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House approves $100 million proposal to fight coronavirus in Washington

The House unanimously voted to increase funding around coronavirus from $10 million to $100 million. The proposal now moves to the Senate.

Washington State Department of Health Secretary John Wiesman told lawmakers on Monday that the state can expect to see more coronavirus cases. 

Wiesman asked state Senators to increase the funding set aside for COVID-19 from $10 million to $100 million.

On Tuesday, the House unanimously approved the emergency funding increase. The proposal now moves to the Senate, where it is also expected to pass. 

Wiesman said the increase would help the state handle a growing number of patients and increase public education surrounding hand washing and other CDC protocols associated with stopping the spread of the virus.

"Folks right now should be taking action. Right now is the time to get prepared," Wiesman said. "We know we've got the coronavirus in our community, we know we're having community spread, we know the risk is increasing."

RELATED: Real-time updates: Coronavirus testing expands after 6 Washington deaths

As of 2 p.m. on Monday, there have been six deaths in the state due to coronavirus and 18 people have tested preemptively positive. 

Gov. Jay Inslee encouraged the general public to take simple measures to control the spread of the virus, like regular handwashing.

Inslee said he's stopped shaking hands and stayed home sick last Wednesday.

"I had a cough," said Inslee. "It's hard to do, right? We're all wrapped up in our jobs... I can't stress how important it is, why that sounds kind of weird, but it's a bit of a patriotic act right now, of not going to work."

Senate budget writers informed Wiesman he could expect bi-partisan support for his budget increase request.

RELATED: Facts Not Fear | What you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak

What are coronavirus symptoms?

The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu or colds. Symptoms include a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and a general feeling of being unwell, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

The severity of symptoms ranges significantly. Some cases are very mild with symptoms similar to the common cold, and some cases are more like severe pneumonia that require hospitalization. 

Most deaths have been reported in older adults who had other health conditions, according to DOH.

Symptoms may appear as soon as two days after being exposed to the coronavirus or as long as 14 days.

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