in person contact or reduced contact, particularly for vulnerable populations.
  8. Follow recommendations and guidance from Public Health Seattle & King County regarding cancelling or rescheduling programs if needed.
  9. Ask community members what support they need to maintain their safety, minimize risk and stay connected to those that may be in voluntary quarantine. Stay connected with people remotely as much as possible.
  10. Provide and share accurate and up-to date information with community from trusted sources, Public Health Seattle & King County, the Washington State Department of Health and The CDC to reduce fear and stress and minimize bias and stigma.

Additional Resources

Basic Info Fact Sheet (also in multiple languages)

Pandemic Business Planning  

Candace Jackson (She/Her)

Community and Faith-Based Organizations Taskforce (Coronavirus Response)

Public Health-Seattle & King County