For immediate release: January 20, 2022 (22-009)

Contact: Communications from the Ministry of Health

Washington State Department of Health Statement

OLYMPIA – Today marks two years since the first case of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was discovered in Washington and the United States. Our state led the nation in the early days of the pandemic response by being proactive, transparent and tough in its fight to protect people from the rapidly spreading virus.

Over the past two years, our lives have changed dramatically at school, at work and at home. Many public holidays and special events have had to be put on hold until ‘safer options’ become available. In early 2021, as we reflected on a pandemic year, we saw COVID-19 vaccines become available in our communities, which brought a sense of security. As more and more people were vaccinated, we saw businesses reopen, children return to class and people resume their daily lives. Boosters came into play a few months later as new variants threatened to set us back.

Now, looking back on two years of pandemic response, we can say that we are proud of the countless lives that have been saved through partnerships within and around the public health system. We would like to thank everyone who has done something to make their neighbor a little safer during this unprecedented time.

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